Huge rodeo 720’s, 900’s and crowd-pleasing backflips were among the tricks of choice being laid down at the British Freeski and Snowboard Invitational Championships at the Metro Ski & Snowboard Show on Thursday and Friday evening. Twelve of the UK’s top freeskiers and snowboarders were invited to compete and showcase their tricks in front of a crowd of thousands with the hopes of winning the Championship titles and free holidays out to the Brits 2009.British Freeski Invitational Championships
The British Freeski Invitational Championships was the highlight of Thursday’s action at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show. Twelve of the UK’s top freeskiers, including Paddy Graham, James Webb and Katie Summerhayes charged the 40ft kicker, laying down huge switch rodeo 720’s, 900’s and misty flips, with the hopes of securing a spot through to the finals. After stomping their tricks the line up for the semi’s included James Woods, Mike Wakefield, Andrew Longley and youngster Josh Fawcett. Going head-to-head it was Woodsy’s huge switch 720 that knocked out Longley’s misty flip to see him through to the finals. Last years winner Mike Wakefield landed a massive rodeo, which knocked out Josh Fawcett’s impressive 900, to make it a Woodsy and Wakefield final.
The pressure was on during the one run final and it was crowd favourite, James Woods who stepped up to the challenge and threw down a huge switch rodeo 720, beating Mike Wakefield’s big misty flip 720, to take the 2008 title. James said: “It was such a rad event and the crowd and all the riders made an amazing atmosphere. I’m stoked and really looking forward to the Brits.”
British Snowboard Invitational Championships
Friday evening made way for the British Snowboard Invitational Championships, which saw the UK’s top riders, including Gary Greenshields, and rising stars Jamie Nicholls, Andy Nudds and Sparrow Knox charge the kicker. MC James Thorne excited the crowd as each rider dropped in and pulled out their finest tricks including huge 720’s, and crowd-pleasing backflips with the hopes of making it through to the final rounds. The top four riders to make it through to the semi finals included Gary Greenshields, Jack Shackleton, Andy Nudds and Jamie Nicholls. One of the UK’s best kicker riders, Andy Nudds landed a massive frontside 720 to knock out Gary Greenshields and secure his spot through to the finals. Team GB rider Jack Shackleton, who had been riding super-strong all day landed a sweet rodeo 540, but it was 15-year-old Jamie Nicholls who pulled a big 900 out of the bag to take the remaining spot in the final.
During the final round the balcony of spectators displayed a gigantic Mexican wave in appreciation as the two Halifax riders pulled out all the stops for their final run. Jamie Nicholls landed a huge textbook 900 which secured him the 2008 title after Andy Nudds crashed out. Jamie said: “That was amazing, the standard was really high and I’m really pleased I landed my 9 in the final and winning the trip to the Brits is wicked.”
Next stop: the Brits 2009, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary from the 28th March – 4th April. Go to brits09.com for further info.