When: April 2, 2008
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Conditions, certainly, were far from perfect, but with the weather allegedly set to improve for tomorrow’s slopestyle when the qualifiers had been done the call was made to run the finals of the SNO!zone Halfpipe. Despite the shitty visibility, the accumulating snow at the bottom of the pipe and the howling wind, the riders made the best of what they had and got on with business.
The prospect of riding just the rails in such weather was not an enticing prospect, yet when I asked 1st placed qualifier Dan Wakeham if he’d ever ridden pipe in worse conditions he replied “Yeah, for sure. Saas Fee it was -30, blue ice and dumping so this isn’t great but it’s nothing compared to that."
With the guys and girls in attendance, the show had the potential to be banging so it was a shame that the conditions sucked but the show must go on. Guys and girls went together in the finals but ladies, as is quite right, go first so here’s the scoop. First place deservedly went to Kate Foster whose smooth run included sailing a backside air and a frontside 3 to cab 3 combo that’s smoothness and height saw off the more tech but less high run of Lesley McKenna. Laura Hill followed up in third.
In the men’s, after a few years of being the bridemaid, Dom Harington finally became the bride of the Brits pipe and there’s not a person around who’ll say other than he totally deserved it. Front 7 to Haakon 7, solid fs air to McTwist rounded off with a killer alley-oop rodeo 5 beat off Ben Kilner and Sam Cullum. Ben’s scoring run started off similar to Dom’s with the back to back 7s, all with the mad Kilnersaurus steeze, but there was the odd not-so-good landing in there which affected his challenge. Cullum, whose pipe riding seems to have come on leaps and bounds, put down a solid, clean run, but the tech wasn’t quite on a par with Dom and Ben so he had to settle for third.
Right, they’re kicking us out the media room now. More photos maybe later. Slopestyle tomorrow. Stay tuned.