There are some days at work that go better than others. Depending what you do, those not so good days could end up quite memorable, particularly if you're an events organiser. Last Saturday, the Natives team had one of those days...
Back to school in Tignes
The UK Snowsports Summer Weekender includes two days of racing on the glacier in Tignes, in July. The past two years have seen epic conditions and wall to wall sunshine - but this year we were somewhat meteorologically challenged. It was actually snowing (yes, in July), in resort (yes, not just on the glacier) on the Saturday morning as we popped into the luxury Skiworld chalet Aigle to enjoy what we were hoping would be a quick breakfast before heading up the hill for the Ski Club of Great Britain Giant Slalom.
Sadly a call from Stu at Ski Focus confirmed our suspicions that the mountain was in fact closed due to 120km winds...in July, no we didn't believe it either! But in true Natives and Ski Club of Great Britain style we didn't let what could have been a bad day in the office turn into a bad day in the mountains, and we came up with a contingency plan of the Ski Club of Great Britain Giant School Sportsday. It was either that or head to the official Summer Weekender Bar the Loop for an all day session. It was a tough call but the exercise certainly did everyone some good!
Eggs were bolied, spoons were found and we all headed to Espace Tignes to have what can only be described as one of the most awesome school sportdays ever. We don't remember being penalised with shots of toffee vodka at school, but then we don't remember having to slalom round cones with ski poles and a glove balanced on our head either (extra points for style and technique)!
We certianly had snow last weekend, but angels? Hardly! Yet this was the name of the winning team who claimed the Ski Club sportsday title. Maybe they won by being the least hungover, but having Radio Will, from Radio Val and our MC for the weekend, on their team made this an outlandish claim to say the least!
From one competiton to the next...
If people thought the Metrosnow.co.uk Dual Slalom, which had succesfully taken place on the mountain in fairly good conditions the day before, was compeitive - a highly contested final between Ultimate Ski (fastest by a couple of gates) and T4 Nannies (who won, as Ultimate Ski were disqualified for missing a gate), they hadn't seen anything yet. Following sportsday, the Espace Tignes played host to the indoor 'beach' Courchevel Enquirer Volleyball competition.
With the water jump competition having been won by Dan Taylor from Metrosnow.co.uk, it was all to play for in the volleyball and after a tense afternoon Team Flaming Golden Hawks won the trophy (and the Champagne) in the final. For Dan's efforts, he picked up a day's guiding with HAT, although he had an unfair advantage being French and so able to confer with the French adjudicator who gave him the helpful hints he needed for a double back flip.
'Here's one I made ealier'
These were the immortal words that gave the Natives team the idea for their fancy dress costumes at the prize giving on Saturday night, and hopefully you've guessed the theme was Children's TV. Never have 70 individuals been more enthused by a theme. Blue Peter's Yvette Fielding, Caron Keating and Mark Curry (pictured above left) were joined by Danger Mice (yes, plural), James and the Magic Torch, three gorillas escaped from The Really Wild Show, Ninja Turtles, Dusty Bin (or was that Oscar the Grouch?), Mr Ben, Fred Flinstone, Wurzel and Sally, Pingu, Banana Man, Ghostbusters and Jimmy Saville and some of his friends he'd fixed it for (pictured below left)!
It was so difficult to pick the winner of the best costume but, as is always the case with the Summer Weekender it's all about the compeition, and we whittled it down to the Ski Club. All eight of them had come as Ghostbusters, complete with working backpacks filled with booze, of course.
Jimmy Savile fixed it for us to break the world record for the longest chain of Jagerbombs. We smashed the record, and managed not to smash any of the glasses, lining up and drinking an astounding 64 Jagerbombs from the bar of the Loop, sending everyone completely crazy until dawn. The following morning some of us still had the energy for more of Tignes activities and went downhill mountain biking at the crack of dawn (well, 10am) and swimming, courtesy of the Sporttignes cards. The rest of us headed to the airport and tried to check in a 12ft flag pole, but that's a whole other story.
With special thanks to Radio Will, Betony Garner, Jamie, Morgan and Christian at The Loop Bar, Catherine and the team at Tignes Development, Ski Focus and Team Comp, Metrosnow.co.uk, Ski Club of Great Britain, Naomi, Alex and Sam from Skiworld, Courchevel Enquirer, Henry's Avalanche Talks aka HAT, and Storm Skis. And for making it all possible by thinking of the idea in the first place, Iain Martin Natives MD, and the Natives team.