Director ISSSC – Maj Gen Jez Bennett CBE
2020 will be the 14th year that the Inter-Services Snow Sports Championships (ISSSC) have been held in the world class French resort of Méribel. We are delighted to confirm that the resort has agreed to host ISSSC next year and, as such, we are looking forward to a special 15th year celebration in 2021. Méribel’s support over the years, from both the Office du Tourisme and the École de Ski Français (ESF), has been magnificent, as is the contribution made by Méribel Alpina and Société 3 Vallées, and we are hugely grateful for their warm welcome each year and their energy and enthusiasm in ensuring that the Championships, on every slope that we find our sailors, soldiers and airmen and women competing, is of the highest standard. Last year’s conditions were superb, the competition excellent – made more diverse with the inclusion of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) Alpine and Snowboard Skiers. Let us hope for much the same this year!
On the back of ISSSC19 the UKAFWSA undertook to send a small team to Australia in August to compete in their Inter-Service Ski Championships. Six competitors, representing all three services, took part in both Alpine and Snowboard events at the ADF Army and Inter-Service Ski Championships and returned with a significant haul of victories and medals.
I have decided to keep the 2020 programme, both racing and social, largely the same as the last few years. There is one minor change to the race programme which affects Snowboarding and this sees the Slopestyle qualification return to the format run in 2018 – qualification for men’s and ladies’ on the Thursday with Friday providing a slip day if required. The social programme is unchanged and I look forward to meeting you all at the après ski event, at which ISSSC hosts the key figures from Méribel, on Wednesday 5th February, in Le Cantine d’Alvar, at the foot of the Stade, next to the ISSSC Race Office in the Parc Olympique. As with previous years, this will be a joint event open to all our competitors, officials, sponsors and Méribel village representatives.
We have also adjusted some of the evening events to allow the sponsors and Service visitors to enjoy a little more time interacting with the competitors, rather than having to rush off the hill just when the fun starts! The remainder of the week is full of opportunities to be involved in some excellent competitions whilst enjoying the delights of being in a premier alpine resort. You will be able to enjoy sipping vin chaud whilst supporting the evening floodlit events on the Méribel Stade – the Snowboard Parallel Slalom finals (Tuesday night) and the Alpine Slalom finals (Thursday night). A BBQ will be available on the Méribel Stade on Wednesday lunchtime during the Telemark Classic Sprint Finals – a hugely entertaining event which is well worth supporting. Finally, I hope that many of the Sponsors will consider entering the ever popular and fiercely competitive Sponsors’ Team Slalom event for the Countess of Wessex Trophy and the Sponsors’ Giant Slalom for the John Weston Trophy.
So, finally, in my second year as Director of the Inter Service Snow Sports Championships, let me pass on an enormous vote of thanks on behalf of my organising committee and all the competitors; to the sponsors for their continued generous support, both financially and in the manner in which you genuinely lift these events through your passionate and enthusiastic personal involvement. We look forward to hosting you at what promises to be an excellent week of the highest quality winter sports.