|Rob Bullen Biography|
Rob started skiing from a young age, spending every Christmas and Easter holiday in Puy St. Vincent in France. His passion for skiing took a serious turn when he saw the English Championships held at the resort when he was thirteen.
Rob joined Kandahar Racing in 2004 and took part in his first race at the British Alpine Racing Ski Clubs Championships in Alpbach, Austria. He finished 21st in the Giant Slalom race a few days after his fifteenth birthday.
Taking all three titles in the 2007/08 season British Alpine Racing Ski Clubs Championships, as well as the best ‘non-GBR team’ skier trophy for Slalom at the 2009 British Championships, Rob was selected for the British Alpine Development Team at age eighteen.
For 2010/2011 Rob was fortunate to be allowed to base himself with the Dutch National Team in Austria. The season saw more progress with his World ranking improving in slalom by 428 positions. He become overall English Alpine Champion with straight wins in Slalom and Giant Slalom and again won the award for best non GB team athlete at the Delancey British Alpine Ski Championships in both the slalom and the super combined events.
His continued progress was recognised and for 2011/12 Rob was invited to join The British Alpine Senior Ski Team.
Two full years with the British Ski and Snowboard managed programs provided some further progress and highlights including winning the slalom title at the 2012 Delancey sponsored British Alpine Ski Championships in Meribel.
Rob’s ambitions and the need to have a full twelve month program focussed on his needs that would deliver the support and intensity required to progress at this level led to Rob teaming up with French Europa Cup racer Ben Gardet as the elite team in the French managed “Team Motion” group. The ratio of athlete to coach support is very high with Rob and Ben having the full focus of former World Cup and Olympic slalom racer Vasillis Dimitriadis as well as an on hill coaching assistant.
Competition plans for the European season will be based around FIS races and some selected Europa Cup events with the stated aim of a Europa Cup focussed year for 2014 – 2015.
Events Rob competes in...
Rob competes in the technical events of Alpine ski racing, Slalom and Giant Slalom. These “technical” events are over two runs with the course being re set for the second run. The winner has the best aggregate time across the two runs. To add to that difficulty the start order for the first run provides for a draw of the highest ranked 15 racers with the rest of the field starting in order of their FIS World ranking. That leaves the later starters racing on a deteriorating and often rutted course making it even more difficult to compete with the top 15 seeded racers. The second run adds more complexity to proceedings by “flipping” the start position of the best 30 finishers from the first run so that the leading skier has a start position of 30 to contend with and maintain his lead over the other racers.
These “Technical” races test an athlete’s skills, speed and tactical awareness to the extreme and ensure that only the cream really rises to the top.
This event involves skiing between gates that are formed by relatively close alternating pairs of red and blue poles, which the skier must pass between – specifically the skier’s feet and both tops of the skis must pass between the poles. A course for men has 55 to 75 gates. The skiers use skis typically 165cm in length
Gates in this event are spaced a greater distance apart than in Slalom. The course for men is made up of a vertical drop between 250 and 450 metres and usually around 50 gates. Giant Slalom skis are longer with a far larger turning radius than Slalom skis now - 35 meters adding to the athletic challenge.