Machester's Chill Factore snow dome played host for the crowning of England's first ever own-brand slopestyle champions. To clarify: This is not a re-run of the Brits, but rather an English equivalent to the championships the Scots run north of the border every year.
And while it might not be an event to rival the ultra-expensive Red Bull Ultranatural (at least, not yet!) it's worth remembering that not everyone gets the nod to customise a private run at Baldface, or even has the benefit of real mountains to ride, like our Scottish cousins,
But as they say, from small acorns, grow mighty oaks. And who knows, maybe the next Travis Rice will be English. Maybe he'll use the intense climate change in the future to build something mental in the Lake District. In fact, maybe the next Travis Rice was one of the kids who rocked up to this fun, informal first ever championships. That's not such a far-fetched idea...
In the male competition the judges fell head over heels for Kieran Staton's front flips and awarded him the Bronze. Up one place in second was Matt McCormick who stomped a front 7 of the kicker. The Gold went to John Weatherly who gapped the two pipe stalls with back 3 worthy of the win.
The Female competition kicked off well and saw Cerys Allen take third, being pipped to the silver medal by Becky Menday and her dialled frontside lipslides. The shotgun rail was the place for Isobel Jones to show off her stylish back lips which earned her the gold she deserved.
Ninety competitors took part at the championships and making their impression in the dome were some pretty young kids. We think they deserve a special mention and it turns out so did the judges in Manchester. First place in the under-13 category went to Scott Walsh who at aged 10 put together a clean and technical run. Top to bottom clean, nice!
The most important thing to take away from the event is that everyone was having a laugh amidst the competition. The layout of Chill Factore allowed friends and parents a number of viewing zones that gave the whole venue a buzzing atmosphere. Ribbing and mockery between the DJ and MC kept things light while riders prepared to drop, knowing that bragging rights were about to be won or lost.
Overall a good benchmark for future English Championships and promising sign of things to come.
Female Overall winner
1st Isobel Jones 2nd Becky Menday 3rd Cerys Allen
Male Overall Winner 1st John Weatherly 2nd Matt McCormick 3rd Kieran Staton