Longines Future Ski Champions (Val d'Isère, France)
As Official Timekeepers of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, the Swiss watchmaking brand Longines organised this year for the first time the Longines Future Ski Champions in collaboration with the International Ski Federation (FIS). Fourteen young (U16) athletes from fourteen countries were invited in Val d’Isère to take part in a giant slalom down the official competition slope. The Croatian skier, William Vukelic won the competition in 1:14:50. The French skier Jérémier Lagier arrived second, only 0.08 seconds behind and Semyel Bissig from Switzerland finished third, 0.64 behind.
Official Timekeeper of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Longines organised the Longines Future Ski Champions for the first time, in collaboration with the FIS. Fourteen young athletes from fourteen countries came together in Val d’Isère to contest a giant slalom in two-legs on the lower section of the mythical Face de Bellevarde, the official World Cup slope. The timekeeping infrastructure and the ski conditions were identical to those of the official races. The bib draw took place the day before with the presence of Aksel Lund Svindal, the patron of the event and Longines Ambassador of Elegance.
Representing Croatia, William Vukelic was crowned the Longines Future Ski Champion 2013. He mastered the piste in 1:14:50. The podium was completed by the French skier Jérémie Lagier, who arrived only 0.08 seconds behind and by the Swiss skier Semyel Bissig placed third 0.64 seconds behind. All three received a medal during a prize-giving ceremony that took place in the center of Val d’Isère, with the presence of Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Sarah Lewis, General Secretary of FIS and Aksel Lund Svindal. The winner received as well a Longines watch and a trophy. Meanwhile, its national Federation, the Croatian Ski Association received a cheque for $20,000 to be invested in its activities for young skiers.
Longines presented in Val d’Isère the official watch of this skiing season, a chronograph from the Conquest Classic collection. Symbolic of the precision, technical prowess and elegance of Alpine skiing, this steel timepiece houses the exclusive Longines column-wheel movement, the L688. The black dial of this sporty model features an Arabic numeral and 11 hour markers coated in Super-LumiNova®. As with the entire Conquest Classic collection, this piece is water-resistant to 5 bar and its screwed case back is equipped with a sapphire crystal.
The Longines Future Ski Champions project forms part of several activities undertaken by Longines to support youth through sport and to encourage the discovery of young talent. The Swiss watchmaking brand organises a tennis tournament for young hopefuls during Roland Garros, the Longines Future Tennis Aces and a race for young jockeys, the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars, which takes place during the Prix de Diane Longines in Chantilly. This first Longines Future Ski Champions tournament was open to boys. Next year’s event will also be open to girls.