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Round up from LAAX

The British Freeski and Snowboard Championships took place in Laax, Switzerland, over the first week of April. There was a strong Scottish presence at the Brits this year, and a Snowsports Scotland Park+Pipe camp the week before meant the athletes had the chance to get warmed up and ready for the week of competition. Laax once again provided an excellent venue for the competition, with world-class facilities including a full-length Slopestyle course, a 200m Halfpipe and a great ski/boarder-cross course. The weather was variable leading up to the Brits, although largely remained sunny throughout the week of competitions. 

Day 1 was Freeski Big Air and Boardercross. Hollie Smith (16) took 1st in the female U16 race, with Glen Ironside (19) taking a very respectable 3rd in the Open event. The Masters event was well attended and contested, and Neil McNair managed an impressive 3rd place. Meanwhile in the Big Air competition (a single jump feature with 2 runs, 1 best trick score counting), Kirsty Muir (13) took the win managing to land her 1080 spin on the large jump, having only recently learned this trick. Olivia Burke (15) also made the podium with a 720. In the Men’s event, Chris McCormick (19) also took the Open title, with Cal Sandieson narrowly missing out joining Chris on the podium. 

The following day saw the disciplines switch courses. In the Ski-Cross event, Pam Thornburn took the Open Ladies win, with a young Tia McNair (9) winning the U12 event. Over on the Big Air jump, the snowboarder’s battled some strong winds but still managed to show a progressive competition from all age categories. Young Emily Rothney (9) attending her first Brits competition, claimed silver in the U12’s. Emily’s Dad, Craig Rothey, took the Masters title win! Roahan Duncan (10) also managed 2nd in the Male U12. Lewis Moore (14), was in a competitive field and made podium claiming the bronze in the U16’s. 

Day 3 saw Snowboard Slopestyle and the Ski Halfpipe competitions in slightly overcast/windy conditions. Again, this didn’t stop the riders all landing runs including their newest tricks. In the perfectly cut Halfpipe, Kirsty Muir again took 1st in Open Ladies. Kirsty had spent relatively little time in a Halfpipe but makes the most of opportunity to do so, showing big amplitude on her whole run through. Olivia Burke again made the podium with 3rd. Again, Olivia was learning quickly in a very short space of time! And Fiona Muir took top spot in the U12’s. In the Snowboard Slopestyle, the Bearsden Duo of Leon Drynan and Lewis Moore showed they are quickly taking their tricks from the dryslope to snow with a respective 2nd and 3rd in the U16’s event. Rosie Rothney (12) took Gold in the U12’s in her Brits debut, showcasing her new skills acquired this winter back home. In the Ladies U16’s, Lara Cabrera-Myram (14), who rides at Bearsden, took 2nd. Another new up-and-comer - Roahan Duncan (10) managed 2nd in his first Brits too. 

The final day of competition saw Laax at its best. Perfect bluebird conditions, with all the parks in brilliant shape, it was a great way to finish the week. Freeski Slopestyle started early and the level of competition was impressive. Harris Booth (19) has been managing to balance his skiing with university in Glasgow this year and took 3rd overall in the Open. Chris McCormick was able to put down one of his strongest slopestyle runs and took the title. The Masters event also saw Neil Burke and Rashid Abu-Rajab manage 1st and 2nd! The Open Ladies was a Scottish 1-2-3 with Kirsty Muir 1st, Olivia Burke 2nd and Fiona Muir 3rd (also winning the U12 event). The final event, Halfpipe, saw Lara Cabrera-Myram take 1st in the U16 women’s pipe and Fraser Jamieson (16) riding very well and claiming 2nd in the Under 16’s  despite picking up a wrist injury in practice. GB Park and Pipe Programme Manager Lesley McKenna also made a return to action, taking the 2nd in the Open event!

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