With the clouds playing games with the skiers in the 2017 British Ski Slopestyle Championships, the titles were decided on just one run, with impressive riding across the age groups. With the open male category attracting many of the top GB Park and Pipe riders, it was a closely fought battle for the title, but Cal Sandieson came out on top, and for the females it was Olympian Katie Summerhayes who took the British crown with an impressive run through the Laax slopestyle course.
It was stop-start in the men’s competition as the big boys battled it out on the impressive Laax course. For the younger riders, the level of riding was high with Liam Brompton looking impressive, but unfortunately falling on one of the rails, and David Gornall claiming the Under 12 title. Fifteen year old skier Jasper Klein took the Under 16 title and impressed the judges with big spins both ways as did Haydn Fiori with his cork 720s. In the Open category, Tyler Harding looked like he could have been in with a shout, but pushed a bit too hard on the last kicker, falling on his landing. The battle for the British title ended up being between Cal Sandieson, Mike Rowlands and Chris McCormick, with Sandieson coming out on top with a huge run – K-Fed on the first rail, then a switch right 720, switch double 900 and front double 10 on the big kickers, finishing off with a Pretzel 6 out on the last rail. Rowlands finished second with an impressive run that included back to back 720s and Chris McCormick took third.
After winning the British Champion title Sandieson said: “I’m very happy to become British Champion and happy with my run. It was good to be on the podium with Mike and Chris, and I had to step it up to win. This is my first overall British title, so I am really pleased.”
In the ladies’ competition, one run also decided the British titles, with Katie Summerhayes showing why she is one of the world’s best female Slopestyle skiers by putting down an impressive run on the big jumps. After a switch 540 on the first jump, a left 360 tail grab on the second jump, and a right 360 on the last big jump, no-one could rival Katie for the title. In second place was 13 year old Kirsty Muir who showed that she was skiing beyond her years, putting down a 270 on the first rail, a switch 540 on the first medium kicker, a right side 360 and a right side 360 mute. In third place was Kirsty’s younger sister Fiona who performed two super solid rail grinds as well as a 540 on one of the small kickers.
Summerhayes was stoked to stand on top of the podium: “I am stoked to claim the title again. It was a tricky day with the clouds, but we managed to get the comp done and I was happy to put a run down. It is so good to have the young riders coming through and see them throw down their tricks.”
The BRITS again confirmed itself as a breeding ground for young talent, with GB Park and Pipe’s best skiers riding alongside the UK’s hottest young talent, including GB Park and Pipe National Academy skiers and the UK indoor and artificial slopes riders.
British Ski Slopestyle Championships Results
1st – Cal Sandieson 1st – Katie Summerhayes
2nd – Mike Rowlands 2nd – Kirtsy Muir
3rd – Chris McCormick 3rd – Fiona Muir
MAIDEN BOARDERCROSS TITLES FOR MORGAN AND ALDRIDGE IN LAAX
British Snowboard & Freeski Championships, Laax, Switzerland
Day two of competition at the 2017 BRITS saw the tightest racing ever witnessed at a British Snowboard Championships as freestylers and racers went head to head proving that anything can happen on the boardercross course.
Whilst the sun once again had a tough time shining, one thing was as bright as ever – everyone loves going as fast as they can on their snowboard! Tiny groms, World Cup freestylers and seasoned cross racers all took to the wutangs, whoops and berms of the Crap Sogn Gion boardercross course, first setting their fastest times, then taking to the gates for the 4×4 racing..
In the open men’s category, a surprise name landed himself as top seed by some margin – quad corking freestyle rider Billy Morgan. His lightning time gave him first lane pick throughout the rounds, and he cruised through to the finals. Second seed went to up and coming racer Bradley Gaulter, who also found himself in the final with ease. Then it came to the biggest showdown seen in many years at the BRITS, with both riders neck and neck out of the gate. Clashes of edges were heard as the two pulled away from the other finalists, and they crossed the line in one almighty blur – so close, that no one knew the result as the racers, crowds and officials made their way down the hill. But technology prevailed, and high speed video showed that it was Morgan who crossed the line mere inches ahead of Gaulter, as he made a near perfect lunge for the line. A finish that will be remembered for a long time.
When asked if he was considering a change of disciplines after the win, Morgan jested; “I’m pretty done with slopestyle, I’m there!” and said “I’m actually over the moon, and to be up there on the podium with my main man Matt McCormick”
In the women’s race, a small field didn’t stop the big thrills as racers from the British Armed Forces team dominated. Aaby Aldridge stepped it up from her 2nd place in qualification to show what it takes to win in the Final. She saw off stiff competition from her Forces team mate Emily Bainbridge who took the Bronze medal, making it a 1-2 for the UKAFS Team and adding to their haul in the masters category where they took all three medals. In third it was a bittersweet bronze for Fiona Reed who set a blistering quali time some 6 seconds faster than the next, but a fall on the first berm meant she couldn’t convert the speed into a win today.
A made-up Aldridge commented; “it was absolutely incredible, I’m still quite in shock about it!”
As always, it’s not just about the Overall titles on the BRITS cross track. With the Armed Forces locking out the women’s masters podium it was a trio of dads who locked out the men’s as David Blackwell took third behind Johno Verity and Ski Sunday’s Ed Leigh, who successfully defended the title he won last year, with a massive turn of speed – setting the second fastest time of the day.
In the under 12s category, 2 speed demons dominated with Mia Brookes and Charlie Lane taking the Golds. Their times in qualification required a double take, as the posted speeds that rivalled many of the adult competitors, and they sailed away in each of their races. Both athletes performance in all disciplines show that fundamental skills are all important whether on the racecourse or in the snow park.
The final race of the day was a first for BRITS competition, as 3 athletes from the British Parasnowport team joined the racing on the Laax cross course. Owen Pick, James Barnes-Miller and Darren Swift all entered the gates for the first adaptive snowboardcross race ever seen at these championships. As well as all competing to a high level in the open and masters competitions, the three stood atop the podium at prizegiving to a rapturous applause, as Pick took the first ever BRITS adaptive gold.
British Snowboardcross Championships Results
2nd – Bradley Gaulter 2nd – Emily Bainbridge
3rd – Matt McCormick 3rd – Fiona Reid
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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).