Last week Britain’s top freeskiers battled it out at the British Freeski Championships to win the coveted national title.
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The BRITS, is Europe’s leading winter festival and is host to the British Freeski Championships where up and coming British freeskiers showcase their talent and compete against Britain’s best, including members of the national GB Freeski Team who are vying for their spots to compete at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The first day of the British Freeski Championships, Monday 25th March, saw 44 skiers battle it out in the inaugural Bangers and Cash Rail Jam. This event was designed to compliment Great Britain’s geography – it’s lack of mountains and dependence on artificial and indoor ski centres – given that British riders are often recognised for their skill and style on rails as they take advantage of what ski centres across the United Kingdom have on offer.
In the girl’s event, GB Freeski Team athlete Katie Summerhayes set a high standard for the competition having just come off a fantastic season. This Olympic qualifying season saw Katie win World Cup Silver at Silvaplana, just missing the podium in 4th place at both the Freestyle World Championships and the prestigious invite-only Euro X Games earlier in the season and this young lady will go down in the record books as the first female to land a switch 1280 in competition. On the day, Development Squad skier Anna Vincenti gave Katie a run for her money taking 2nd, whilst Katie’s younger sister Molly Summerhayes finished in 3rd.
Katie said of her win: “I was really happy to get the gold today. The other girls are getting stronger so I had to be on good form.”
In the male competition, it was a close contest with the up and coming, 14-year old skier Chris McCormick taking 1st place, followed by Mike Rowlands and veteran Julian Ball.
In the absence of GB Freeski Team athletes competing in the slopestyle event, the field was open to up and coming talent who put on a great show. Julian Ball and Madi Rowlands threw down their best moves to fight off strong opposition and become slopestyle king and queen. In the men’s event, Michael Rowlands took 2nd place and Tom Coe came in 3rd. For the girls, Anna Vincenti came in 2nd and reigning British Slopestyle champion Chloe Hardy took 3rd place.
The final day of freeskiing at the British Championships saw skiers battle it out in the Tignes superpipe used the for European X Games the week before. Despite tough conditions, GB Freeski Team athletes stole the spotlight in the British Halfpipe Championships with Murray Buchan and Em Lonsdale both taking 1st place in their events. Fellow Team member, Peter Speight put down a strong performance but couldn’t outscore Buchan and claimed 2nd, whilst Rob Machon placed 3rd.
Buchan said of his victory: “I didn’t expect that much coming here straight from Spain and the World Cup. I was pretty tired and it’s been a long season so I’m really glad to win. I was wary of what Pete (Speight) might pull out of the bag so it was a tough competition and because I have been skiing with Pete all winter I knew what he was capable of so I was quite nervous to see what he had.”
Whilst veteran Lonsdale claimed victory, the ladies halfpipe Championships showcased the
thriving young British female ski talent, where Molly Summerhayes and Madi Rowlands took 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
All in all, a hugely successful week of freeskiing, showcasing some of Britain’s best at the British Freeski Championships.
Notes To Editors
A wholly owned subsidiary of British Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body, GB Freeski promotes participation in and the advancement of freeskiing in Great Britain and provides support to British athletes competing internationally in preparation for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and beyond. For more information about GB Freeski, its mission, values and structure, please see gbfreeski.com.
For More Information please contact:
Emma Fergusson, Press Officer M: +44 (0)7850 573 466