The Varsity Trip will be taking place this year from 1st to 8th December in Val Thorens, France. The organisers have announced the details of the traditional Snow Games and the headliners for the Opening and the Final nights.
The history of the Varsity Trip goes back 96 years, with the first races being hosted in 1922, two years before the Winter Olympics began. Since then hundreds of students have raced in one of skiing's most traditional races. This year, the main event of the Snow Games will be the Blues’ races, in which the three best male and female teams from each University will face each other for ski primacy. The teams compete in two kinds of race: Giant Slalom and Slalom. The final race will be held in the early evening at the Stade in Val Thorens. Scoring is based on timing and precision: the winner is the one who completes the race in the shortest time, missing the smallest number of gates (50 gates in the Giant Slalom and about the same in the Slalom).
Last year, Cambridge got the best results in both male and female categories. L. Steyn was the fastest male racer with a timing of 151.52 seconds, 73.20 in the Giant Slalom and 78.32 in the Slalom, whereas Oxford fastest racer K. Titov was about ten seconds behind, with a score of 161.78. For women, the fastest female racer was A. Seaton from Cambridge with 163.54, 77.65 in the Giant Slalom and 85.89 in the Slalom. Oxford again slips behind on 180.89 with O. Jones. Historically, Oxford is ahead with 46 victories for the men, while Cambridge totalizes only 39; but Cambridge leads 16-11 in women’s category.
As in previous years, the organization will be providing a barbeque, vin chaud and supporters’ items such as foam fingers and whistles. But there are some new additions: a big aprés style ski party and fireworks as the final racer crosses the finish line.
The other aspect of the Snow Games are the Intercollegiate ‘Cuppers’ Ski Races. These races are in line with a long-standing tradition, since most sports at Oxford and Cambridge have a ‘Cuppers’ event. Also, this event aims to celebrate the best of intercollegiate rivalry. About 200 students from nearly all 75 Oxbridge colleges are going to compete in these races, which take the form of knock-out parallel style Slalom races. At first, colleges will face other colleges from their University until only one per University is left. Then, the winners will race against each other to conquer the title of Varsity College champions. The title is currently held by Girton College – Cambridge, the winner of last year’s competition.
The headliners for this years's Opening Night Party will be Example, highlight of every school disco since 2010, followed by the absolutely classic jungle act Shy FX. The Final Night Party follows with an equally impressive lineup, including drum and base chartoppers Rudimental, and tropical house aficionado, Alex Adair.
Both Parties will be held in the Sports Centre of Val Thorens, which will be transformed to suit the occasions. The Opening Night Party will take place on the Sunday night of the trip and the Final Night Party will take place on the Thursday night. Past years headliners have included Calvin Harris, Tinie Tempah, Sigma and Sigala. Other acts will be announced nearer the trip, so stay tuned!