BEST OF BRITISH SHOWCASE THEIR SKILS IN THE HALFPIPE AS SPEIGHT AND CHESHIRE CLAIM TITLES
British Snowboard & Freeski Championships, Laax, Switzerland
The country’s best halfpipe skiers were out in force on day three of the BRITS 2017 as the titles were decided in the British Ski Halfpipe Championships. With the sun breaking through the clouds in time to proceed with a two-run competition, it was GB Park and Pipe skiers Pete Speight and Rowan Cheshire who reigned supreme were crowned British Halfpipe Champions.
In the men’s competition. Pete Speight returned to Laax to try and retain his British Halfpipe title, and after recently landing a dub 12 in training, Speight was riding high and as he went all out in his first run with back to back 9s, a right side 720, switch 720 and a flat spin 540. His first run was untouchable, even with new kid on the block Alex Glavatsky-Yeadon biting at his heels, putting down a run with huge hits, including a flair, 900 tail and cork 9 tail. With Speight claiming gold and Glavatsky-Yeadon silver, it was up to GB Park and Pipe Pathway skier Chris McCormick to take bronze, and his second podium of the BRITs, after his third place finish in yesterday’s Ski Slopestyle.
Speight said after his win: “I am really pleased to take the win. I am glad that we managed to get a weather window. I tried to put down some World Cup tricks to boost the competition, whilst at the same time staying relatively safe.”
In the ladies’ competition, it was the in-form Rowan Cheshire who showed the rest of the field what she is capable of, nailing her first run of a 540 tail grab, right side 540, big alley-oop and a 720. With Cheshire’s run hard to beat, it was her team-mate Molly Summerhayes who got close, performing an impressive run which included a solid mute grab, left side 540, switch 360 truckdriver and a right side 540 to take silver. Twelve year old Kirsty Muir again showed her form with a solid run which consisted of back to back 540s, a switch 360 and an 360 alley oop, which landed her the bronze.
Cheshire was stoked after collecting her gold medal: “I am really over the moon to become British Champion. It was a good day. I haven’t been to the BRITS for years, so it is great to be back. The atmosphere has been brilliant and everyone just loves it.”
In the younger age groups, there was some exceptional riding. After his age group win in the Ski Slopestyle yesterday, Jasper Klein sealed his second title of The BRITS claiming the Under 16s gold medal with some silky smooth riding, beating off the challenge of Luke Burke who also rode well. For the Under 16 girls, Scottish skier Olivia Burke impressed the judges, but couldn’t get close to Kirsty Muir. And in the girls Under 12 category, Fiona Muir added to her third place overall podium in Slopestyle to claim the Under 12 title.
British Ski Halfpipe Championships Results
1st – Pete Speight 1st – Rowan Cheshire
2nd – Alexander Glavatsky – Yeadon 2nd – Molly Summerhayes
3rd – Chris McCormick 3rd – Kirsty Muir
FULLER DOUBLES UP AND SHACKLETON GOES HUGE AS PICTURE BIG AIR RETURNS TO BRITS
British Snowboard & Freeski Championships, Laax, Switzerland
The Picture Big Air British Championships saw the kicker focussed format return to the BRITS for the first time in five years ahead of the discipline’s debut at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang this coming February. British prospects for that contest look bright after an awesome showing from GB Park and Pipe athletes, who locked up the wins today on Laax’s biggest hits.
As with the first two days of competition, clouds and mist delayed the start of competition slightly, but once riding was underway, it didn’t stop play in any major way. Snow conditions were excellent, and the world-class kickers shaped by the Laax park team were running perfectly, setting the stage for this highly anticipated contest. Each competitor completed two finals runs before the top 12 men and top six women progressed to a two run super final.
In the men’s contest it was a battle royale between the new British Slopestyle Champion Matt McCormick, and his GB Park and Pipe teammate Henry Shackleton. In the first round, it was McCormick who drew first blood. The Scotsman’s back 1080 double-cork was cleaner than Shackleton’s by some margin, and Matt led into the super final. But Henry was just warming up, and he came out swinging in the final round with a towering cab 1260 double. An absolute show stopper. Matt didn’t take it lying down, and he fired back with a dub 10 reverse truckdriver, which was just oozing with style. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t enough to overcome the technical difficulty of Shackleton’s manoeuvre, and he had to settle for a silver, completing his collection after gold in slopestyle and bronze in boardercross. Cairan Tucker’s back 7 mute put the 17 year old on his age-group’s and the overall podium, taking under 18 gold and overall bronze.
Discussing the monster trick that won, Shackleton said “It’s a cab double 12 that I learnt recently, so I was happy to put it down in a run, it’s the first time I’ve put it down in competition”
The women’s podium was topped by another GB Park and Pipe star, as Aimee Fuller grabbed another British Championship making it two in the week. Aimee spent more time upside down than she did the right way up; under-flipping her way to another gold. Fuller’s signature trick was firing on all cylinders and she laced it perfectly in both rounds to take the win. The fight for the rest of the podium was fierce, as style and amplitude faced off against raw technicality. In the end Fiona Reid’s huge backside 180 wasn’t enough to overturn Cerys Allen’s 720 – the only of the women’s competition – but it was noted as a highlight by the judges.
After collecting her 2nd gold in three days, Aimee said: “It was really awesome to ride with the girls again, and see some really good stuff going down. It’s cool to see that the level is definitely there in the UK, and it’s great to be a part of that and ride with the rest of the UK girls.”
Whilst kicker options where in place for riders of almost any level, there were several tiny riders stepping it up and hitting jumps that absolutely dwarfed them. Under 12 riders Mia Brookes and Charlie Lane were both styling out spins and grabs over the medium jump, and earned places in their respective super finals. Under 16 riders were very well represented in the super finals too, with 6 riders progressing. Slopestyle standout Leon Drynan shone once again, laying down stylish 720s to finish 5th overall.
Picture British Big Air Championships – Snowboard Results
1st – Henry Shackleton 1st – Aimee Fuller
2nd – Matt McCormick 2nd – Cerys Allen
3rd – Ciaran Tucker 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).