Warmwell concluded the Orange AIM National Snowboard and Freeski series last weekend with a new AIM Series record for the highest number of competitors to compete at an AIM Series dryslope event so far.
UK’s top snowboarders and freeskiers, amongst them Olympians and British Champions, descended on Dorset Snowsport Centre at the weekend, for the finale event of the Orange AIM Series 2006 calendar. A new record number of over 160 competitors pulled out amazing performances with the hopes of winning the British Artificial Big Air Championship titles. The Warmwell event also served as a qualifier for the British Quarterpipe Championships at the Metro Ski Show, London on the 20th October, in which the top three riders & skiers from the event were granted entry to compete at the prestigious event.
The qualification round for the British Quarterpipe Championships at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show, London, started off a busy day with all riders airing high out of the Quarterpipe, throwing down McTwists, 720’s and some huge backside airs. In the ladies competition Liz Osbourn set the standard with huge backside airs taking home first. Laura Berry came in a close second with a selection of stylish air to fakies, whilst third place went to Samantha Rogers who aired out of the Quarterpipe and rode the transition well.
In the men’s Quarterpipe competition, the chance of competing at the Metro Ski Show and the opportunity to show off their skills in front of thousands of spectators heated up the competition, with Olympian Dan Wakeham riding and pushing the standard even higher. First place went to Matthew Gibson who stomped every trick including huge 720 McTwists, high out of the top of the pipe. Orange AIM Series regular, fourteen year old Jamie Nicholls also pulled off a big 720 McTwist to take second, whilst third went to another youngster, Sparrow Knox, who impressed with big McTwists and consistent solid riding. As Jaime has already been granted entry into the upcoming British Quarterpipe Championships the third ticket went to Warmwell local, Kevin Mills, who came in fourth after he gained some amazing height and precision out of the pipe.
The afternoon was all about Big Airs and winning the prestigious champion’s title. In the women’s competition the standard was high and the atmosphere tense as four of the UK’s finest female riders went head to head in the hope of taking home the gold. Riding strong all day Orange AIM Series regular Liz Osbourn, qualified through to the final first after landing a strong series of backside 360s, whilst local rider Jo Chastney, who had had a couple of successful qualifying runs, was the first rider to crash out after not landing a cab 360. Next up were Laura Berry and Mollie Percival, who was out to retain her title for the fifth consecutive year. Laura knocked out the defending champion after perfectly landing a frontside 360. With Mollie out of the running, the title was open to a new Champion. The tension could be cut with a knife in the final between Liz and Laura, with both pulling off a series of closely marked tricks, but in the end it was British Boardercross Champion Laura who claimed yet another title with a huge frontside 540, which she landed effortlessly.
In the men’s competition it was an extremely close final as the riders pushed each other to go bigger, bolder and better. Riding strong all day Sam Cullum proved to be worthy of the title with a perfectly landed a huge frontside 540, which he grabbed solidly. A very happy James McElvaney, hot on Sam’s heels, took second after he landed a switch backside 540, whilst third place went to Ben Knox who pulled out a solid backside 720 mute.
Snowboarding Quarterpipe Competition
- 1) Matthew Gibson, Sheffield
- 2) Jamie Nicholls, Bradford
- 3) Sparrow Knox, London
- 1) Liz Osbourn, Cambridge
- 2) Laura Berry, Milton Keynes
- 3) Samantha Rogers, Bracknell
Big Air Championships
- 1) Sam Cullum, Bracknell
- 2) James McElvaney, Chesterfield
- 3) Ben Knox, London
- 1) Laura Berry, Milton Keynes
- 2) Liz Osbourn, Cambridge
- 3) Mollie Percival, Bury