Day 3 is halfpipe day at the Brits in Laax

Thu 02 April 09

Ben Kilner carried his excellent season form into yesterdays halfpipe with Dom Harington and Dan Wakeham filling the other 2 podium spots. In the ladies it was Lesley McKenna who proved she is still the women to beat. Check out the highlights here.

Day 3 is halfpipe day at the Brits in Laax

Day 3 is halfpipe day at the Brits in Laax ©

Day three at the BRITS saw the highly anticipated SNO!zone British Halfpipe Championships. The crowds welcomed the sunshine, but this made for quite challenging snow conditions for the riders. However, that didn’t stop World-class halfpipe runs being thrown down and World Cup Halfpipe Team members Lesley McKenna and Ben Kilner taking the top spots with faultless, technical runs.

Brits 09 Halfpipe competition
Brits 09 Halfpipe competition
Photo: Soulsports

The 12 man final was always going to be a tight competition with Team GB members Sam Cullum, Dom Harington, Ben Kilner, Dan Wakeham and James Foster all throwing down impressive technical runs to battle it out for the top three podium spots. It was 2010 Olympic hopeful, Ben Kilner, who was successful in taking the 2009 British Halfpipe title. In the two run, best-run counts final, Ben’s stylish and high amplitude second run impressed the judges and scored him the top spot. Ben’s run included a massive inverted 540, which was easily the highest air of the day, followed by a crippler and textbook backside 720. Dom Harington picked up his second medal of the week, securing second place with a smooth and technical run consisting of a huge frontside 540, backside 540, haakon flip and finishing off with a stylish switch rodeo. Riding well all day, Dan Wakeham had a technical run consisting of a massive mctwist, haakon flip, big inverted 7, massive air to fakie, but after falling on his final hit, he rode away with the bronze.

Brits 09 mens halfpipe podium
Brits 09 mens halfpipe podium
Photo: Soulsports

“I’m totally stoked at winning. I really enjoyed the competition, despite the conditions of the snow. I really like competing at the BRITS after a busy season of comps, it’s the most fun and enjoyable to ride at, so it’s great to win here this year.” – Ben Kilner said of his win.

Brits 09 Halfpipe competition
Brits 09 Halfpipe competition
Photo: Soulsports

In the women’s final, Olympian Lesley McKenna demonstrated her well-honed halfpipe skills to take the gold. She threw down two solid, technical runs, getting great amplitude out of the pipe, with her winning run consisting of frontside 720, cab 360, big frontisde indie and backside tailgrab to finish. Reigning champion, Kate Foster, fell in her first run and so the pressure was on for her second. She had a great solid run, which included frontside air, backside alley oop, front 360 and cab 360 combination to finish securing her the silver medal. Laura Hill had a smooth and technical run consisting of a front 360, cab 360, frontside 540 and backside 360, securing her the third podium spot.

Brits 09 Womens halfpipe podium
Brits 09 Womens halfpipe podium
Photo: Soulsports

“The conditions were challenging with such soft snow, I think all of the riders could’ve done so much more. But I’m really pleased with my win. It’s always so much fun at the BRITS, getting to ride with British Friends in such a fun atmosphere.” – Said Lesley McKenna of her win.

A special mention goes out to the younger riders pushing up through the ranks including, 13 year old British Junior Team rider Lewis Courtier Jones, who was boosting out of the pipe all day, and was the only Kids Men to make it through to the final, finishing in 10th overall. Fellow Team GB member, 16 year old Aimee Fuller, who was the youngest rider to make it through to the women’s final, threw down two technical runs showing great promise and potential. Watch this space for next year.

Watch Highlights of the halfpipe

SNO!zone British Halfpipe Championship Results

1st - Ben Kilner, Banchory
2nd - Dom Harington, Leeds
3rd - Dan Wakeham, Plymouth

1st - Lesley Mckenna, Aviemore
2nd - Kate Foster, Sussex
3rd - Laura Hill, Leeds

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Snowboard Guide rating 9 out of 10 “Excellent snowsure resort with a good long season. The slopes are great for freestylers and freeriders alike, as well as suiting beginners. The resort can be slack at opening lifts and the off-piste gets tracked out within hours of a dump.”

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