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Orange AIM Series - Best of British
Orange AIM Series bring UKís freestyle elite to the Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard Show.
Surprises as new Best of British Champions are crowned
The 2005 Orange AIM Series Best of British showdown at the Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Show on Friday the 14th October conjured many surprises after a very tight battle between the UKís top snowboarders and freestyle skiers.
The line-up for the afternoon qualifiers was a whoís who of British snowboarding and freestyle skiing. Taking on the snowboard battle were Gary Greenshields, Ryan Davis, James Thorne, Scott McMorris, Mike Austin, Sam Cullum, Danny Wheeler, Nate Kern, Josh Wolf, Nelson Pratt, Stu Edwards, Tyler Chorlton, Jamie Nicholls and the first ever lady Mollie Percival. Fighting the ski corner were Tom Last, Jamie Cameron, Andy Bennett, Paddy Graham, Mike Wakefield, Brad Scott, Andrew Colin, James Woods, Eddie Thelwell and Murray Buchan.
All riders and skiers had just two practice runs and two judged runs, from which the best score counts, in both the qualifiers and the final. The top three scores in the final then went head to head in a one run super final. Considering the restrictions of an indoor jump with a much narrower, dicier run-in and landing area, the standard of riding was incredibly impressive. Going as fast and high as they possibly could in the quest to win the title, the watchful crowds witnessed a fine display including 5ís, 7ís, D-Spins and rodeos.
In the snowboard competition it was soon clear that the firm favourites, Orange Brits Big Air Champion Tyler Chorlton and Scott McMorris, Orange Brits Slopestyle Champion, were in for stiff competition from fellow contenders. Riding super well all day, Mike Austin definitely surprised with his strong backside rodeo 7ís, as did 12 year old Jamie Nicholls who stood out among all the other riders double his age! After the qualifiers Tyler took the lead as he stomped a corked backside 720 mute grab, closely followed by Mike who stomped his frontside rodeo 720. Following third was Ryan Davis with a cab 7 and Nate Kern, Sam Cullum, Scott McMorris, Danny Wheeler, Stu Edwards and Jamie Nicholls also went through to the eveningís final.
After a few hours rest the riders were back on top of the jump for the finals. Qualifying last into the final, Jamie Nicholls was on top form as he took revenge with a corked backside 7 to qualify third into the super final, equal with Mike Austinís backside 720. Scott, who won the title last year, retaliated from his qualifying runs with a cork backside 7 indy to secure second spot in the super final just after Tyler, who held on to his lead with a clean cork backside 7 Japan.
After a rapid fire display by all riders and skiers that did not make the super final, four snowboarders and three skiers lined up for their one run chance to win the Best of British title 2005. Scott, who went for a corked backside 7, lost points as he messed up his landing finishing fourth. Taking third place Jamie went for the competitions first 900 but fell upon landing, as did Tyler performing another corked backside 7 Japan. Taking the title was a stunned Mike Austin after his frontside rodeo 7, although with a slight hand drag.
The UK freestyle ski scene has had a progressive number of fresh blood come through in the last year, but in Olympiaís Grande Hall it was again a face-off between the UKís top four Mike Wakefield, Andy Bennett, Paddy Graham and young Murray Buchan. New on the UK scene, Brad Scott also showed he is one to watch out for with his big Misty 5ís and 7ís. The race was close between Andy and Mike as Andy qualified top into the final with a switch 5 mute just ahead of Mikeís Backflip 180 mute, subsequently followed by Paddy and Murray respectively. The following skiers also made the final cut, in order; Brad Scott / Andy Colin (equal) and Eddie Thelwell.
In the final, Mike took the lead after the first run with his D-Spin 7 mute/ nose, whilst Andy took highest score in the second run perfectly performing a 720 mute. Competition was just as close between Paddy and Murray, with Murray clinching third spot in the super final with his 720 Tail grab. With only one run to the title, all stops were pulled out in the super final. First up, Murray went for a 900, his trademark trick form earlier AIM Series events, but unfortunately crashed on landing. Mike followed with a high score for a Switch 7 Mute and tension grew as Andy dropped in. Landing a perfect D-Spin 7 Mute the judges weighed the competition on points and style before they awarded the title to Andy only points five ahead of Mike.
Both Mike Austin and Andy Bennett won themselves a trip for two to the Orange Brits next March 11 Ė 18th 2006 in Laax, Switzerland, which will be the next big snowboard / freestyle ski event to catch all the aforementioned riders in action. Holiday packages to this event starts from as little as £249 and bookings can be made online via www.orangebrits.com
Team Work Prevails At the JIB Crew Challenge
The Orange AIM Series Best Jib Crew Challenge showed team work was the key at the Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Show on Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th October.
Five snowboard and two freestyle ski crews battled it out on the 20m rail and 5m rollercoaster box over the five day competition. Handpicked through a nationwide search with five members in each crew, UKís hottest jibbers competed for one day each adding their scores together with the hopes of being the crew with the highest accumulated total. Challenged by the non snow surface but quickly to adapt riders were throwing down boardslides to 270ís out and frontside grinds with ease. The ski jib crews dominated the competition with consistency and team work the SSV Crew gained top spot leaving The Snoop Loop Crew only points behind. Chris Chatt, a member of the Ride Snowboard Team Crew achieved the highest individual score of the competition, but this was all about team effort and after high results were combined it was the ATV Crew who took the Best Snowboard Jib Crew title.
The Orange Aim Series would like to thank its highly supportive sponsors: Orange, Trespass, Vans, Animal, Thirtytwo, Eastpak, Etnies, Snowlife, Xscape, Salomon, Ride, K2, APO, Ortovox, Nixon, retail partners: TSA and Ellis Brigham and magazine partners Dark Summer, Origins, Snowboardclub.co.uk (that's us) and Natives.co.uk.
The Orange AIM Series - Best of British event page can be administered by dunx (Dunx), stu (Stu Brass), spencer (Spencer Claridge) and office (Office).
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