The Laax shapers outdid themselves once again by building an absolute beast of a kicker, which at 20 metres was the biggest in BRITS history.
After last year’s judges said that the 2011 Big Air was “the highest standard of British snowboarding” that he had ever seen the riders were under pressure to step it up and they didn’t disappoint. This year the progression was pushed even further with both men and women going absolutely massive and regularly overshooting the landing while the biggest cheer of the day went to Sam Turnbull for stomping the first ever double rodeo 1080 at the BRITS.
The qualification runs were fiercely contested, with the UK’s best shredders throwing down an array of styled out front and back 7’s, 9’s and double corks. After the finalists had been whittled down, riders were given three hits of the kicker to show off their best tricks and were scored down for repetition to push creativity. Along with his double, Sam Turnbull sealed the win with a ridiculously smooth back 9 mute, grabbed out until the last moment. On hearing that he had just made BRITS history, Sam was characteristically chilled out: “I just go with the flow. I’m well pleased to have landed the first double rodeo at The BRITS but I’m not going to celebrate too hard tonight because I’ve got the slopestyle tomorrow.” Jamie Trinder was not far behind the mark, nailing a huge backside double corked 10 and a smooth as butter back 7 to take second place while Henry Shackleton came third with a backside corked 7 and an enormous frontside 9 melon. A special shout out must also go to 15-year-old Matt McCormick who qualified in first place with an obscenely stylish back 7 but struggled with speed as the run in got softer in the finals.
Not to be outdone, the ladies pushed the standard of women’s riding even further with some huge spins off the big kicker and some styled out straight airs. 14-year-old Katie Ormerod has always been one for the future but stepped it up today to announce her arrival as the most exciting young female rider in the country, storming into first place with an unbelievably smooth off axis backside 7 mute off the big kicker and a super tweaked back 3 indy. “It feels amazing,” she said, “I just can’t believe it. It’s the first big air I’ve won at the Brits. I hope to be a professional snowboarder and make it to the Olympics.” In second, India Stephenson added to her impressive BRITS medal tally with a back 3 stalefish and a big frontside 5, while Ayla Thidling rounded up the podium spots by nailing a big tweaked method and a frontside 180. Becky Menday was also riding extremely well all day but was unlucky in the final, where she went too big on her hits, not being able to hold on as she overshot the landing.
British Snowboard Big Air Championships
1st – Sam Turnbull 1st – Katie Ormerod
2nd – Jamie Trinder 2nd – India Stephenson
3rd – Henry Shackleton 3rd – Ayla Thidling
Don’t forget to check out the BRITS 2012 daily webcasts and picture galleries at www.the-brits.com, where you will be able to check out the Snowboard and Freeski action from the previous day’s competition.
The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive sponsors: Protest, Trespass, Dare2b, Snow+Rock and Nooka. Media partners: Whitelines, Huck, Extreme Sports Channel, Downdays.eu, Ski Club of Great Britain, Metrosnow.co.uk, In The Snow and Snowboardclub.co.uk. Destination partners: Switzerland Tourism and LAAX. Governing Bodies: TTR, AFP, WSF and BSS.