When: November 13th
Where: The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead, UK
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On November 13th the 2009 Burton Scrap Metal rolled into The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead and set a new standard for British indoor competitions. With a host of freshly constructed rails, cash prizes and a chance to ride the newest indoor slope in the UK meant jibbers travelled the length and breadth of the country to take part.
On arrival the set-up didn’t disappoint as riders were met with a slopestyle course that looked like something out of video game. Five bright red brand new rails ranging from a down-flat-down corner bar to the Rude Chalets mini quite literally littered the slope in north London.
The format was simple with a 1 hour practice going straight into a 2 hour qualifying jam session. The top 10 male and top 3 females would go through to the final at the end of the night and be in with a chance of winning a slice of the £450 prize money as well as goodies from Burton, Analog, Gravis and Monster Energy. The best unsponsored rider of the night would take away a holiday with Rude Chalets for them and four of their friends to the freestyle mecca that is Avoriaz, France.
Things kicked off with Burton European rider Wojtek Pawlusiak taking a few laps before the comp started to test the newly built kit. With an arsenal of tricks on pretty much every feature he quite literally assassinated the course even before it was open to the public. He continued to ride all night then took the reins as guest judge for the final and offered his expert opinion on what he thought of the UK’s best jib monkeys.
With utterly atrocious weather resulting in an accident on one of the motorways many people turned up a little late for practice. This included a mini bus full of Halifax locals captained by Wayne Taylor and The Tamworth Massive including Burton rider Chris Kightley and Analog jib technician Matt Higson. Eventually all the remaining people arrived for the qualifiers and the competition started to heat up.
Stand out moments during the qualifiers had to be Shaun Millers frontflips off the top of the wallride, Ollie Plumley’s (text book) gap, to back lip on the down flat down and Tom Hunts 50/50, frontside 360 out of the Donkey Kink rail. The girls were stepping it up with mini shredder Jade Walsh attacking the ribbed gas pipes and Kirsty Taylor laying down some solid runs. At one point during the evening everyone’s attention turned to the bottom of the course where a session started on the down bar and down-flat-down rail with Simon “super
smoothy" Foster, Ross Needham aka The Wizard and fellow Sno dome local and Burton young gun, George Wooley.
After a fairly epic 2 hour jam session the finalists were announced. The top 10 males and top 3 females made their way to the top of the course and prepared for their two runs. The girls went first with local rider Helen dropping in and hitting the top of the wallride, Kirsty Taylor went for the safe option and laid down a steady run on the medium side of the course but no one could stop 12 year old Katie Ormerod who put down a run consisting of 180 onto the gas pipe, frontside wallride and front blunt, 270 out on the down bar to finish. A trick that she’d only learnt that evening!
The boys were next with Simon Foster completing a run consisting of a variety of change-up, tap out tricks reminiscent of his hero and look-alike Lucas Magoon. Ed charged through the course and went “balls out" on the downflat- down, corner rail trying to boardslide it which resulted in him being catapulted a good 15 feet down the course and landing on his shoulder… Ouch!
George Woolley marked his territory with probably one of the smoothest runs of the night including 50/50, change up, switch 50/50 on the corner bar to the amazement of the on looking spectators. But there was no stopping Castlefords Jonny Russell who, in all fairness had owned the course all night. His run went a little like this: frontside 5-0 on the Donkey Kink, Backside Boardslide through the corner bar and Backside 360, 5-0 on the bottom down bar. Easily the best run of the night and meant he would take home £250, armfuls of swag and the title of 2009 Burton Scrap Metal Champion.
The prize giving took place in the bar with hundreds of on lookers who stayed on to watch the results, which went like this:
1st Jonny Russell
2nd George Woolley
3rd Simon Foster
1st Katie Ormerod
Best Unsponsored Rider
A massive thanks has to go out to Steve Terry who dedicated a good number of weekends to tirelessly constructing the beautifully constructed rails, the park crew at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead and of course Burton Snowboards.