British Indoor Champion

On Sunday 29th October I became the inaugural British Indoor Snowboardcross Champion!

For the second time this year I went down to Chill Factore in Manchester for the British Indoor Snowboardcross Championships.  It was the first snowboard cross event run from British Ski and Snowboard, the sport’s national governing body!

My good friend Myles was away in Switzerland training with Zoe Gillings and Tom Bankes (lucky man!), so this time I stayed at Felix’s house, the organiser of the competition and mother of the UK’s snowboarding talent Tomski Robinson! Thanks to Felix for the hospitality and being fed. It definitely helped my performance!

After getting an early night, we woke up early On the Sunday morning of the competition and grabbed a taxi up the road to Chill FactorE. Plenty of people had turned up again for the event which was great to see.

  • Competitors Picture before the event! Competitors Picture before the event! Taken by Brandon Griffiths - www.brandonfoto.com
  • The Slide to Sochi event was running too, promoting winter athletes and introducing new people to skiing and snowboarding The Slide to Sochi event was running too, promoting winter athletes and introducing new people to skiing and snowboarding Taken by Brandon Griffiths - www.brandonfoto.com
  • Volunteers preparing the course well Volunteers preparing the course well Taken by Brandon Griffiths - www.brandonfoto.com
  • The start gate! Into the start section; rollers and two corners The start gate! Into the start section; rollers and two corners Taken by Brandon Griffiths - www.brandonfoto.com
  • Middle of the course; A tricky triple roller followed by a right berm Middle of the course; A tricky triple roller followed by a right berm Taken by Brandon Griffiths - www.brandonfoto.com
     

THE TRACK was A TECHNICAL AND CHALLENGING COURSE, WHICH WAS GREAT TO SEE SUCH PROGRESSION. THERE Were PLENTY OF FEATURES TO CATCH YOU OUT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY MAKE THE RACING MORE EXCITING! After having two practice runs on The course, it was most DEFINITELY tricky! But it was a lot of fun and a very good effort by the course designer SIMON NICHOLSON and his team!

After everyone had completed there two practice runs we began our timed runs, we each had two attempts. My big challengers in the Men’s Open category were my British Snowboardcross Team mate Tom Farrow and new kid on the snowboardcross scene Danny Chambers. Tom sketched out on his first run and Danny clocked the fastest time with 16.68 seconds BEFORE I DROPPED IN! I was on the ragged edge on my run and it was messy, I almost fell on the GS turns towards the end of the track. But after pushing for the line my Volkl Coal race board managed to bring me home in 16.46 Seconds, just ahead of Danny.

Unlike the English Championships I knew I could do better in my second run and Danny was no distance behind me. I also needed more practice for the heats, so I got ready for the next timed run. Tom Improved in his second run with 17.89 and Danny fell on the tricky triple rollers. I dropped in and had a cleaner run of 15.88 seconds which I was much happier with and qualified first for the finals, the only snowboarder to break under the 16 Second Barrier.

  • Start of first GS turn Start of first GS turn
  • First berm with a roller inbetween before the second berm First berm with a roller inbetween before the second berm
  • Maisie in her quali run Maisie in her quali run
  • Danny can carve and he has good board choice - VOLKL! Danny can carve and he has good board choice - VOLKL!
  • Tom Farrow lining up the kicker Tom Farrow lining up the kicker
  • Almost getting caught out by the icy GS gate! Almost getting caught out by the icy GS gate!
  • Maisie handling the technical start section Maisie handling the technical start section
  • Danny at the first of the tricky triple rollers! Danny at the first of the tricky triple rollers!
     

Like the English Champs on paper I would have the easiest route to the final, my top seeding putting me up against lower seeded riders and I would have gate choice. There was also a smaller field of 8, so I would only have three races to get to the finals, However it was a tough route there!

My first race went well, comfortably winning against the number 8 seed. My semi-final was much closer, the start gate was not spring loaded and had no pull grips, so I was finding it hard to get a good start. I got a bad start and was chasing Billy Roberts down into the first corner. I got into the corner first and pushed him wide as I was on the inside, I held my line and Billy slowed down and I rode the rest of the way down ahead. It was a good race but I knew I needed a better start for the final. Danny Chambers had beaten Tom Farrow in a close semi final, so I was up against Danny in the final.

  • Leading my Quarter Final Leading my Quarter Final
  • Close racing in the skiing! Close racing in the skiing!
  • Maisie on her way to winning the Open Women! Maisie on her way to winning the Open Women!
  • Plenty of wipeouts! Plenty of wipeouts!
  • Only the strongest riders progressed! Only the strongest riders progressed!
  • Tomski Robinson won his Kids Category with ease! Tomski Robinson won his Kids Category with ease!
     

In the third/fourth place race after having a commanding lead Tom got caught out on the tricky triple rollers coming 4th to Billy Roberts. The final was next up and again I got a poor start. I had to pump the tabletop and roller as hard as I could to dive into the first corner first. I did so and tried to push  Danny out wide, he held the wide line and got on the inside of me for the next corner, pushing me wide this time. we were side by side, I almost came off the course and the next thing I knew Danny had fell losing his edge and I fell too struggling to keep on the tight course. I got up first though and pumped through the rollers and onwards to the finish line closely followed by Danny. It was an exciting and close race, check out this video from ANthony Haines Took!

It was a great day, I was very happy to take home another medal and trophy as British Indoor Snowboardcross Champion! It’s great preperation for my season ahead and the best indoor snowboardcross track I’ve ridden! Thanks to Felix Robinson, Simon Nicholson, Ian Findlay and there team of volunteers who made the event possible!

IT’S GREAT TO SEE SNOWBOARDCROSS GETTING SOME RECOGNITION IN THE UK AND HAVING EVENTS DEDICATED TO IT. INTRODUCING NEW SNOWBOARDERS AND SKIERS TO THE sport through events like this and groups such as Northern Freestyle IS BRILLIANT. The futures looking very bright for snowboardcross in the UK with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics around the corner!

  • British Indoor Champion, alongside Danny Chambers and Billy Roberts British Indoor Champion, alongside Danny Chambers and Billy Roberts
  • Olympic hopeful Pam Thorburn, organisers; Felix Robinson, Ian Findlay and Co Olympic hopeful Pam Thorburn, organisers; Felix Robinson, Ian Findlay and Co
  • Tom Farrow with his 4th Prize Tom Farrow with his 4th Prize
  • Usain Bolt poser! Usain Bolt poser!
  • All the competitors and organisers at the end of a great day! All the competitors and organisers at the end of a great day!
     

BSS’s write up of the event is here

FOR MORE PICTURES OF THE EVENT GO TO THE BRITISH INDOOR SNOWBOARDCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS FACEBOOK PAGE.

All picture credit goes to BranDon Griffiths Photography; www.brandonfoto.com  www.facebook.com/brandonfoto4

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