The Brits is going off in Tignes this year. Despite the weather being err… less than ideal, big crowds have gathered at every event to watch the riders’ throw-down, and the brand new Bangers & Cash event, won by Andy Nudds and Becky Menday, was no exception.
The thinking behind the event was simple – rather than run a Big Air, why not celebrate the fact that UK riders are shit-hot on rails by replacing it with a rail jam?
And rather than medals and traditional prizes, why not just give out cold, hard cash? £1,000 in cold, hard cash to be precise.
With wonga like that on the table for the winner, the event was always going to attract some heavy hitters, so it was little surprise that Andy Nudds made room in his Grindhouse filming schedule to come and ride.
Similarly Katie Blundell had flown back from the US, where she’d recently been invited to Snowboarder Mag’s prestigious Ms. Superpark event, to ride the Brits.
But although Nuddsy eventually took the win and walked off with the cash, his victory was far from guaranteed.
Lewis Sonvico, Jamie Trinder and Charlie Rowland were all riding strongly. And the comp served to announce the arrival of a couple of bright new talents in Will Gilmore, a 10-year-old from Milton Keynes who rides better than we could ever hope to, and a dude called George Scott – a British passport holder who apparently lives in California and trains in Mammoth.
In the women’s event the usual suspects Becky Menday and Katie Blundell were bossing it, but so was Sabrina Burnhamt, another new face on the scene.
The setup encouraged creativity, with a module boasted two rails, a butter box, two kickers, a wall-ride and bizarrely, a couple of miniature Christmas trees. The fact that all this was combined in one central module meant that the crowd gathered round close, creating a wicked atmosphere, despite the heavy snow and cold winds.
Jamie Trinder was going big on the wallride throwing down back rodeos and very nearly stomping a cab underflip. Katie Blundell was hitting it with big tail grab transfers.
Rather than medals, why not just give out cold, hard cash? £1,000 in cold, hard cash to be precise.
George and Charlie Rowland were hiking further up the hill than everyone else and trying to gap over the wallride onto the down box beyond.
Lewis Sonvico was trying ‘the Caveman’, boardsliding across the butter box before hoping onto the down rail sideways, and Will Gilmore stomped 270s on and off and a gap to boardslide on the top of the wallride. Seriously, he has no right to be that steezy at his age!
In the end though it was Nuddsy’s final few runs, which included gaps from the wallride to the down rail that secured him the win, combining creativity, tech and his signature solid-as-fook style.
He was obviously stoked to walk away with the big cash prize, but the coolest thing about the event was how amped all the riders were on it. There may not have been any prizes for coming second (although all the finalists were given 50 quid) but the format, the course, the judging and all the rest had been so spot on that everyone rode down with smiles on their faces.
Here’s hoping The Brits bring this event back next year!
BRITISH SNOWBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 – BANGERS & CASH RESULTS
1st Andy Nudds
2nd Lewis Sonvico
3rd Jamie Trinder
1st Becky Menday
2nd Katie Blundell
3rd Sabrina Burnham