The day of the Blue Ribband Downhill race gave us perfect racing conditions and it was to be the Army (so often the speed specialists) that capitalised. A clean sweep saw the Army winning both the Men and Ladies team competition, the coveted DH Champion mantles went to Spr Duncan Kuwall and Maj Jen Kehoe. First blood had been drawn; how would the other Services respond?
Next up was the Super G and in the Ladies competition the RAF struck back winning the team event with Cpl Rachael Hughes, their captain, leading by example and winning the individual event, the Ladies competition was alive with all to play for at the halfway mark. In the Men’s competition it was a different story, Spr Duncan Kuwall again led the charge and ably supported by his team mates, the Army again secured the team and individual honours with the RAF falling further behind. For the Senior Service the race was a disaster, two of the four “did not Finish” which saw them disqualified from the team competition and out of the running for the overall event. This is the original cardinal sin at ISSSC and a chastened Royal Navy team had much to ponder that evening, the Men’s competition was now a two horse race, advantage Army.
So on to the Slalom, the most technical of all our events, a tantalising smorgasbord of tight twists and turns, straddles and verticalles, ecstasy and despair. For the RAF Ladies this has often been their best event, could they open a gap today? As for the Men, could the rampaging Army team be reigned in, or would they stretch their lead out of sight? What next for the Royal Navy Men after their calamitous Super G? We were not to be disappointed…
In the Ladies event the RAF team were down to only four starters, this pressure told and a huge error saw them down to three remaining ladies for the second run, they could afford no mistakes. Led by their captain Cpl Rachael Hughes they made none, winning the team and individual. To the Men, the Army, high on confidence and swagger put down the early markers and the RAF found no reply. However, something remarkable was occurring with the Royal Navy, desperate to make amends. Whilst wiser heads might have counselled caution the Royal Navy Men in the finest traditions of their Service, launched at the Slalom with fearless abandon. Fortune favours the bold and this was the case today. Scenes of wild jubilation from the Royal Navy as they swept home the Team and individual honours (AB Graeme Price). The Army pipped to the line left shell shocked, the RAF far behind.