If there was ever a gathering of people dressed inappropriately for the weather, it was the audience of the British Big Air Championships today. First thing on the morning the valley, the sky was blue and it was looking to be a hot one. We all ditched our layers and went for minimal gear. Up top it was a different story – the riders battled soft conditions, dodgy light and a fair bit of wind. And it was Baltic.
Despite polishing off our bottle of Eristoff Black and hitting the Indy club for hiphop night on Monday, we managed to get up and out for a morning of riding before the day’s big action – the British Boardercross Championships.
It’s ten years since my first Brits. I couldn’t link turns, I got lost off-piste in a whiteout and I ended up with septic holes in my feet from my too-large boots. But it was a bloody fun week – super friendly and very drunken. The event is now much much bigger, in a different country and I can link turns now – but the Brits remains the funnest, most drunken week you can have in the snow.
The RIDE Shakedown, one of the biggest comps in Canada, will be making its US debut on March 12-13 at Summit-at-Snoqualmie. The two-day event includes a unique big air to rail comp and a rail jam. Leanne Pelosi and Hana Beaman are among the 40 pro riders invited to compete for the $35000 prize purse. This event isn’t just for the pros; there will be 80 spots for amateurs who will compete in qualifiers to get into the main event.
Check out the schedule for this free event below.
For more info visit: http://snoqualmie.shakedown.ca/
RIDE Shakedown Schedule
Mammoth will be hosting the 6th Annual Roxy Chicken Jam from March 25-28. This is the last major stop on the Ticket to Ride Tour for the ladies and will likely determine the winner! Olympic Gold Medalist Torah Bright will be competing, as well as Roxy riders Amber Stackhouse, Lisa Wiik and Kjersti Buaas. There’s also an open-registration Qualifier for amateur riders to try to earn a spot against the pros.
In addition to the pro slopestyle and superpipe competitions with the $50,000 prize purse, there are plenty of activities for attendees.
Girlie Camps are holding their seventh season of snowboard camps for girls and are heading to the Swiss mecca of Laax to hold them.
The camp has an exclusive set up with lodging in the Curnius building. You wake up on the mountain at 1800 m, with only 50 m to the world-famous Laax Pipe. After four nights you move down to stay at The Riders Palace, a hotel specially designed for skiers and snowboarders, who like to be in the right spot. It’s a major party palace with a hotel disco and cool bar.
The camps take place from March 7 to 14 and from March 14 to 21.
They cost 840 euros for the week and this covers:
* Accommodation 4 nights up on the mountain with breakfast and 4 dinners.
Torah Bright won the gold medal in the women’s halfpipe competiton. After falling on her first run, Bright had to lead off the second run. She made a statement with a clean technical run including a backside 360, switch backside 720, and cab 720 that put her in first place with 45 points. Hannah Teter had taken the lead in the first run with a score of 42.4.
Kelly Clark fell on her first run, but put down a very strong run with big amplitude and clean tricks to take the Bronze medal.
Hannah Teter, who won Gold in Torino, was the final competitor and dropped in with a chance to unthrone Torah Bright. She put down a run with big air, but didn’t have the tricks to top Torah and took Silver.
The Women’s Olympic Halfpipe competition takes place today. Here is our guide to the competition.
Thursday February 18 at Cypress Mountain
For each round the competitors will get 2 runs. Their best score will count for that round. After the first run, the order of competitors will shuffle so that the riders with the lowest scores will go first. The rider with the highest score in the first run will take their second run last.
There was little doubt after Shaun White’s first run in the Olympic Halfpipe finals that he would take his second straight gold medal. White went bigger than any other competitor, busting out a run chock full of huge tricks with seemingly little effort. Every rider tried to eclipse White’s massive first run, but few would come even close.
As the last competitor, White’s victory was assured when fellow American Scotty Lago, who had been bumped from silver medal position on Finn Peetu Piiroinen’s second run, fell on his final run. Lago would finish 3rd.
Maelle Ricker overcame the weather and the competition to become the first Canadian woman to win gold on home soil. The Women’s competiton was delayed several hours due to fog and bad weather.
"It was really, really hard today to get a clean run all the way down the course, but I just held on and did my best. I was really just focusing on doing the run going through, " said Ricker.
Ricker, who leads the World Cup standings, didn’t place in the Turin Games. Her fall in the finals left her with a concussion.
Frenchwoman Deborah Anthonioz won Silver and Swiss rider Olivia Nobs rounded out the podium with Bronze.
The Women’s Olympic halfpipe competition will take place on Thursday, February 18. That means the qualifications, semifinals and finals will all go down in one day. The athletes took their first practice runs in the pipe at Cypress Mountain last night and the reports are not good. Rain and warm temps have resulted in a soft pipe.
Here are some twitter reports directly from the competitors: