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Orange Brits 2006
The Brits return to Laax and Europe's premier freestyle arena. It's going to be another goody.
Thursday 16th March 2006
New European Record for James Thorne at Orange ‘Air Time’ Event
See our Orange Air Time page.
Last day of the Orange BRITS, skies were initially overcast, but as the radio crackles, and a voice permeates to inform that the skies above are clear where the course is, all are ready for some serious Freestyle Ski Halfpipe and Snowboard Slopestyle action.
SNOWBOARD – Slopestyle
This event is all about style, skill and tenacity. Rolling all of that into clean lines and landings on the downhill assault course, the competitors were faced with a choice of lines consisting of 8 – 15m size kickers, rails, boxes and an 8m wall ride. Jenny Jones was clearly out in front. After spinning 540’s with ease, both normal and switch off the biggest kickers, Jenny continued her technical run with a stylish tailslide to fakie over the flat box and a smooth 50:50 noseslide over the A-Frame box to check in first. In second, came Vikki Miller, whose strong riding has impressed this week and her Slopestyle appearance continued her notable form. She pulled off a cab 540, 50:50 to frontside 180 off the flat box and a really solid noseslide on the kinked box which the judges commented as top notch. She is a force to be reckoned with and has huge future potential on the British snowboarding scene. The only junior through to the Final was Laura Berry, proving her worth alongside the seniors as she firmly produced a frontside tailpress off the flat box and tamed the 8m wall ride Again, a future star internationally, having made big impressions as a British contingent and Orange BRITS regular.
In the men’s final Nate Kern, making his debut at this year’s event pocketed his second championship title of the week, after taking home first in the Big Air discipline yesterday. Proving better on the day, Nate executed a high class technical run of a switch backside 720, a switch 900 and gap to wall ride to finish. The photogenic Tyler Chorlton picked up second with a solid run consisting of a backside 900 and switch backside 720 over the jumps to gap the wall ride face. Slopestyle wizard and last years champ, Scott McMorris came in a close third after cleanly landing a switch 540, a huge backside 720 and a 270 rotation on and off the flat box. All in all, the top three made points distinction pretty hard for the judges and raised the bar further in favour of British snowboarding standards. Like Laura Berry, fellow youth Sam Cullum, did the junior category proud, only just missing to place fourth.
Wednesday 15th March 2006
The penultimate day of The Orange Brits went up another notch with yet more hardcore action and inevitably a few spills. The crowds rose to the bait of another huge day of competitions for the championships.
SNOWBOARD – Big Air
Day three and the Big Air Championships were on schedule. The morning blue skies began to cloud slightly after lunchtime, but nothing that would affect the expectancy for the snowboard Big Air final. The men’s competition saw Nate Kern pull off an astounding Cab 1080 – a full forwards triple rotation, which is a first in the Orange BRITS and an immense trick which nailed him first place, closely followed by an on-form Scott McMorris who rose to the skies with a textbook frontside 720 mute grab off the big 15m kicker. Providing class and style, Danny Wheeler executed a colossal backside 900 to snap up third place.
The women’s competition sorted the wheat from the grain with only Orange Team captain Jenny Jones attempting to go from the biggest kicker in the final. Charging the field, Jenny chose her line and performed a frontside 540 indy, putting her out in front. Posy Dixon joined Jenny, who were the only two to land cleanly away and packed a backside 360 from the 10m jump. Jo Chasteney also took a backside line with a 180 but slipped slightly on the landing, costing points and putting her in third place. There were multiple slams, a few winces and no doubt bruises but all in all, one of the most exciting events of the week.
Tuesday 14th March 2006
More sun than the sunshine state and day two did not disappoint. The day of the Snowboard Halfpipe meant that the big guns were out in force, Dan Wakeham and Lesley McKenna were ready, willing and able to put on a show. Competitor numbers were up again and an amped atmosphere continued.
SNOWBOARD – Halfpipe
Second day of the Championships and the much anticipated Snowboard Halfpipe aka “The Dan & Dom Show” pulled in the crowds and the competitors, no one wanted to call between the Olympian Dan Wakeham and last year’s Orange BRITS halfpipe champion Dom Harington, and so the fight for the 2006 title commenced. Dan Wakeham’s first hit in the pipe saw the highest rotation of the competition, then leading into the huge frontside 900 into a backside tail grab, frontside 720 and finished with a Haakon flip looked to have done enough to take first prize. But Dom Harington’s faultless technical run consisting of a frontside 720 into a Haakon flip followed by the biggest straight air of the competition was finished with a backside 540. The super stylish run had done enough to take the extra points and retain the title. Dan Wakeham finished second whilst the young Ben Kilner, 17, fought off strong competition to take third with a frontside 720 to cab frontside 720 in another big run.
When you hear from Olympic GB team members that this is one of the biggest pipes they have ever ridden, the expectations are set for some huge action. In the woman’s Snowboard Halfpipe tipped favourite, Lesley McKenna, showed true form to take the title and set the standard with a frontside 720 to cab 360 and huge method grab. Orange Team Captain Jenny Jones took second with a solid run including a frontside 360 and frontside 540. Yesterday’s Boardercross runner-up Vicki Miller, took another great third place with big frontside airs and a frontside 360.
Monday 13 March 2006
After 4 weeks of constant snow, the gods smiled, the sun blazed and The Orange British Snowboard and Freestyle Ski Championships 2006 got underway. As snowboarders, skiers, Olympic GB members and the media descended upon the stunning resort of Laax, Switzerland the atmosphere was high-spirited and contagious. A spectacular start for a spectacular event saw first day competitor entries up 40% from the previous year. Growing in size, stature and adrenaline highs, the Orange Brits is raising the bar and setting the standard.
SNOWBOARD - Boardercross
The Boardercross kicked off the snowboard competition with record numbers donning helmets to go head to head down a technical course of banked turns and jumps in heats of four. Last year’s top three made it into the final and after a close run, Tom Willmott, the New Zealand team coach who had set the pace for the whole competition throughout his heats, snatched the crown and glory from last year’s winner and GB World team member James Foster who came in Third. 2004 Boardercross Champion ‘Steve Trolland” kept his cool and came in a close second whilst James Thorne obviously couldn’t take the heat and had to strip down to thermals.
The women’s competition was possibly tenser. Into the final last year’s Boardercross champion Laura Berry was squeezed out, back into fourth place at the first corner. Bournemouth’s Sonia Shaw led the race and looked to have it in the bag until the final turn when the charged Laura Berry, who by this point had chased through the pack, managed to take the edge and the 2006 Boardercross title. That’s determination for you. Vicki Miller took third.
The Orange Brits 2006 event page can be administered by dunx (Dunx), stu (Stu Brass), spencer (Spencer Claridge) and office (Office).
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