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15 February 2024

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St Hugh’s skiers reach new heights

Congratulations to two members of St Hugh’s College, Professor Horst Eidenmueller and Monty Pierce Jones (pictured on the right during racing), both of whom recently participated successfully in competitions for their different skiing disciplines.

St Hugh’s Sports Fellow and Freshfields Chair in Commercial Law, Professor Horst Eidenmueller, participated in the Masters Ski Mountaineering World Championships in Ponte di Legno (Italy) in January 2024. In the Senior Masters Vertical Race he finished 4th behind Alain Bellagamba (France), Jean Claude Mathieu (France) and Paolo Demonte (Italy), missing the podium by five seconds.

In December 2023, undergraduate, Monty Pierce Jones (Archaeology and Anthropology, 2021), competed in the 101st Varsity Races in Tignes, France. Monty was selected for Oxford’s first ski team through trials, in which he was one of the six fastest Oxford men – additional congratulations to Monty who was was awarded with a half blue as a result of his successful trial. The following day the team raced against Cambridge, where Monty came third in the Giant Slalom, 10th in the Slalom, and sixth overall.  In terms of timings, he was 0.41 off the winner in the Giant Slalom. Speed-wise, a well-trained racer would average 70km/h on a Giant Slalom course, and half that on a Slalom course. Giant Slalom turns (25m radius) are roughly twice as large as Slalom turns (13m radius). Sadly, in the team competition (calculated by combining the four best times of each team) the Men’s First Team lost, as did Oxford overall, however Oxford did win the Men’s Seconds!

Both Horst and Monty started skiing at very young ages. Horst started skiing when he was five years old (he was brought up in a little mountain town in the Alps).  Horst was a good long-distance runner when he was a student (Marathon PB 2.36.14), and used ski mountaineering to train in the winter.  In his fifties, he gave up on running because of knee problems but kept up ski mountaineering. Among his many skiing accomplishments, he achieved a third place in the Transcavallo Individual Race in 2021 (Masters Category).  The “Transcavallo” is an internationally well-known ski mountaineering race which attracts competitors from all over the world. Monty started skiing as a two-year-old in Les Houches, France, not far from where he was born.

Pictured below from left to right:
Horst at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships; Monty, third on the podium at the 101st Varsity Races in Tignes; Competitors at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships (last two photos)


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