The first official day of the Brits and it was a scorcher. Weather wise it was like a boiling midsummer's day on the glacier– t-shirts, burnt faces, stripping off of thermals and general English 'it's too hot' moaning. Action wise, the week kicked off with the boarder-x, which, if filmed in black and white and put to comedy music, would look just like a Charlie Chaplin movie – slightly too fast and not quite in control, but with a huge dose of comedy.
With a gnarly hip halfway down that unstuck quite a few people, straight into a bend, and some hairy rollers (to gap or not to gap?), it's probably the funniest spectator discipline of the week, especially the master's: four Dad's (babies in pushchairs on the side of the course) all ex Brit's champs from back in the day, hooning it down the course, all desperate to beat each other (God help their kids at sports day!).
Soulsports' Stu Brass and Spencer Claridge had a go – although someone did point out that it was a bit like buying a book of raffle tickets for a raffle that you've organised – Stu took a nasty tumble after the first roller, chipping a tooth, but Spencer made it into the final, finishing fourth, just after James Stentiford who caught an edge, sorry, his coat on the start gate, penguin-ing it down the first slope. New dad and Ride TM, Matt Burt, dressed like Dennis the Menace, pipped '97 Brits champ Chris Moran to the finish line just before the last kicker.
In the women’s final, it was tight out of the start gates, making it hard to call who would take the lead first. All neck and neck, until the first banked turn, when Jo Chastney took the inside line to lead the pack, but with the other finalists, Lucy Passmore, Posy Dixon and Ivy Taylor, hot on her tail and ready to steal the lead at any opportunity. Despite their persistence, Jo’s solid riding kept her in the lead and won her the gold, with Posy coming in a close second, Lucy third and Ivy in fourth.
Both Posy and Jo are in the Cooler Jib Vid team in Tignes next week, so we're stoked they won!
Over on Laax's infamous super-pipe, the skiers were pulling off some incredibly stylie tricks – with Paddy Graham and his super steez steeling the show (check out that alliteration) with huge airs and a massive 900 to match his massive flouro pants.
The ladies, pushing the standard of women's freestyle, had a hair-splittingly close final, which was only determined in the end by height. Reigning champ Emma Lonsdale kept her title with a run that included a straight air safety on the first hit, an impressive alley-oop and a solid 360, all with huge height out of the coping of Laax’s monster pipe. Beanie Milne-Home, last year’s bronze medallist, was hot on Emma’s heels with a straight air tail grab, straight air safety and a couple of impressive alley oops with third place going to Shelley Jones who had been riding amazingly well all day and narrowly missed out from securing the second spot.