[Method madness: Ben Kilner boggles minds in Laax. All photos by Ed Blomfield]
Much like Tuesday’s slopestyle and Wednesday’s boardercross, the halfpipe event at The Brits 2016 was plagued with pea-souper fog. Mother Nature consistently teased us by clearing the clouds for a few minutes only to bring them right back in again, which left the event in limbo. Eventually the comp began, with the riders advised to make their first run count – as it could be the only one they get.
Many used their first hit as a statement of intent – or perhaps just wanted to get at least one meaty air in before being robbed of their speed in the slushy pipe. Jamie Trinder boosted a massive cab 7, while Ciaran Tucker sent a crippler over the banners.
No-one went bigger than Ben Kilner, however, whose opening salvo – a sensational method that drew cheers from the assembled crowd – was as stylish as it was huge. Once he’d followed it up with back-to-back 720s, it was clear he was going to win this one. Jamie managed to take second, while slopestyle champ Rowan Coultas’ Michalchuk, crippler and front 5 earned him third place.
Matt McCormick wasn’t far behind, and certainly won the crowd over when he cut the corner of the pipe wall with a backside rodeo at the end of his run. It might have got the biggest cheer of the day had Billy Morgan not snaked the pipe on snowblades, hucking a flair and riding off with a huge claim.