It's really been an unfortunate week weather-wise here at the Brits with only one proper bluebird day so far. In fact, at times, it's almost felt like we never left the UK at all! But such is the nature of the mountains and come rain, snow, hail or otherwise, the show must go on. And go on it did, with some of the UK's brightest slopestyle talents rocking up to compete for the coveted title of British champion.
The crappy weather also forced the organisers to shorten the course from the original four kickers and a rail section, to just the final kicker plus two rail sections. Thankfully, the change did little to hinder the riders enthusiasm and they were still sending it anyway.
Sam Turnbull, fresh from competing at the most recent Olympic Qualifier in Sierra Nevada, signed up to the comp last minute and casually won it with a run that included a massive backside 900 followed by a switch-up on the first rail and a 50-50 frontside 360 on the second. Understandably, he was stoked:
I didn’t really expect to take the win. I turned up pretty late last night from Sierra Nevada where I was competing at the World Cup, entered the slopestyle and won it! I think going big got me the win. I overshot one of the jumps but stomped it and I think that might have won it for me.
George Scott, the Mammoth Mountain residing Brit who made waves in the Bangers and Cash event and today's halfpipe comp, got second place with a stylish backside 720. Rounding out the podium in third was Andy Nudds. The trick stomping postie from Halifax is already £1000 better off from winning the Bangers and Cash event and is certainly no stranger to being on the podium. He threw a super stylish frontside 720 mute off the toes and characteristically bossed the rail sections.
On the ladies side of things stylish 360s were the order of the day with Katie Blundell floating round a backside 360 and a stylish backside noseslide to take the win. Katie has had a busy season riding at prestigious events like the O'Neill Evolution and Ms Superpark and the experience is definitely showing. The new British champ had this to say about her victory: “I’m really, really happy. I’m not sure what clinched it for me, but with the weather being so tricky it was just a matter of staying on my feet and landing things. The course was good though considering, with a really good rail section."
Of course, there were many other notable mentions with 10 year old Will Gilmore wowing everyone with skills that many folk twice his age could only dream of. Ben King, riding in the masters category at the age of 36 stomped the biggest backside 180 of the day, getting major props from the judges and MC's. UK Nitro team manager Rich Jonas also smashed it with 540s on the kicker and a strong showing on the rails.
Yes, once again the weather was crap and yes, compromises had to be made, but once again riders stepped up, adapted to the conditions and impressed spectators and judges alike. We expect nothing less from Brits at The Brits!
BRITISH SNOWBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 – PROTEST SLOPESTYLE RESULTS
1st Sam Turnbull
2nd George Scott
3rd Andy Nudds
1st Katie Blundell
2nd Natalie Silkstone
3rd Kate Wood