Last weekend saw the first leg of the inaugural Westbeach In & Out competition roll into Bearsden, Scotland. The overall concept of the two leg comp is a simple one: a big air on the Bearsden Snowflex kicker and a rail jam at Milton Keynes SNO!zone.
Bearsden is arguably the best dryslope in the UK right now and with a bit of legacy for hosting epic competitions such as Go Big or Go Home, it's also home of the first doubles on dryslope. There was little doubt then that the standard of riding at this event would be stupidly high. Even the sun decided to make an appearance - you know, the big hot thing in the sky that you occasionally get a glimpse of in Scotland, not some dodgy journos that is. Look out for our upcoming Bearsden feature in Issue 104 of Whitelines.
With many of the Bearsden locals showing up to flex their trick stomping muscle, it didn't take long for riders to find their feet, get used to the speed and start landing more tricks than a circus trained chimp. The competition format was a nice simple one: an open 45 minute jam session with the top eight riders from each group progressing to the first of two finals. Naturally, things hotted up quickly with local Scottish ripper Danny McCormick throwing down his trademark cab underflip, closely followed by Marc McClement with a massive back 10 (seriously, a back 10 on dryslope?) and a double back rodeo attempt. Jesse Smith stomped a double frontflip for good measure which we'll hopefully get a glimpse of this weekend at the Whitelines Battle of Britain at Freeze.
The group with the highest number of entrants was the 16 and under boys category and it ended up being a closely matched showdown between Jake Binnee, Owen Godbold, Cameron Smith and Sam McGrath who all threw down effortlessly all day long. These guys are inevitably the future of British snowboarding and judging by their standard of riding, it looks very bright indeed.
It was a slightly different story in the under 16's women’s category however as APO UK rider and Brits Indoor Champs silver medalist Valia Chapman took a hard slam and ended up heading straight to A&E for a quick dose of laughing gas and to have the staple remove from her hand, temporarily leaving it Bradie Collins and Cerys Allen to hold the fort for the girls.
Once the clock ran down on the jam session it was down to the judges to pick the top three riders from each age category to battle it out in a two run, no safety trick Super Final. First up for the 16 and under girls were Cerys Allen and Bradie Collins who had both been riding solidly all day, landing their frontside 180s, but it was Valia Chapman, possibly still under the influence of laughing gas, who took the win with a faultless frontside three.
The most hotly contested superfinal of the day was that of the under 16 boys and a consistently high level of riding across the field made the judges' task of separating them even harder. First to drop was Cameron Smith, followed by Jake Binnee and then Sam McGrath. In the end it was Sam who ultimately emerged victorious, with Jake and Cameron taking 2nd and 3rd. These guys are definitely ones to watch for the future.
Bringing the first leg of the Westbeach In and Out to a dramatic end were the snowboarders in the mens category. Going huge on the Bearsden kicker were Stuart Gairns, Marc McClement and Danny McCormick. Stewart just slipped out on a buttery smooth back 7, and Marc McClement threw the trick that won him the best trick award for the day: a huge backside 7 Japan, but neither rider could stop the Bearsden force that is Danny McCormick, who stomped a massive backside 900 and can add another one to his impressive list of home turf wins.
In terms of the level of riding and the overall atmosphere, the first leg of the In & Out was arguably one of the best Westbeach competitions to date. Westbeach would like to thank all of the sponsors, all of the riders and everyone else who came along.
Don’t forget that the second and final leg of the competition is set to go down at Milton Keynes on November 9th. If you pre-register for the comp you'll also be entered into a prize draw on the day for a goody bag. You can find out more about the second leg and pre-register on the Westbeach Facebook page and website.
WESTBEACH IN & OUT BEARSDEN RESULTS:
Under 16 Men
1st – Sam McGrath
2nd – Jake Binnee
3rd – Cameron Smith
Under 16 Women
1st – Vaila Chapman
2nd – Bradie Collins
3rd – Cerys Allen
1st – Danny McCormick
2nd – Marc McClement
3rd – Stuart Gairns
Best Trick: Marc McClement
Harshest Slam: Lewis Moore