What an amazing season the UK Roxy team have had on and off the slopes!
The snow season kicked off to an early start for the UK Roxy girls with an on snow training camp in the legendary snowboard mecca Saas Fee, in Switzerland. The camp was held just before the opening half pipe World Cup in October so the girls had perfect conditions in the pipe and the park was in good shape as well. Abi Dempster (13), Ashlee Smith (16) and new girl on the team, Aimee Fuller (16) joined other junior Roxy riders from across Europe for a week of intensive training with coach, mentor and long time UK Roxy shredder, Lesley Mckenna.
As well as lots of great on snow coaching the girls got some very valuable advice on how to cope with life on the road, stay fit, stay focused and make the most of all those opportunities coming their way. The girls also got to shoot with legendary snowboard photographer Nathalie Mayer and were interviewed for Cooler, Bliss and Document Mag. They all seemed to take heed of the great advice as the season kicked off extremely well and continued getting better for the girls right until the end.
The first comp of the year for Aimee was the Roxy Chicken Jam in Kaprun in Austria. It was the first time Aimee had competed in the event and she was one of the youngest riders there but she held her own and out shone her rudimentary experience by qualifying for the finals. With Lesley Mckenna as one of the judges she had a hard judge to please but was impressive throughout the qualifiers placing 5th in the qualifying field to go on and joint the main field. The finals saw some amazing riding with Cheryl Mass taking the victory and Roxy rider Kjersti Buaas winning best trick.
After Aimee's impressive performance at the Chicken Jam she was quickly selected on to the GB Junior Team as the only girl member. With Lesley, who is also a GB team member, as guest coach over the Christmas period, Aimee was getting just what she needed in terms of consistent coaching and great on snow experience.
Not being one to shy away from big events, she carried this experience on to the Burton European Open where she re-joined the other Roxy junior riders, again under the watchful eye of Lesley McKenna. The junior Roxy team cleaned up at the BEO with noteable performances from all the girls. Aimee ripped in the slopestyle event coming a very respectable 5th place with fellow Roxy riders Silje Norendal in 2nd and Mirabelle Thovex in 4th. Lesley then took a break from coaching the junior Roxy riders and joined her fellow Roxy team to compete in the half pipe event at the BEO. She stormed the qualifiers winning them by a good margin, but unfortunately crashed in the next round. Torah Bright put up the best Roxy result of the half pipe riding into 2nd behind Kelly Clark.
Meanwhile, back in Scotland Abi Dempster and Ashlee Smith were enjoying what was turning out to be the best snow in Scotland for around 10 years. Abi took her skills to the slopes in Glencoe and Cairngorm winning her age category in the regional competitions throughout the season. Both girls got in some great training in preperation for the British Championships in March in Laax, Switzerland.
While Abi and Ashlee were ripping it up back home, Aimee was on the road with the GB junior team. She competed at the World Rookie Fest in the Czech Republic and came in a very impressive 2nd overall. Lesley Mckenna made a quick stop at the half pipe World Cup in Italy and laid down an impressive 4th place, the best result from a UK half pipe rider this season then rushed off to the US to film for her Roxy podcast and shoot for various magazines including SUK, Cooler and Huck, doing what she does best, riding the big mountain powder in a very snowy Jackson Hole.
The girls all met again at The Brits in Laax where team Roxy quickly got themselves noticed. Lesley Mckenna has won over 20 British Titles in all events over the years so the 3 A’s - Abi, Ashlee and Aimee - have a wealth of experience to count on. In what turned out to be a very fun and action filled week with lots of new snow to contend with, the girls racked up ten podium finishes between them. Aimee very nearly did a clean sweep in the junior girls age group taking first in the Boarder X, Halfpipe, Slopestyle and 2nd in the big air. Lesley took 3rd in the Ladies Boarder X and 2nd in the Halfpipe, while Abi took 3rd place in the youth category in all her events. A job well done by Team Roxy.
With the season almost at an end, Lesley, having heard of epic conditions back home, jetted back to get in some Scotland shred. She was met by powder, YES POWDER, filled slopes on Cairngorm and totally unbelievable conditions. The conditions were so good that Onboard Magazine decided they would join Lesley in Scotland for a week of very good riding and shooting, a first ever for Onboard.
Definitely a perfect end to a great season!