Ben Kilner and Kate Foster took the British halfpipe titles today on yet another brilliant sunny day of competition out at the Brits. Ben faced fierce competition from the likes of Dom Harrington, who was trying (and very nearly landing) a double McTwist in practise. Yep, his very own version of Shaun White's signature tomohawk flip! Unfortunately Dom failed to land the trick in his second run, but his first was enough to give him the silver medal. Meanwhile Dan Wakeham got third, thanks to a storming first run that included his trademark massive crippler. In the women's competition, Kate Foster had a comparatively easy time of it, with her massive stylish airs putting her literally head and shoulders above most of the young field. That's not to say that there wasn't other talent on display, but with the properly hot conditions making the pipe slushy, a lot of the younger girls were struggling to get the speed they needed to really give her a run for her money.
As with yesterday's Giro Big Air, the Brits organisers had created a great course, shaping the legendary Laax pipe to perfection. And while the heat meant that a bit of sideslipping was needed every now and then, it also meant that there was a good crowd watching from the bottom, as well as people peering down from the sides of the piste and the balcony of the No Name cafe.
Everyone was dropping in in a friendly atmosphere, and despite the high standard of riding, there was still plenty of room for pissing around. Angus Leith, who claims he hasn't really ridden pipe all season, was riding his runs in a bright pink gilet that he'd made himself from an old thrift-store jacket. Meanwhile veteran competitors like James 'Honeymonster' Phillips and Nick Atkins also took the opportunity to get stuck in, giving commentator James Thorne plenty to chat about.
At the other end of the age scale, young guns like Lewis Courtier-Jones and Cody Heirons were looking seriously impressive, both going huge out of the lip. Max Thidling, who's sister Aila was riding in the girl's category, was also looking good, tweaking sweet stalefishes out of the transition on his first hit.
But while the Brits always gives youngsters a chance to compete, and always has room for large dollops of casual fun, it was the serious riding from the serious riders that paid off in the end. The men's medals went to arguably the three finest halfpipe riders the UK has ever produced.
British SnoZone! Halfpipe Chamionships 2011 Results
1st Ben Kilner
2nd Dom Harington
3rd Dan Wakeham
1st Kate Foster
2nd Nathalie Gabrielle Louise Silkstone
3rd Becky Menday