Many of the world's top grass ski racers competed on Sunday (9 July) at Butser Hill, Hampshire.
GV Contestants ski down slope with national flags
SV Contestants washing and oiling skis (2 shots)
SV Contestant prepares to go in giant slalom
GV Competitors limbering up
GV No. 28 Franz Kaiser down course and finishes
GV Edi Waldburger down course and past finish (Time 37.42)
GV Contestant No. 34 (Time 37.77)
GV Contestant Bettina Dongas (third) and down course
SV Contestant Brigitee Single down course coming second
GV Contestant 5 Karin Winter eventual winner
SPORT: GRASS SKIING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Many of the world's top grass ski racers competed on Sunday (9 July) at Butser Hill, Hampshire. It was the first round of the 1978 European Grass Ski Championships.
SYNOPSIS: First there was the Descent of the Flags of the seven nations taking part -- Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain.
Before the serious competition gets underway the roller based skis must be thoroughly cleaned and then oiled.
Eighty-nine men and women were taking part in the slalom events in the first of seven rounds. The final of the championships will be held in Germany in September.
In the Men's Grand Slalom Franz Kaizer of Italy.
In special trials grass skiers have reached speeds of 90 kilometres an hour (56 m.p.h.). Kaizer's time of 38.33 was fast and took him into the lead.
But Kaiser's lead was not to last long. The man who took it -- Edi Waldburger of Switzerland.
The Swiss it seems can ski just as well on grass as on snow. In Britain where snowy slopes are in short supply grass skiing is a growing sport.
Erwin Gansner also of Switzerland had to beat Waldburger's time of 37.42. In a slalom like this skiers reach speeds of around 48 kilometres (30 m.p.h.). Gansner was three tenths of a second slower than Waldburger -- but finished in second place.
The women's slalom was dominated by West Germany. Bettina Dongas's effort was good enough to take third place.
Sunday's competition represented the highest level of international grass ski racing.
This performance by Brigitee Single of West Germany gave her second place.
The winner of the women's Giant Slalom -- Karin Winter -- also of West Germany.
The second round of the championships is in France -- July 12-13.