Grand Master Scratch

Julien Regnier has committed to the FIS Master’s giant slalom circuit, an international circuit for the over 30s. The time for neat lines and stopwatches timing to the hundredth of a second has chimed for deserving heir of his maternal lineage – grand-father, grand-mother, mother and aunt have all had their sets of international medals. The black crows’ master shaper is (re) discovering the draw of the gates and the salient all-in-ones. His won’t pass unnoticed, neither will his arto 2 skis in the French colours. Skiers, watch out! The Regnier veins boil with Lafforgue blood.

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The first experience was in the small FIS Master races at Abetone in Italy. I trained for 5 days with my coaches in La Plagne. Very special to meet up again with Lulu Broche, my coach when I was 10. I wanted to work on my technique and ski gates. I didn’t really know what to expect because it had been more than twenty years since I had done any alpine training.

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I spent a good part of my youth truly detesting alpine skiing, necessary for a rebel spirit. However little by little and by force of circumstance, I became interested. I ski a lot, test and finalise all the black crows’ skis. It is rather fascinating, but to test well, one needs to ski hard and be aware of all the technical subtleties. It is far from obvious and is a domain in which we are constantly learning. And so, due to making curves free-skiing, I thought that it would be cool to get back in tracks, and both for a laugh and to continue learning.

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The first training sessions, were truly funny. I had no protection, but because I love doing gates, I bruised myself into another world. Each time I arrived at the bottom, I wanted to go straight back up and I cursed because the 3,500 ski-tow on the Tignes glacier is too slow. It was really cool being in a track. There are so many constraints. It is necessary to be at just the right tempo and good position, and when one manages to link all that with a good a feeling and the coach is happy, that’s truly good! I did that at my level, the main aim was to give Kevin Rolland a hammering during the club race at the end of the season. Easy you are going to say ! Not wrong. There is also Ben Valentin to catch, and that is not at all the same thing. To put the finishing touches to my settings, I registered for an FIS Master’s race. There was a globe to be won plus, in the young Master, there are not many people. The competition didn’t interest me. I only saw the globe. Well, yes, it was necessary to give this closer inspection. First step, an all in one and angled poles. Quick call to Danny and Yorgo (from Yorgo&Co, responsible for the black crows design) to explain the concept to them. They, had to stop all important projects in the pipeline and design me the most beautiful outfit on the the circuit. At black crows, we also design giant skis – the Arto 2 – titanal layer, 27 metre radius and quite thin under foot, too fine for my free-styler boots but that wasn’t important. Registration completed, skis sharpened, waxed I don’t know, I know nothing.

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I climbed in to my car, direction Abetone. Arriving there, a strange ambiance. The guys all have 2 pairs of skis and these are being passed through a rotating brush in the car-park. Very well, I go and collect my race-bib and scan around me for the blue, white, red outfits. There we are, done, I have fallen on the French gang. They are all really great. People who adore skiing and races. The discussions of tactics adds maximum stress before the start. I smile. It reminds me of bumps competitions. I felt so good in the starting gate. And there the same thing, really keen to start. Hop hop as mum said, attack. With my skeleton suit and my 3 buckle boots, I admit that there were 2, 3 Italians who didn’t take me seriously. Promise, 4 buckled boots, will be soon.

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Harsh this first race where I won twice in my category. OK, we were only 2… I was 3rd scratch the first day and tenth the next. There are several who fly on the circuit. Frankly I look forward to going back to it. There is no age limit for competitions and the master circuit is open. One just needs to have a federal licence and a FIS master code.

I am also going to make short reports on snapchat : julien‐regnier petite expérience live des events follow me 🙂

 

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