Day 1 – The BRITS Snowboard Slopestyle and Ski Cross titles decided in Laax

 

TIGHT BATTLE IN BRITS SKI CROSS AS EMMA PETERS RETAINS BRITSH TITLE AND OLLIE DAVIES SEALS HIS FIRST BRITS CROWN

British Snowboard & Freeski Championships, Laax, Switzerland

Action kicked off today at the BRITS 2017, with the skiers tackling the jumps and berms of the Laax Ski Cross course. With the level of competition probably the highest and tightest it has been at the BRITS, British Ski Cross racer Emma Peters defended her British title, and Ollie Davies, who moved from Alpine racing to Ski Cross last summer, took his first ever British Ski Cross title.

BRITS17 SkiCross Ollie Davies – Credit Bluebird Photography.com

Skiers of all ages took to the LAAX course for their individual timed runs, ahead of the head to head semis and then finals. In the overall men’s category, the GBX Ski Cross team were in action ahead of the World Junior Championships in Valmalenco, Italy, where they will compete this Friday. With some speedy times being set in the qualification rounds there was clearly a big appetite to win, but with softening conditions and the World Junior Championships just days away, the athletes in the male Open category agreed that they would use the results from their timed runs to decide the winners. In the timed qualification rounds, it was Ollie Davies who had clocked the quickest time, finishing in 39.82 seconds, with his closest rival Laurence Willows clocking a time of 40.32. Just fractions of a second behind him was Under 18 rider Jonathan Bingham who took third in a time of 40.65.

After transferring over from Alpine to Ski Cross less than a year ago, Davies was delighted with his title. He said after the win: “I didn’t think it was going to be easy this year as there is loads of good athletes, but it was great to take the title in my first year here at the BRITS. I was happy with my time in qualification and it was good fun. It was a shame we didn’t get to race head to head, but conditions weren’t great and we really didn’t want to risk anything with the World Juniors this week. It is always good to get a British title, so yes, I am pretty satisfied.”

In the overall ladies contest, there was some exciting racing, culminating in a closely contested final. After claiming the overall title with relative ease in 2016, British Ski Cross racer Emma Peters had to fight hard to reclaim her Brits title this year, fending off challenges Claire Winthrop who took second place, and her younger sister Zoe Winthrop who claimed the third and final podium place.

BRITS17 SkiCross Emma Peters – Credit Bluebird Photography.com

After retaining her BRITS in 2017, Emma Peters was in a jubilant mood: “It is amazing to reclaim my title, especially with the tricky snow conditions later in the day. I always enjoy coming to the Brits and it is great to see so many younger skiers coming through. Last year was way more chilled and straightforward, but this year I had to work for it! If you look at the top of the course, you can just see that there is a higher standard with loads of the athletes from the GBX programme and lots of other Ski Cross programmes. It’s great to see a high level here at the BRITS.”

The BRITS continues to cultivate up and coming talent, and this year was no different with many younger Ski Cross athletes battling it out to claim the British titles in their age groups. There was some impressive racing across the age groups, with some outstanding skiing from Octavia Steiger who took the win in the female Under 12 category and Under 16 athlete Nicholas Bingham who was impressive in both the qualification round and final. See the BRITS website for full results from all age groups.

British Skicross Championships Results

Men                                            Women

1st – Ollie Davies                     1st – Emma Peters

2nd – Laurence Willows         2nd – Claire Winthrop

3rd – Jonathan Bingham       3rd – Zoe Winthrop

 

Be sure to follow The BRITS on Facebook for all the latest photos and videos from the championship as it happens – www.facebook.com/britsfestival

The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive Partners: LAAX, Picture Organic Clothing, SWISS International Airlines, Switzerland Tourism and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).

FULLER AND MCCORMICK GRAB FIRST GOLDS OF 2017 BRITISH SNOWBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS

British Snowboard & Freeski Championships, Laax, Switzerland

The first day of competition at the 2017 British Snowboard Champs saw the UK’s finest riders descend on the pristine Laax snowpark to fight it out for the title of Slopestyle National Champion. Despite the clouds doing their best to stop play, the huge field all got to throw down over the kickers and rails, and 2 victors stood tall at the end of the day – GB Park and Pipe stalwarts Aimee Fuller (25) and Matt McCormick (20).

With snow or rain expected on the Crap Sogn Gion, officials and athletes alike were happy to see great snow conditions as they rose through the clouds on the gondola. Whilst the snow was in good condition and the winds light, rolling clouds caused several delays, and eventually ended the possibility of the scheduled “Super Final”. But with all athletes having completed 2 finals runs, the tense competition left no one unsatisfied.

BRITS17 Snowboard Slopestyle Matt McCormick – Credit Motionstoppers.com

In the mens competition, it was Matt McCormick who showed early on that it was going to be his day. Oozing confidence from his first trick, it was obvious that his last few seasons on the World Cup tour have stood him in great stead. His first run consisting of a front-blunt to 270, switch-backside 540, Front 7 off the toes and a back-10 double cork was enough to take the title. For the second year running, it was X Games medalist Billy Morgan who took the silver medal. His classic cab double underflip dropped jaws on the first kicker, and he left every spectator with an ear to ear grin as he backflipped off the last rail feature. Joining Matt and Billy on the podium was an incredibly talented young shredder, who showed that age can mean very little on the slopestyle course. At just 14 years of age Leon Tynan added to his under 16 title with overall bronze. The Scottish super-grom laced a cab underflip and a floaty back 7 melon into a perfectly clean run, and he cemented himself as one to watch for the coming years.

Stoked on his win, Matt said “It was a really good day, the course was sick here in Laax. It was great to have Leon on the podium, he really deserved it and put down a really good run”

In the women’s competition Aimee Fuller’s return to BRITS competition was a golden one, as she took the overall title by a point from some fearsome competition. Her super stylish aerials were loved by the judges, with a cab underflip noted as their favourite trick amongst the women’s field. In second place it was Natalie Good, who narrowly missed out on the top spot. Her massive amplitude wowed the crowds as she sent a cab 5, and 2 backside 360s down the biggest jumps on the mountain – the only of the women to do so. Third place and the bronze medal went to Fiona Reid, who brought the number of Scottish medals on the overall snowboard podiums even with the English, a fight likely to continue for the week.


Chuffed with her win, and the field, Aimee Said “Over the moon to come back to Laax, and especially to see so many girls riding today. The UK Armed Forces made up a huge percentage of the field, and it’s great to see them represented, and how strong their riding has become.”

British Snowboard Slopestyle Championships Results

Men Women

1st – Matt McCormick 1st – Aimee Fuller

2nd – Billy Morgan 2nd – Natalie Good

3rd – Leon Drynan 3rd – Fiona Reid

Be sure to follow The BRITS on Facebook for all the latest photos and videos from the championship as it happens – www.facebook.com/britsfestival

The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive Partners: LAAX, Picture Organic Clothing, SWISS International Airlines, Switzerland Tourism and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).

 



Categories: Racing

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