With Wednesday a write off due to heavy snow, and much more falling through the night, BRITS competitors tentatively made their way through the clouds to the Crap Sogn Gion. For the majority of the lift’s climb it looked as if competition may be futile yet again, but as the gondola arrived at the Galaaxy top station, the clouds cleared revealing the most stunning inversion most had ever seen.
And it wasn’t only the weather had been overhauled overnight; the park shapers had managed the gargantuan task of clearing the thousands of tonnes of snow that laid across the park, and the best slopestyle course in the world was running perfectly.
A rail section, a side-hitable roller and two kickers tested the riders’ slopestyle skills and, in a first for BRITS competition, skiers and snowboarders rode together, giving the contest an incredible sense of community. Throwing down and taking the spoils were big air champ Mia Brookes, and GB Park+Pipe star Matt McCormick.
McCormick, who narrowly missed out on the big air title two days ago, came out swinging from the off and was clearly motivated go one better. His first run was the best run of qualifying and saw him cruise through to finals as the number one seed. He then stepped up the difficulty to lock down a huge score in the last run of the day, a backside double cork, 1080 mute to cork, to 720 truckdriver in the kickers was head and shoulders above the competition. The rest of the men’s podium was a family feud, as brothers Harry and George Waite battled it out. Seniority appeared to prevail as the older brother Harry took the silver ahead of George in third.
McCormick, obviously enjoying his success today said at prizegiving: “The weather was on our side today which was really rad. The course was amazing, Laax did an incredible job preparing all the snow, and it was an epic day!”
In the women’s contest Mia Brookes continued her dominance. In all disciplines, her short stature and tender age has had no bearing on her performance.
Speed, style and amplitude has been in abundance all week, and today was the icing on the cake. Switch backside boardslide 270, cab 360, cab 540, backside 720 was Mia’s final run, and no one could get close when she landed it cleanly.
Settling for silver was last year’s champion Cerys Allen. She attacked the biggest kicker on the mountain, but wasn’t able to complete a run as technical or clean as Brookes. Surprised to hear her name called, and obviously ecstatic to score her first overall podium spot, 14-year-old Amy Casswell took bronze.
Tom Greenway and Amy Clayton capped off perfect weeks in Laax by winning ski slopestyle gold at The BRITS.
The pair swept to big air glory in a weather-affected competition on Wednesday, and after the cancellation of halfpipe yesterday both were back in action and on top of the slopestyle podium.
In the ladies’ event, 14-year-old Amy Clayton produced a 98-point final run and marked herself as a star of the future on a course reduced due to the conditions.
“It was really fun actually,” said Clayton. “It was so smooth up there. The view from the top was amazing with the low cloud – it was great.
“I was slightly relieved when I found out it was only the top rail and two kickers, but nevertheless it was still fun.”
The men’s competition was always going to be the highlight with some of Britain’s best going head-to-head.
With Tom Greenway and Chris McCormick earning two of the highest scores in qualifying, it was clear that the pair would be locking horns to see who claimed the gold.
McCormick’s best run featured a 270-on pretzel-270 off, nollie 3, cork 9 with Cuban grab and a switch 7 safety, however it would only be good enough for second place on the day.
Greenway – who emulated McCormick’s 2018 performance by taking the big air-slopestyle double - threw switch tails 270-on 270 off followed by a hand drag 3, left double 12 safety and finished it off with a switch dub 9 safety to earn a commanding 94 point score and a safe margin of victory.
“It was so good to throw down the tricks I wanted to do against some hard competition,” said Greenway. “I crashed first run in finals so it was a lot of pressure in the second so I was happy to walk away with the win