After nearly cooking in my own snowboard gear yesterday, I decided to brave the no-thermals approach to on-hill heat regulation. More fool me. It was the snowboarding Big Air which means sitting on the side of a big hill for a long time, freezing your tits off whilst watching a tirade of corked 720’s – the trick of choice for the day.
The riders however were on fire. Big Air is the snowboarding spectator equivalent of fireworks night – lots of Ooh-ing, ah-ing and gasping. Man of the comp was the very un-British sounding Louis Purucker, who had a suspiciously Kiwi accent but managed to persuade the registration officials that he was indeed British. Purucker knocked out Danny Wheeler, and out-spun Si Brass’s huge corked 720 melon (which looked like he could have done in his sleep) and Gary Greensheilds’ 720 melon to get the gold. It was then that he was asked to produce a passport, which he, er, couldn’t.
After mild panic by the organisers, it was decided that, rather than re-run the comp, they would award Si Brass the gold, Gary silver and Tom West, who also opted for a corked 720 melon, the bronze.
In the women’s competition, Posy Dixon was the only girl to brave the largest jump to secure her a spot in the final, with Jo Chastney qualifying through in top spot after landing a stylish backside 180 Japan. In the women’s final, it was Chastney again, fresh from gaining gold in the boardcross, pulling out a super stylish backside 180 double shifty
to take the women’s title. Second place went to Lesley McKenna who landed a big and smooth backside 360 with third place going to Posy Dixon who stomped a backside 360.
Over on the slopestyle course, the women’s ski slopestyle was dominated by an on-form Emma Lonsdale, still buzzing off her gold in the pipe the day before. With a winning run including an unnatural straight grind over the picnic bench, a straight grind over the flat box and to finish, a solid and smooth 360 over the kicker, she was destined to take the top spot. Beanie Milne-Home scooped second with a straight grind over the rails, finishing with a clean 180 whilst third place went to Claire Hughes with a straight grind over the rail, a switch grind onto the picnic bench before finishing off with a solid 360 over the kicker.
Celebrating in the Rider’s Palace after being given another £400, Emma pointed out that if each run was about a minute long, then she had effectively won £100 a minute. Not bad going when you put it like that, and will help towards her trip to NZ for a back to back winter.