Tignes’ monstrous 22-foot superpipe played home to the X Games and the finest pipe riders in the world last week but today it was time for the best of British. Even though weather conditions made things harder than usual for competitors, with snow clogging up the transitions of the pipe, a solid level of snowboarding was on show. The contest threw up an array of awe-inspiring tricks including, McTwists, Haakon Flips and a bunch of 5’s and 7’s.
Ben Kilner showed just why he is on course for next year’s Olympics in Sochi with huge amplitude out of the pipe, killing both qualification and the finals. His winning run was simply bolts, going huge off the first hit and continuing with a legit frontside 7, followed by an effortless Haakon flip, a nice backside 9 and finishing his run with a backside 5. Chasing hot on his heels was Dan Wakeham (31, Plymouth) with a very impressive qualification run and claiming silver with a huge method straight off the bat, followed up by a Crippler and a McTwist. Last year’s champ Henry Shackleton (18, Thatcham) picked up bronze this year with front and backside 5’s, a front 7 and finishing off with a steezy seatbelt grab.
Ben’s been in hard training for next year’s Olympics, and was over the moon with his win today: “I’m feeling good and it’s good to be back. I’ve missed the last two BRITS as I separated my shoulder so I’m glad to come back, win it and get the title again. I’ve just come from a world cup in Spain so it was a bit hit and miss as to whether I would be able to make the BRITS but I’m here and it’s great to ride with these guys.”
Once again, the girls upped their game this year and the amplitude being shown out of the pipe by some was a sight for sore eyes. Katie Ormerod won with a styley frontside 5 and generally rode bigger and smoother than the rest of the competition. Kate Foster (27, Haywards Heath) is no stranger to the pipe and just missed out on gold. Unfortunately for Foster she had a much better qualification round than in the final, as both her and Ormerod had similar runs with Ormerod keeping it together in the final. Taking bronze was Nathalie Silkstone (16, Belper) showing a neat technical run displaying all grabs; indie, method, stale, nose and tail with a frontside 5 thrown in for good measure.
Katie’s who is one of the most improved snowboarders on the British circuit was stoked out on her win: “I’m really, really happy that I won today. I was nervous at first because I haven’t ridden a full size pipe since the last BRITS but I was really excited for it as well. I’m really surprised I beat Kate Foster as she’s such a great pipe rider. I’m just so happy.”
Tignes has been a fantastic host to the BRITS, and despite snowy weather conditions for a large part of the week, a star-studded field impressed crowds and showed what a force Britain is becoming in freestyle snowboarding. Best of luck to all riders bidding to qualify for the Olympics, and we’ll see you in Tignes next year.
British Dare 2b Snowboard Halfpipe Championships Results
1st – Ben Kilner 1st – Katie Ormerod
2nd – Dan Wakeham 2nd – Kate Foster
3rd – Henry Shackleton 3rd – Nathalie Silkstone
Don’t forget to check out the BRITS 2013 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: Title Sponsors: Protest, Dare2b and Trespass. Associate Sponsors: Skullcandy, iON & Penny Skateboards. Media Partners: Whitelines, Huck, Extreme Sports Channel, Downdays.eu, skiandsnowboard.co.uk, In The Snow, Snowboardclub.co.uk and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).