'Mini Brits' Festival is a Big Hit - Ski Union

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‘Mini Brits’ Festival is a Big Hit

It was a glorious start to the 2009 British Snow Tour at the weekend as blue skies welcomed over 100 of the UK’s best Freeskiers from across the land to Norfolk for the ‘Mini BRITS’ weekender. The BBQ, MC and music got rocking as riders hit the slope and showcased their big bag of tricks in the British Big Air, Trespass Skiercross and Animal Slopestyle Championships!

Animal Freeski Slopestyle Championships

The Animal Slopestyle Championships kicked off the freeski action on Saturday afternoon and it soon became apparent that the summer training camps had achieved their goal as the standard of skiing was immense with some technical rail tricks being displayed. In the men’s final a special shout out and thwack of respect from the judges and competitors alike went to 11-year-old Glaswegian Cal Sandieson who showed no fear and skilfully attacked the Animal Slopestyle course all day.

Josh Birch had been skiing well all day won the Men’s Animal Slopestyle Championships, and walked away with a smile on his face and his first ever overall British Championship Title. Josh’s run included a 270 on 450 out on the top rail, followed by a switch 270 on 270 out and a blind switch up on the intimidating shark fin rail. Second place went to 2008 Champ, James Woods who did a 270 on 270 out on the street rail, a switch 270 in 270 out on the box and a 270 out on the bottom shark fin rail. 12-year-old Tyler Jay-Harding continued to pave the way for the younger freeskiers and finished in third place with a consistent and faultless run.

In the women’s final it was defending Slopestyle Champ, Katie Summerhayes who impressed the most and added the 2009 Animal British Slopestyle Championship title to here already impressive collection. The only skier to land a 450 out on the first rail, which none of the boys had even attempted, Katie proved herself to be world class and a worthy Champion. Second place went to Kelly O’Donnell who also stepped it up and opted for the bigger rail line whilst third place went to Rowen Cheshire who had a clean run with a 270 on the middle box.

Animal Freeski Slopestyle Championship Results:
1st – Josh Birch – London
2nd – James Woods – Sheffield
3rd – Tyler Jay-Harding – Halifax

1st – Katie Summerhayes – Sheffield
2nd – Kelly O’Donnell – Stoke-on-Trent
3rd – Rowen Cheshire – Stoke-on-Trent

Trespass Skiercross Championships
The Trespass Skiercross Championships kicked off Sunday’s freeski action and competition was fierce, with over 60 skiers going through the start gates and on into the head to head heats with some spectacular wipe-outs along the way. In the men’s final only the fastest skiers remained and Stuart Riches made the most of an early lead out of the start gates to lead the pack over the finish line. Byron Haywood-Alexander and Michael Molloy collided on the first turn leaving Alex Abbott to take second place. After getting to their feet and with only one ski a piece, Michael and Byron continued down the course to take third and fourth respectively.

During the women’s final it was Danielle Freeze who finished in first place, after taking over Joanne Llewellyn and Kelly O’Donnell right at the final turn. Kelly finished in second with Joanne and Ashlea Martin finishing in third and fourth.

Trespass Skiercross Championship Results
1st – Stuart Riches – Suffolk
2nd – Alex Abbott – Norwich
3rd – Michael Molloy – Norwich
4th – Byron Haywood-Alexander- Sheffield

1st – Danielle Freeze – Kent
2nd – Kelly O’Donnell – Stoke-on-Trent
3rd – Joanna Llewellyn – Kent
4th – Ashlea Martin – Norfolk

British Big Air Championships
Sunday afternoon saw the Freeski Big Hitters take to the slope for the highly anticipated and final competition of the day, The British Big Air Championships. The top eight men and four women from the qualification round made it through to the finals with skies going that big they were almost clearing the landing!

In the men’s final Joe Hides just missed out on a podium spot but deserved a special shout out after throwing down massive rodeo Japans. First place and the 2009 British Big Air title went to James Woods with a huge switch rodeo 720 Japan. Second place went to Stoke-on-Trent local Josh Fawcett with a big switch 720 nose mute whilst third place with a perfectly landed switch misty 720 went to Charlie Richards.

In the women’s final Katie Summerhayes who had been on fire all day, continued to step it up in the Big Air and landed a huge switch 720 to take her second gold and overall British Championship Title of the weekend. Second place with a 720 went to Rowan Cheshire, who had also landed an impressive corked 720 during the qualifications. Molly Summerhayes finished in third place with a big and textbook 540.

British Big Air Championships
1st – James Woods – Sheffield
2nd – Josh Fawcett – Stoke-on-Trent
3rd – Charlie Richards – Sheffield

1st – Katie Summerhayes – Sheffield
2nd – Rowan Cheshire – Stoke-on-Trent
3rd – Molly Summerhayes – Sheffield

Over 200 local youngsters that the Schools Tour Team had visited came along to the event to take part in the FREE lessons, watch the UK’s best in action and cheer on local freeskier Tom Coe, who had proved to be a big hit at the schools. Let’s hope we see some of them continue to learn how to shred and hopefully competing next year.

The next event on the British Snow Tour calendar is the British Big Air Championships in Milton Keynes on Saturday 19th September. To check out the images and video footage from the event and pre register for the Big Air next week go to: www.britishsnowtour.com

The British Snow Tour and Schools Tour programme would like to thank: Animal, Trespass, SNO!zone, Cushe, Snow+Rock. Demo partners: DC, Ride, K2, Line and Volkl Ski’s.


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