10/04/2007 | by Melanie Schönthier
Hello from Laax and the British Snowboard Championships. Today was the big air and you can read all about it here. And there was a modicum of controversy thrown in the mix too, oh yes.
Apologies if this is brief. I have a cracking headache and am having trouble with the waffle so I’m gonna keep it short and then have a siesta.
Up on the Crap Sion Gion, a 15 metre or so table lay in wait for those riders who’d entered. There were 2 smaller take-offs for those less-experienced, or younger, or older, or female, shreds but a few of the juniors like 13-year olds Jamie Nicholls and Sparrow Knox were manning up and tackling the bigger booter. Jamie won with his bs 7 (he was trying bs 9s but couldn’t quite hold the landing…) and left me in no doubt that this enthusiastic Halifax local is the future of British snowboarding. Fact.
In the seniors, for a while in the qualification rounds it seemed to be the British Terrifying Championships as a number of riders looked to be biting off more than they could chew, hucking off the bigger jump and sailing straight towards their imminent encounter with the knuckle in a manner that left me fearing for their wellbeing. Nevertheless, there was some strong riding (though alas not as strong as last year due to several big hitters opting to head for the US Open) from a few of the usual seasoned Brit veterans and some relative newcomers. This year the format of the comp was changed somewhat. After the qualifiers, those who’d made the cut were paired up and competed head-to-head, the winner going through to the next round and the loser for an early bath.
Now then, this is when things went a little funny. Here’s what I wrote before the prize giving:
“We were thinking that this could finally be the year that Danny Wheeler took the win he’s been short changed on a couple of times but sadly for him he came up against an in-form Louie whose bs 9 ended his chances for another year. In the opposite side of the draw, Si Brass (in betweens marshalling the fine tuning of the kicker) was consistently putting down textbook fs 7 mixed in with the odd bs 5 for posterity. Others making a go of it were Gary Greenshields (fs 7s with a dodgy shoulder), Tom West (fs 7s but lacking consistency), Jamie Phillips (sw bs 7s but suffered on the landings) and Mark Ruparelia (good cab 7 in the quails but couldn’t stick them in the final). And so, when all was said and done, it came down to Brass and Louie in the super final to decide 1st place. Louie sketched his first hit while Si stomped the fs 7 perfect. With it all to do in the second run, the Brit/Kiwi stepped up his game and put down the perfect bs 9 to seal the win.”
Now, unfortunately, Louie in fact turned out not to be a British passport holder and this threw the whole shebang into a bit of chaos. The clear winner by the format, he was not allowed to take the title. All well and good, the subsequent placed riders just jumping up a spot. Or you would have thought. However, the fact that along the way he knocked out several guys who otherwise may have placed higher caused a bit of consternation in some quarters, but the general consensus amongst the riders was that they did not want to run the final again tomorrow. Oh, well you can’t please everyone now can you?
The girls’ contest was won by Jo Chastney whose smooth bs 180 Japans and bs 180 shifty shiftys, narrowly edging out Leslie McKenna.
And then we rode down and it made my head hurt, hence the admittedly whack report. I think I’m dehydrated so gonna neck a litre of water and be more focussed tomorrow.