January 14th 1921

S K I – I N G    I N    S W I T Z E R L A N D 

The British Championship

The first ever British Ski Championship was held at Wengen in Switzerland on January 6th and 7th, and yesterday’s edition of ‘The Times’ reveals that it was won by an Old Dragon!

The correspondent writes:

“The championship was awarded on the combined marking of a race and a style competition. It is notorious that races are often won by inferior ski-runners who run straight, risking falls and using their stick for changes of direction and control of speed. It would be a pity if the British Champion was a stick-rider, however plucky, who has not mastered the graceful and effortless Norwegian style, and it was to insure against any such depressing result that the committee decided to mark the race and the style competition equally.

Mr Leonard Dobbs, a young Cambridge undergraduate, won both parts of the championship. He scored 82% on style against Mr RB McConnell’s 80, and was 67 seconds faster than McConnell in the race. His victory was popular, for he is a sporting runner who does not shirk steep slopes, and he is the son of another fine ski-runner, Mr GC Dobbs, so well known to Wengen and Villars visitors. Mr Patrick Dobbs was second in the race and fourth in the Championship, so the family have every reason to remember with pride the first British Championship.”

Leonard’s father, Mr George Dobbs, was a director of the tourist agency belonging to Sir Henry Lunn and as a result the family spent a lot of time in Switzerland before the war, where they learnt to ski.

Whilst Patrick displayed great academic ability whilst at the OPS – indeed he won a scholarship to Winchester College – Leonard was less so. On the advice of a friend of the family he was sent to Bedales School. He is currently up at St John’s College Cambridge studying mathematics and science.

The Draconian of his time records one less than successful moment in his career with us, regarding his performance in a poetry recital in December 1913:

“Of 35 boys, half got practically full marks, and there was only one failure, L. Dobbs.”

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