German Championship – Race Reports

Lescinska Grimmer and Georgia Merritt took a major step forward at the German Championships in Hirschau this last week. In the 5km freestyle event both girls cracked the 200 FIS point mark with Lescinska being a mere 12 seconds off gaining World Championship qualifying points and Georgia being only another 14 seconds back. Belinda Philips also raced well finishing 36 seconds behind Lescinska and just over a minute in front of d’Arcy Baxter who struggled after a fast start.

In the junior girls Ash Spittle finished well and was not that far behind around 35 seconds behind Belinda. Ash Kildea had a good start but faded a bit towards the end to finish around 30 seconds behind Spittle.

In the men, Ewan continued his domination finishing in 12th place with 130 points and being the fastest Australian, Mark van der Ploeg was another 10 seconds back  in 14th. Phil Bellingham race the same distant in the junior category where he finished in 13th place and had a time just under one minute behind Ewan.

After a bit of rain the planned pursuit on Saturday was changed to a individual start classic event due to lack of snow. With no wax tech and with tricky condition the Australian athletes had a variety of experiences. Belinda Philips performed the best of the girls in the 10km and looked really good in the final 5km. This was her best classic result in a long time and she gained points which are expected to be almost equal with her best skate points. Lescinska started fast and was 9 seconds up on Belinda at the 6km mark, she struggled with slow skis on the downhills but worked as hard as she could to try and stay in the race however couldn’t match Belinda in the last 4km to finish around 40 seconds behind. Georgia Merritt skied solidly in the first half and attacked the last 2.5km to pull back a 38 second deficit on Lescinska and finish 3 seconds in front. This is a good result for Georgia who usually fades at the end of races. D’Arcy was happy with her race, she skied the whole 10km solidly to finish around 35 seconds behind Lescinska and Georgia.

In the Junior girls Ash Spittle continued improving and had an incredibly good race. Her time when put in with the seniors had her finishing only 20 seconds behind Belinda and she is expected to gain her best FIS points of around 230.

Phil Bellingham raced strong and consistently to score his best points of the season while Ewan Watson did not fare as well finishing around one minute behind Phil.

The last day of races was a relay in which Australia entered two girls teams which finished second and third. As well as the good team performance Lescinska and Georgia both had fast individual times with them being 4 and 4 and a half minutes respectively behind Tobais Angerer who is one of the fastest male skiers in the world.

Ash Kildea about to finish the relay in 3rd place

Ash Kildea about to finish the relay in 3rd place

Ash Kildea after the relay

Ash Kildea after the relay


Ash Kildea, Lescinska Grimmer and Georgia Merritt

Brain Keeble the team manager

Ash Spittle, Ash Kildea and d'Arcy Baxter (the crowd is behind the camera)

After the finish of the relay and the realisation that Australia was second and third


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