The Brits Big Air Championships bought blazing amazing riding to the slopes of Laax today. Bright sunshine ensured that everyone who rocked up to ride brought their A Game, and the standard of riding we witnessed was seriously impressive.
Billy Morgan, who's won the contest for the last two years running, was out this year having fractured his pelvis pissing about on the slope style course a couple of days ago. In what was basically a freak accident, he nailed himself trying a standing frontflip - a trick he can usually do in his sleep. Meanwhile Jamie Nicholls had opted not to compete, throwing the contest wide open, and letting some of the UK's young guns really shine.
Young Matt McCormick took full advantage, whipping out several steely spins and looking so comfortable he could have been on his home dry slope at Bearsden instead of hitting the biggest Big Air kicker The Brits has ever seen. He duly qualified in first, proving that he has the class to shine on a big stage.
However, by the time the finals came around, the wind had picked up a bit, and Matt, who's not the heaviest lad in the world, was struggling a bit for speed. But even if he'd been able to stick everything clean, it's debatable whether he'd have been able to rise above the onslaught brought by Sam Turnbull. Sam's had a sick season, and capped it off with a display of international-class riding to claim the title here. His tricks included a double back rodeo 10 and a back 9 mute.
Not that the rest of the field was far behind - rising Scottish talent Jamie Trinder threw down one of the smoothest double corked tens Whitelines has ever seen, along with a sick back seven to claim second, while Henry Shackleton's 7s and 9s earned him third place.
In the women's comp, Katie Ormerod showed the kind of style that's seen her tipped as a future X Games medallist (despite the fact she's not yet 15!) and stomped a big back three and a back seven. While India Stephenson and Ayla Thidling were riding well, and India stomped a back 5, the fact that Katie was hitting the biggest kicker meant she was a shoe-in for gold. In fact, so confident was she of victory that she skipped the kickers all together on her third run and popped a cheeky frontflip off the knuckle. We've said it before, but watch out for this little lady in future, she's rad!
BRITISH BIG AIR CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
1st – Sam Turnbull
2nd – Jamie Trinder
3rd – Henry Shackleton
1st – Katie Ormerod
2nd – India Stephenson
3rd – Ayla Thidling