The brainchild of Clan McCormick (snowboarders Danny and Matt, skier brother Chris and dad Gerry), Go Big Or Go Home hit the ground running back in 2011 with a stormer that a visiting Jamie Nicholls called "the best dry slope comp ever to go down". Saturday saw the event return to Bearsden for its 5th year.
As always, a massive number of snowboarders and skiers had turned out. Locals Matt Corry, Jordan Rose, Richie Mac and Connor Carey were joined by a healthy contingent from Aberdeen including Fin Bremner, Davey Wallace, Andy Budge and Emma Swanson. With Marc McClement out injured and watching from the sidelines, there were to be no dryslope doubles this time - although his Dirty Bastards co-conspirator Sam Moorhouse was getting stuck in on his behalf.
With such a large number of riders the qualifiers were hectic, and the judges had a job on their hands to whittle the field down. While they were totting up their score sheets, everyone else headed over to the Dendix slope for the rail jam; an event made trickier (and far more fun) by the spot prizes that were being thrown at the riders mid-trick. Catching a t-shirt or Frisbee during a front board is a lot harder than it looks, but most rode away with their swag held high in triumph - whilst others kissed the bristles. With the sun finally coming out at the same time, this was for many the highlight of the day - but there was still unfinished business to be dealt with over on the kicker.
For the final, both the men's and women's events would see the top four riders battle it out in seeded semi-finals, progressing to a grand final and 3rd place play-off. It gave MC Angus Malloch plenty to get the crowd stoked about, and proved a refreshing change to the standard 'two runs, best run counts' format.
Bradie Zimmer might have lost her semi, but she edged out Gillian Finnerty with a front 3 to take 3rd place. Vaila Chapman took the overall win over Emma Swanson thanks to her front 3 tail grab - no mean feat when you consider how much the Aberdonian grom had been pushing it. Towards the end of the session she became the only girl to take her run from the top of the drop-in ramp - and while everyone was expecting at least a speed-check, she instead pointed it and absolutely flew off the kicker, tweaking out an indy as she went. Not bad for an 11-year-old.
In the men's semis Fin Bremner and Matt McCormick bested Matt Corry and Ciaran Tucker respectively, leaving those two to battle it out for third place. Both were on fire, with not much separating their back 7s after the first run. Eventually Ciaran edged out Matt's styley switch back 1 melon with a backside rodeo that was, in the words of judge Danny, "Mikkel Bang-esque". Praise indeed.
On to the final, and once again it was Fin facing off against the younger McCormick. Even among the day's strong field these guys stood out, proving why they're two of the UK's most talked-about young riders. Right out of the gate this was a battle of the 900s; Fin took an early lead with a switch back 9 that was slightly cleaner than Matt's, but the local boy evened the score with a massive back 9 truck driver over Fin's back 9 double tailgrab. Both chose to revisit the switch back 9 on their final run, with Matt stomping his to perfection to take the top spot.
The comp may have been done and dusted, but the session didn't stop there; many a rider headed back out for some more laps, with Danny joining his brother for some crowdpleasing doubles runs right at the death. Competitions, regardless of the surface on which they take place, just don't get any better than this.
1st Emma Swanson
2nd Bradie Zimmer
1st Vaila Chapman
2nd Gillian Finnerty
1st Lewis Moore
2nd Cameron Smith
3rd Logan King
1st Fin Bremner
2nd Ciaran Tucker
3rd Jordan Rose
1st Matt McCormick
2nd Matt Corry
3rd Nathan Sim
Overall Male GBoGH Champion – Matt McCormick
Overall Female GBoGH Champion – Vaila Chapman
Best Bail – Lewis Moore
Best Style – Ciaran Tucker
Best Trick – Matt McCormick (Switch Backside 9)
Best Unsponsored – Nathan Sim