Westbeach Snowflex Series headed to Aberdeen
Wed 22 September 10
This year Aberdeen found itself on the series agenda. After an epic drive we found ourselves there on Friday night unloading the Westbeach van of goodies into what can only be described as one of the best dry slopes the UK has ever seen
After 7 hours in a van listening to one of the crew singing out of delerium we got there to be greeted by local Sophie Addison up to have a wee slide before the comp on Saturday. Not long after, the mancs arrived and the Stoke Massive, all signs it would be an epic comp. The comp kicked off on time the following morning with an amazing turn out, some people coming from as far as Hemel and Birmingham, cheers Ed and Zoe!
We kicked off with the usual jam session qualifiers and this was where it became obvious Aberdeen was hiding some pretty steezy, talented stock with the likes of Kris Bell getting his first ever 1080 on the day and Rohaan Samdani winning the most improved of the day taking home a Whitelines subscription. He ‘aint been riding long and even competed on a rental board and let’s be honest, he ripped… one to watch with his ‘kind’ of’ weird Mctwists off the kicker!
Before moving on to the 20 minute speed rounds for the top 5 out of each category we took advantage of the straight on ¼ pipe at Aberdeen and changed the usual rail jam to a biggest air/sickest trick show down in the ¼. The session actually ended up being a biggest air show down between Sheffield veteran Matt Gibson, Barrie Parker and Hector Barbour… eventually Hector took the title by a whisker and Kris Bell stomped his front 7 in the ¼ with uber style taking the sickest trick for the 2nd time in the day!
Next up the 20 minutes speed round. This is split into 2 the first one being all 16 and unders, top 5 from each category fighting it out to make it to the top 3 super final. As there were only 3 entries into the Womens ski category they chose to place in the semi final meaning they didn’t ride in the super final. Zoe Lewis and Kelly O’Donnell took 3rd and 2nd place respectively with some steezy 3’s leaving local skier Beth Woodall taking 1st by throwing down back flips. As with the womens ski the same went for the 16 and under girls snowboard with Lara Wood and Becky Menday battling it out for 1st and 2nd. Lara took 2nd place with a back 3 leaving Becky Menday to take 1st, retaining her Halifax title with a front 3.
No part of this series would be complete without the team event… The whole idea of the team event is a time to chill, get creative and imaginative and just plain stoopid. We had some pretty interesting team names, some we are unable to repeat… The team comp saw the current title holders Stoke Massive skiers up against Andy Wilson’s team, Captain lavender and the sunflower pirates and whilst Stoke were definitely stepping up the creativity side of things having sword fights and using the grass at the side of the slope, their title was taken away by Wilsons team for their perfectly timed Macarena off the kicker in unison… blew the judges away!
After a nice chilled team event it was time for the long anticipated super final. Normally 3 riders and skiers from each category battling it out for their final podium spots, however the judges had come up against it with the skill at the slope and had to put 4 through for the 16 and under ski boys final and the mens snowboard finals.
16 and under girls skiers saw Rowan Cheshire place 3rd throwing down a 540 and 720 but just not clean enough to take 2nd from Sissy Herant who also did a 5 and a 7 a tad cleaner than gnarly Miss Cheshire. Anna Vincenti stepped up to take 1st place and hold her title from Halifax with what’s becoming her signature misty flip. With the 16 and under girls snowboard already placed they took the opportunity to chill whilst the womens snowboard category had to battle it out between the four of them as to who would podium. It was all fairly close but it was Sarah Fish who whilst only her 3rd time riding dry slope got pipped at the post by Lynsey Ashdown with her Front 3 indy, leaving local Natalie Riley to take 2nd with a back 3. Natalie’s back 3 just didn’t quite hold enough clout to take 1st away from Sophie Addison another local and also winner of the Halifax leg of the series.
The boys 16 and under ski finals saw 4 skiers up to fight it out for the podium. It was Grant Donald who eventually came into 4th place but bagged himself the Fall-Line skiing and snowboarding Best Unsponsored prizes. Harris Booth managed to hang on in there and take 3rd with his corked 900 with Cal Sandieson taking 2nd with a Cork 7 mute and Chris McCormick bagging 1st place with his Switch 720.
Matt Corey took 3rd in the boy’s 16 and under snowboard final with some cheeky back 5’s, local lad Fin Bremner stole 2nd place throwing down a nice 720, and finally Matt McCormick came in with another 7 but bigger and smoother than Fin, just taking 1st place.
The ‘Corked 9 reverse tail grab face-off’, no sorry, that’s men’s ski final saw Chris Wadsworth, Hector Barbour and Andy Wilson all throwing down the same trick on every jump… This meant judge Lorn Cameron had to get picky and in the end gave Hector Barbour 3rd place for a few misgivings, Chris Wadsworth 2nd and Andy Wilson 1st as he had the most solid, longest grabs and nailed all his landings.
The mens snowboard final again saw 4 riders up there to battle out their places. Kris Bell impressed the judges throughout the day but unfortunately didn’t quite make it into the top 3 with 3rd going to Danny McCormick for his cab 7, this left Northern lad Col Mytton to take 2nd place with his huge cab underflip 5, riding consistent and smooth all day with a nasty hangover. This meant Marc McClement stepped up to take 1st place with a super slick back 9. Ah Marc, I remember when you were just a cheeky wee s£$%e!
The comp couldn’t really have gone any better up at the ‘deen, the locals were super friendly, creating a super nice vibe with MC Nicol taking us out for a night on the town afterwards, we will definitely be heading back on up in 2011. Don’t forget to check http://snowflexseries.westbeach.com for information on the 3rd stop of the tour in France on October 9th!
Words Suzanne Garlick
Thu 23 September 10
The first edition of Whitelines Magazine for the new season has a fantastic article on pages 136 to 137 - its our new column and this month we discuss our top-5 resorts in Austria!
Wed 29 September 10, Tignes, France
North America's Ski season starts on Friday, October 1st. More fresh snow in New Zealand as resorts there extend their ski seasons. Engelberg Opening this weekend. Seven Austrian glacier resorts are now open. Season winds down in South America and Australia, but New Zealand promises at least another month.
Wed 29 September 10, Snozone Castleford, United Kingdom
The British Snow Tour heads to Castleford SNO!zone next weekend, Saturday 9th October for the final indoor event of the series – The Protest Slopestyle Championships and Slopestyle Jam
Wed 29 September 10
Less than 2 weeks till the 3rd and final leg of the Westbeach Snowflex Freestyle Series 2010 in Nouex Les Mines in France
Wed 29 September 10, Tignes, France
A new new gondola linking Tignes Les Boisses to Tignes Le Lac, 6 new ungroomed pistes, a new beginner slope and a boardercross course head the list of improvements for the 2010/11 season in the Espace Killy covering Tignes and Val d'Isère