Over the weekend of 16-17th September the Orange AIM Series travelled up to Rossendale Ski Centre for the 2006 Orange British Artificial Snowboard / Skiercross Championships and Big Air Jam.
Local competitors were out in force along with UK’s top freestylers including 2006 freeski British Slopestyle Champion Andy Bennett and snowboarding champ Jamie Nicholls. Whilst on the nursery slope over 100 beginners inspired by the high-speed action took advantage of the free lessons that were up for grabs.
The Snowboardcross Championships started off a busy day with over 40 snowboarders going through the start gates in heats of four, with eliminating heats getting tighter. The men’s final was the closest race of the day with boards touching and elbows shoving, Mathew Gibson took the inside line and inched his way over the finish line to take first place and the 2006 British Artificial Title.
The remaining three racers battled it out for the podium spots and after an unexpected speed wobble form Mark Hartley, Michael Bates and Ben Knox took advantage taking second and third respectively. In the women’s Snowboardcross Championships, Vickie Pullin stormed through the qualifying heats and continued her fast pace into the final, crossing the finish line at lightening speed to take the title. Zoe Norton came in second with Liz Osbourne hot on her tail to take third.
The sunshine came out in the afternoon’s Big Air Jam, with local rider Colum Mytton entertaining the crowd with his helmet pass through the legs party trick, where he performs a back flip and passes his helmet through his legs and back onto his head, whilst in mid air, a definite crowd pleaser!
In the men’s final Colum and Jamie Nicholls finished on top with equal points, resulting in a two man super final. Stepping it up both riders pulled out a perfect 900, that was too close to call, so a second round was needed. Nicholls raised the bar even higher and attempted a 1080, but couldn’t quite stick it. Colum landed a big switch underflip to take the win with second place and a thwack of respect going to Jamie for his efforts, and Ben Knox taking third.
Orange AIM Series regular Liz Osbourne showed off her dryslope skills to take first in the women’s jam with a huge 360, with local Rhianna Nuttall taking second and Samantha Rogers third.
- 1st – Mathew Gibson, Sheffield
- 2nd - Michael Bates, Edinburgh
- 3rd - Ben Knox, Crouch End
- 1st – Vickie Pullin, Gloucestershire
- 2nd - Zoe Norton, Edinburgh
- 3rd – Liz Osbourne, Cambridge
Men’s Big Air Jam
- 1st – Colum Mytton, Todmorden
- 2nd – Jamie Nicholls, Bradford
- 3rd – Ben Knox, Crouch End
Women’s Big Air Jam
- 1st – Liz Osbourne, Cambridge
- 2nd – Rhianna Nuttall, Haslingden
- 3rd – Sam Rogers, Bracknell
The next event on the Orange AIM Series Calendar is the Artificial Big Air Championships at Warmwell Ski Centre on 30th September and 1st October 2006. For more info check out: www.orangeaimseries.com