Brits Halfpipe Championship, LAAX 2010

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Brits Halfpipe Championship, LAAX 2010

Today saw the opening event of the British Championships, the halfpipe, and as always the Laax shaping crew had sculpted a perfect stunt ditch at the top of the Crap Sogn Gion despite the extremely slushy snow conditions. The cloud that hung over the pipe as the competitors arrived at the summit helped keep the pipe in good enough condition until it considerately buggered off in time for the start of the comp.

Becky Hammond on her way to third in the Women's event

It was the women’s and junior categories up first and as always the level of some of the kids was ridiculous. Watching a two foot high person ski up an 18 foot wall on a pipe is a bizarre sight, but the riders themselves seemed completely unfazed by the whole experience. 13 year old Tyler Harding from West Yorkshire was a stand out competitor, and it is easy to see why he has won 14 from 15 competitions last year.

Emma Lonsdale took her sixth Women's title in a row

In the women’s the top three stood out from the rest. Becky Hammond took third place, while Katie Summerhayes managed second in what is turning out to be a great season for her after a second place in the European Open rail jam. But in first place, for the 7th time running was Emma Lonsdale who was higher and more styled than the rest of the field.

Current British Big Air Champion James Woods is also a bit handy in the pipe...he'll be defending his Big Air title on Friday
Peter Speight gets inverted on the first hit
Former Champ Murray Buchan spun a 1260 on his last run, but couldn't take the title from James Machon and his back to back 900's

In the men’s, the podium was a close run thing. James ‘Woodsy’ Woods threw down a typical display of outrageous skiing talent, styling his tricks and even learning a few new ones on his run, his enthusiasm payed off and he took the bronze. Meanwhile the top two spots were battled out between two skiers better known for their pipe skills. Murray Buchan was stepping up the technicality level with 1080s and even a 1260 on his last run, but the day belonged to James Machon who threw a technical and styled run, boosting the pipe and throwing back to back 9s, spinning in both directions.

James Machon spins a 5 on the first hit and goes on to get his second successive British halfpipe title
Katie Summerhayes, Emma Lonsdale, Becky Hammond
Murray Buchan, James Machon, James Woods

Men’s Final Results
1. James Machon
2. Murray Buchan
3. James Woods

Women’s Final Results
1. Emma Lonsdale
2. Katie Summerhayes
3. Becky Hammond

Words and Photos: SkiUnion

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