13/3/11 – Racing the Parsenn Derby in Davos

Paul Accola, Swiss World Cup star of the 1990s

When I was at the Inferno in January (see previous posts) I got talking to a couple of British guys who were attempting the Swiss “Super-Vier” – a series of four amateur races at Belalp, Murren, Davos and Saas-Fee. I’d already missed the first, the Belalp Hexen (witches’ race), but thought it would be fun to have a go at one of the others, as well as the Inferno.

I chose the Parsenn Derby at Davos, the oldest downhill in the world (founded 1924), mainly because my mum did it in the 1960s and I have always known about it.

A team of four sets off: the first three times count

I travelled to Davos on Thursday with a horrific cold picked up a few days ago in Surrey when an attempt to cycle home from the station went wrong and I ended up walking three miles home down country lanes at midnight.

So I’ve spent most of the past three days at one extreme or another – on the one hand I’ve been in bed trying to get better; on the other I’ve been doing training runs on a 3.5km downhill course with a pair of 201 super-G skis strapped to my feet.

As I’ll be writing about the Parsenn Derby for a ski magazine next season I’ll save the juicy bits for print – for instance, about the scary jumps, my freakish team result (A cutting from the Gipfelzeitung) and the edible prizes.

For now, I’ve posted these pictures and a few links and there’s a link to the race site and results below. By the way you’ll see I was in good company – among the racers was local former World Cup star Paul Accola: part of the appeal of this excellent race is that mortals like me can pitch themselves against ex-pros.

Bring on next year’s race – I’m hoping to put together an amateur (though of course by no means amateurish…) ladies’ team in 2012: any takers?

Here’s the Parsenn Derby website: http://www.scdavos.ch/events/parsenn-derby.html

And this is a link to the Parsenn Derby results

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