TURNBULL AND BLUNDELL REIGN SUPREME IN THE PROTEST SLOPESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The BRITS Snow & Music Festival, 23rd - 30th March, Tignes, France
The Protest British Snowboard Slopestyle Championships went ahead despite the snowstorm that battered the Tignes snow park today. Sam Turnbull (22, Yorkshire) and Katie Blundell (28, Devon) both took home gold in a contest throwing up both super stylish and technical tricks which let the blizzard-hit crowd forget just how wet they were.
The original format of the slopestyle course was made up of four kickers and a rail section, but due to the horrendous visibility and snow conditions event organisers made the decision to move the contest to the bottom kicker with two rail sections below.
With snowboard slopestyle making its Olympic debut next year, all eyes were on today's event as spectators looked on at the talent that will be on show in Sochi. GB athletes riding the competition included Tomski Robinson (12, Manchester), Sam Turnbull and Jamie Trinder (18, Perth).
Turnbull rode to victory with an emphatic run, stomping a ridiculous backside 9, switching up on the first rail and riding 50-50 to front 3 out of the second rail. New kid on the block George Scott (17, Ashford), a fella spending the season in Mayrhofen picked up silver with a stylish backside 7 and the steeziest back nose of the day, landing halfway down the second down rail. In third place was Monday's Bangers & Cash event winner, Andy "The Captain" Nudds (25, Halifax) showing off an effortless frontside 7 and in a previous run slammed down an incredible front lip Danish.
Sam Turnbull entered the comp last minute, but was definitely stoked on his decision. "I didn't really expect to take the win. I turned up pretty late last night from Sierra Nevada where I was competing at the World Cup, entered the slopestyle and won it! I think going big got me the win. I overshot one of the jumps but stomped it and I think that might have won it for me."
Silver medallist from Tuesday's Bangers & Cash Rail Jam, Katie Blundell showed just how her jet-setting across the Atlantic has paid off, picking up first place. Katie rode the course faster than any other girl, stomped a back 3 and owned a back nose on the final down rail. Natalie Silkstone (16, Derby) impressed all day and came second with a backside 3, while Tignes local Kate Wood (29, Derby) jumped on the podium with the only girl's frontside 360 of the day.
Katie Blundell, coined the 'nicest person in British snowboarding' by MC Scott Penman, had this to say on her victory. "I'm really, really happy. I'm not sure what clinched it for me, but with the weather being so tricky it was just a matter of staying on my feet and landing things. The course was good though considering, with a really good rail section."
The riding was incredible, with plenty of other notable mentions. Ben King (36, Lincoln), riding in the Masters section stomped the biggest backside 1 of the day over the kicker, which had both MC's and the judges clapping their hands to his sheer awesomeness. Young Will Gilmore (10, Northampton) once again represented and showed a lot of promise for a kid half the age of most riders. Rich Jonas (30, Tignes) also returned from his hiatus and showed he's still got some skills in his old kit bag throwing down 5's on the kickers and typically rad rail skills.
British Protest Snowboard Slopestyle Championships Results
1st - Sam Turnbull 1st - Katie Blundell
2nd - George Scott 2nd - Natalie Silkstone
3rd - Andy Nudds 3rd - Kate Wood
FULL RESULTS HERE
Don't forget to check out the BRITS 2013 daily webcasts and picture galleries at www.the-brits.com, where you will be able to check out the Snowboard and Freeski action from the previous day's competition.
The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive sponsors: Title Sponsors: Protest, Dare2b and Trespass. Associate Sponsors: Skullcandy, iON & Penny Skateboards. Media Partners: Whitelines, Huck, Extreme Sports Channel, Downdays.eu, skiandsnowboard.co.uk, In The Snow, Snowboardclub.co.uk and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).