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Raising funds for Britain's No1 skier
Thursday October 8, 2009 - Email this article to a friend

Hundreds turned out at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead to raise money for Ed Drake. But with the Olympics round the corner shouldn't he be training rather than pressing the flesh?

"Yes" is the short answer and he readily admits he'd rather be doing so as he told PlanetSKI at the event.

"I can't wait to get out skiing again and to be at The Olympics as it has been a dream since I was 5 years old. I just can't wait and I wish it was tomorrow."

However a severe funding crisis at Snowpsort GB, with money cut off and resources limited, means he has to get out there and raise money himself.

The organisation that funds British racers is in the financial mire as we reported here; seeking a new chief executive and introducing a financial rescue package.

Britain's best male prospectBritain's best male prospectSo his main backers, Scott Dunn and the Kandahar Ski Club, got together to raise his profile and try to attract sponsorship.

"We need a long term sponsorship programme so Ed can do what he does best; race," says Georgina Morris from the Kandahar Ski Club. "He is quite simply one of the best male racers we have seen for a while here in the UK and we should be doing everything possible to support him."

23-year old Ed is Britain's best male racer and is in the world's top 50.  For his age he is ranked 6th in the world, so he is an exciting prospect.

If he achieves this potential he will be a very sought after athlete to be associated with and this is what the fund raising evening was all about.  Getting the attention of top level backers. 

As Ed says in the video interview below it is a great evening, but he would rather be out there skiing.

We will have a full video report on the event here on PlanetSKI at the weekend so do check back.

There were city firms, businessmen plus the great and the good of the British ski racing world.

"We are an upmarket ski company and are proud to be associated with Ed and have been backing him for many years now," says Paul Ruby from Scott Dunn, one of his main sponsors.

The company is running a raffle for a free luxury holiday in St Anton, Austria.  They have released 1,000 tickets costing £20 each.  See here to buy a ticket.

PlanetSKI has - we don't expect to win but it is money going to a very good cause we reckon.

The competitive spiritThe competitive spiritOver 200 people were at the event and as well as raising his profile there was a dual slalom relay race out on the snow at The Snow Centre.

It was of course just for fun but when ex-Olympic racers, BASI ski instructors, current members of the British team, as well as their coaches, compete on snow it becomes competitive stuff. 

We even had commentary by the ex-racer and Ski Sunday presenter, Graham Bell, to add to the atmosphere.

A good evening was had by one and all.

If you want to know more about Ed, then check out his web site here and remember his name; we will hopefully be hearing quite a lot about him over the coming years and PlanetSKI is pleased to be associated with him.

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