“Making the most of what you can, you know? To me, that’s snowboarding.” So says Angus Leith, and he would know. He grew up riding Cairngorm.
Scotland’s most popular resort has had plenty to be happy about this year, with huge amounts of white stuff and a smashed record for most snowsports users in one day. However, being Scotland, the weather hasn’t always been playing ball. That was certainly true last weekend, when riders headed to the highlands for the Scottish Freestyle Championships 2014.
Video: Grant Anderson
The park crew had braved the high winds all week, getting the features in tip-top shape despite barely being able to see or stand up at times. Once Saturday rolled around visibility had improved, and the park looked as good as at any time in recent memory. Sadly it was still too blowy for the kickers though, and so the comp was restructured into a rail jam.
The 40 snowboarders brushed off the setback and got to work on a course that featured tyre bonk, cannon rail and down-flat-down. Gillian Finnerty, Abbie Dorward and Rachael Haines took home the trophies for the female Open, Under 16 and Under 12 categories respectively. The seemingly unstoppable Matt McCormick took the top spot in the male Open event, with Billy Cockrell and Ethan Smith getting it done in the younger age groups.
All in all it was a great event, and one that was testament to the passion and resilience of both riders and organisers. Now that the hard work’s been done on the park, there’s plenty to look forward to for the spring – including the Bag The Pipe halfpipe comp on 19th April, and this weekend’s Vans Hi Standard Series. We’ll be there – will you?
See below for a full gallery from the event. All photos by Joe Hart.