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BIG AIR AT THE BRITS - Jane Peel, Laax, Switzerland
Thursday April 6, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It was all about going big on day three at The British Snowboard and Freeski Championships as the big names of GB freestyle triumphed in the big halfpipe and over the big kicker. PlanetSKI was slopeside. NEW

Britain's best halfpipe skiers were out in force as a break in the cloudy weather allowed the contest to go ahead in the biggest permanent halfpipe in the world.

And over on the Slopestyle course, the snowboarders were launching themselves off the world-class kicker as Big Air returned to The Brits for the first time in four years.

It was a chance to see what some of the GB Park & Pipe Squad have to offer ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics next year when Snowboard Big Air will make its debut.

Aimee Fuller earned her second gold of the Championships, adding Big Air to the Slopestyle title she won on Monday.

Aimee FullerAimee Fuller
















Fuller was joined on the podium by 16-year-old Cerys Allen who won silver,  Fiona Reid who took the bronze, and a very young pretender to Fuller's throne, the daughter of GB Park & Pipe's Team Manager, Lesley McKenna.

Snowboard Big Air podium The Brits 2017Big Air podium with little gatecrasher
















The men's contest was a close battle between the new British Slopestyle Champion and bronze medallist in the Snowboard Cross,  Matt McCormick, and his GB Park & Pipe teammate, Henry Shackleton, with Shackleton coming out on top.


Henry Shackleton - photo Motionstoppers.comHenry Shackleton - photo
















17-year-old Ciaran Tucker finished third overall and took the under-18 title.

Once again, there were some spectacular performances by the youngest competititors.

10-year-old Charlie Lane picked up his third British title of the week, winning the under-12 category of the Big Air to go with the gold medals he already has for Slopestyle and Snowboard Cross.

Charlie LaneCharlie Lane, aged 10
















If you think Charlie Lane looks tiny in the photo above, that is nothing to compared to seeing the young guns in the halfpipe.

The pipe is almost 7 metres high and 200 metres long.

Laax HalfpipeLaax Halfpipe
















It was the skiers' turn to tackle the halfpipe on Thursday and one of the world's best in the discipline, Rowan Cheshire, took the Overall Women's title.

Rowan Cheshire Rowan Cheshire - photo Bluebird Photography















Cheshire finished ahead of Molly Summerhayes and 12-year-old Kirsty Muir, another mini-shredder who is no stranger to the podium.

Muir was also the overwhelming winner of the under-16 girls' title, bringing her medal tally this week to four, with the Ski Big Air still to come.

Kirsty Muir Kirsty Muir - photo Bluebird Photography




















Rowan Cheshire was delighted with her win.

"I am really over the moon to become British Champion," she said.

"It was a good day. I haven't been to the Brits for years, so it is great to be back. The atmosphere has been brilliant and everyone just loves it."

Ski Halfpipe podium, The Brits 2017Summerhayes, Cheshire and Muir
















In the men's competition, World  Cup regular Pete Speight retained his British title.

In second place was a new member of the main GB Park & Pipe Team, Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon, while 17-year-old Chris McCormick - younger brother of snowboarder Matt McCormick - was third.

McCormick is on GB Park & Pipe's Performance Pathway and a member of the National Academy, which is one stage below the GB team.   PlanetSKI will be featuring the role of the Academy and its athletes after The Brits has finished.

Ski halfpipe podium, The Brits 2017Glavatsky-Yeadon, Speight & McCormick
















Pete SpeightPete Speight in action - photo Bluebird Photography















Pete Speight said after his win: "I am really pleased to take the win. I am glad that we managed to get a weather window. I tried to put down some World Cup tricks to boost the competition, whilst at the same time staying relatively safe."

Friday is the final day of competition, with the snowboarders moving over to the halfpipe and skiers hitting the Big Air.

PlanetSKI will be there as the final British titles of 2017 are decided.

See below for our earlier reports on this week's competition

Day One - Brits Kick Off

Day Two - Drama At The Brits

Main photo:

The BRITS is supported by partners: LAAX, Picture Organic Clothing, Swiss International Airlines, Swiss Travel System, Switzerland Tourism and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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