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With apologies to Sgt Pepper
It was 20 years ago today!
That Momentum said “wahay!” …
Let’s run some races – City Ski
On the scenic slopes of Italy!
Since then it’s really been a blast
Of racers skiing really fast!
Guaranteed to raise a smile
As they raced down every mile…
The act you’ve known for all these years
Came back in style to Courmayeur
(PART 2 OF THIS VERSE CONTINUES AT THE END OF THE FEATURE !)
Yes, it really has been 20 years since the very first City Ski race – on January 22, 2000. Gosh, that even pre-dates our brilliant commentator Matt Chilton. He joined City Ski around 2003 or 2004 and has been dispensing his mellifluous and sometimes mischievous wit ever since. How did we ever cope without him in those very early formative years?
Weather-wise, City Ski Championships 2019 and Financial Times Alpine Forum were certainly a mixed bag, but it speaks volumes about the tenacity of the racers – getting on for 175 of you – that the Wonderhatch Dual Parallel Slalom went ahead in almost blizzard conditions.
In the open category, Savills were victorious over Lloyd’s of London, while in the mixed event, Sandstone CH versus Sandstone.co.uk was an intriguing battle, with Sandstone CH emerging victorious.
For the giant slalom under blue skies on Saturday, Sandstone were on great form again in both the Open Anniversary team medals, while Lloyd’s of London and Knight Frank respectively triumphed in the FT open and closed team championships.
There were of course some spectacular tumbles on both days but then that also speaks volumes about the derring do required to have any chance of success. So we have to salute Grace Owens, of The Channel Managing Agency for the most spectacular fall of the weekend in the giant slalom. Not one fall in fact but two. What a gal!
On a more successful note, the Super FIS Instructor Ladies Champion was Franki Simonds of Sandstone Communications – yes, them again! – while the Serenity & Grace Absolute Amateur Ladies’ Champion was Sammy Filsell, of Alan Filsell Wealth Management.
The Absolute Amateur Men’s championship went to Louis Tucker of Barbican Syndicate, winning a “totally bespoke Saville Row suit from London Persona”.
The slowest GS skier award went to Jacob Robinson of Gately PLC which earned him the twin titles of Most Challenged Skier and – above all – hero of the day. Quite possibly even hero of the weekend!
My own racing days are over (old age seems to have crept up on me) and in any case once Anthony Barrow of Cogent Resources joined the Masters’ brigade I never stood a chance. Speaking of age, the Snow+Rock Men’s 50-plus trophy this time went to the hugely popular Filippo Guerrini-Maraldi from RK Harrison/Hyperion, who was also celebrating 19 consecutive outings with City Ski. In the ladies’ camp, the celebrated Paula Boyagis, part of a legendary ski racing family, carried off the women’s 50-plus trophy for Lloyd’s Clients.
In the Snow+Rock senior awards (40+) there were trophies for Annabel Fell-Clark of Neon Underwriting, and Will Armitage of Lot 18. Just to show that snowboarders can hack it just as well as skiers, Sam Clark carried off the Snow+Rock Snowboard Championship in fine style.
New this year was the Team Distance Challenge sponsored by Snow-Camp, the charity dedicated to transforming the lives of inner-city children by bringing them to the mountains to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. The idea was to see how far teams can ski during one hour on the slopes Lloyd’s 1 carried off the prize in magnificent style by skiing for 25.55 kilometres but even so only just managed to beat Savills by half a kilometre.
In the individual awards for members of London Private Member Clubs such as Hurlingham, Queens, Lansdowne, RAC, Pall Mall 67 and Whites, Amin Momen (yes the man himself) was named individual men’s champion for The Hurlingham Club and Kate Rowe Ladies champion for Queen’s Club. The Legal Cup went to James Gopsil, of Gateley PLC, while the Medical Cup was awarded to Jacopo Mattaini of Isokinetic. Gregor Strazar of Triglav won the Insurance Cup.
Meanwhile the Chel-Ski Financial Services medal went to Louise Favre-Gilly of J.P. Morgan.
The Rumknuckles Europe “Open” Trophy – for skiers outside the business categories, and anyone outside the City of London – went to Kent Berglund from Performance Verbier ski school. And the Courmayeur Mont Blanc Technology trophy was won by Kyran Savage of Chel-Ski.
I mustn’t forget to say what wonderful hosts Patrizia and Andrea Casale Brunet at the Bouton d’Or always are. I’ve stayed there many times and it must be one of the friendliest hotels in the world!
Sadly it’s now time to check out of my oh-so-cosy room and hit the road for Turin. It’s been a simply wonderful 20th anniversary, made possible by the terrific Momentum team. Roll on 2020!
On the non racing side, the race paddock was hosted outside the iconic Rifugio Maison Vieille, under the watchful eye of Mont Blanc, making its appearance briefly on Saturday morning; a fun and vibrant place for lunch and activities from the City Ski Championships partners, as well as remote commentary by Matt Chilton, his voice reaching far and wide across the mountain.
The Grand Hotel Royal & Golf played host to the Financial Times Alpine Forum, around a dining aperitivo in true Italian style, with a focus on the world changes in the last 20 years and Brexit, discussed by Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent, Marcus Brigstocke, the Financial Times and key exponents from UK business and finance.
Last but not least, the Saturday legendary Group Patchwork played The Beatles and Legends of Rock for us in via Roma under the medieval Torre Malluquin, and the awards dinner and ceremony, with fabulous food served by the Royal, along with a prize giving culminating in a true 70’s air band in full costume, composed of the core aficionados of the event.
OPENING “SERGEANT PEPPER “ VERSE CONTINUES BELOW!!!
Don’t really want to stop the show,
We’re sorry but it’s time to go
We’d like to thank you once again
And hope you will remember when
You’re back in town, back in the City
Back at work – it seems a pity!
It was wonderful to be here,
It was certainly a thrill.
You’re such a lovely skiing group
We’d like to take you home with us,
We’d love to take you home….
But we’ll see you next year!!!!
With apologies to Sergeant Pepper
After 7 years in Switzerland it was time to say goodbye to the wallet burning CHF and return to a resort where prices haven’t changed all that much in the last 20 years! Now in partnership with the Financial Times for the 8th year running, we will deliver a packed and varied programme of high quality skiing, racing, meals, drinks and entertainment, in truly charming and historic surroundings.
The Momentum Ski Festival provides Europe‘s business and financial community with an opportunity to network and entertain clients in a personal, relaxed environment, in the midst of exciting ski racing.
Momentum Ski Festival combines two established events; the City Ski Championships and the Financial Times Alpine Forum. The event includes a nightly après ski programme of comedy, club nights and live music
The Festival is a platform for multiple corporate bespoke hospitality programmes organised around the City Ski Championships & FT Alpine Forum and has become the premier Alpine event for business executives.