Westbeach sees through the blizzards and gets results at The Brits, Tignes
Last week, the majority of the Westbeach UK team decamped from as far flung places as Colorado and Helsinki to descend on Tignes, France to take part in the new look British Champs. The Brits has made it’s way around the Alps, just finishing a long stint in Laax, Switzerland offering top notch parks and world class riding year on year. The weather may not have been on our side but the team came through and came back with a stack of results.
First up on the podium was Anna Vincenti. After spending a winter training and competing across the world, Anna took part in the all new Bangers & Cash Rail Jam that bragged £1,000 up for grabs. She stomped it home and took 2nd place overall in the Women’s. That wasn’t all for Anna, the ski slope style was lucky enough to take part on the only sunny day of the week and Anna got stuck in laying down some solid runs to earn her 2nd place overall.
She said: “My highlight of the week was probably doing my new trick, un-natural on, blind 2 out in the Bangers & Cash jam. I was pretty stoked that I was able to stomp it after spending a whole day in Colorado learning it. I was also pretty stoked that the day of the slope style was bluebird as it had been bad weather all week. Getting to see everyone in one place again was nice!”
Whilst the skiers Bangers & Cash competition was taking place, the Snowboarder Cross was charging on the adjacent boardercross course. Tomski Robinson, Jake Binnee and Cerys Matthews all took part, despite the bad visibility. Jake qualified through, but came a cropper on the tightest corner on the track, which left him in 5th place. Tomski managed to hold on and make it through to take a cool 2nd Kids Men. While Cerys Matthews held on through the harsh and icy conditions to claim 2nd in Kids Women.
Jake said: ‘This was my first ever Brits, and it’s a shame the weather wasn’t the best meaning the visibility was bad most days. Boardercross was my first comp and I qualified but on my final run I took two people out! The next day was the Bangers & Cash Rail Jam, which was really good. The set up was nice but the hike was a killer. Finally, on Wednesday, the sun came out and I went riding with team manager, Sue and Nuddsy. I had a really good time hitting parks and just riding we headed down that evening to the Whitelines Rail Jam. I was picked for the UK team by captain Andy Nudds and we ended up winning against Team France which was pretty cool. I enjoyed seeing mates that I don’t get to see often and on my last day I got to ride some powder.”
Day two of the Brits hosted the snowboard Bangers & Cash competition. The jam started on the top section of the course where eight men and four women were taken through – regardless of age, with the next session on the lower part of the course where the riders were once again whittled down until the final took place on the middle section. But this time with copious amounts of transfer options including a wall ride.
Tom, Sabrina Burnham, Jesse Smith and Andy Nudds all qualified through to the finals having to get creative and ballsy to be in with a chance of winning. Despite some of the guys uber-gapping the whole course to land on the down rail, Nuddsy took home the grand after his Nose Press on the box to 50/50 front 270 off the top of the wall ride and transfer to the down rail. Sabrina took home 3rd for the chicks and Tom and Jesse won 50 bucks for qualifying through and coming joint 4th.
Sabrina said: “My favourite event was the Bangers and Cash Rail Jam, the setup for the finals was really fun. I liked the fact that the two rails linked up, as I’ve been working on switch tricks a lot this year, so was really happy to get Cab Board Slide to Front Board. And also some regular tricks to Switch followed by a Switch Back Blunt on the down rail. I placed 3rd, so obviously was stoked on that too. I was really impressed with everybody’s riding in the slope style. On a day like that I don’t think any of us would have been in the park, let alone hitting a kicker! I’m glad I spun the bigger kicker in those conditions, and showed myself that it doesn’t have to be bluebird to push yourself.”
Waking up on Wednesday was a revelation. The sun was finally poking through and everyone was stoked! Wednesday was a ‘snowboard bad weather contingency day’, so this meant a little chill time for most of the team. Anna, however, had to throw down on the slope style course. Inbetween stopping by to catch Anna’s runs, we had a super fun day – boosting around the boardercross course, and hitting the smaller slopestyle with Andy Nudds, Jake Binnee and SuperRad‘s Lewis Sonvico. A super cool chiller with some of the team.
Andy said: “My highlight was the sunny day off shredding around. First proper sunny day of the season for me, so we had a lot of fun.”
Thursday saw a return to heavy snow… The snowboard slope style competition was nearly called off but they managed to shorten the course to the last kicker and rail section to allow everyone to have a surprisingly super fun but challenging session. Andy came 3rd overall, Tomski 3rd in Kids Mens and Cerys 1st for Kids Women. Murray Buchan rocked up during the day on Wednesday ready to ride the X Games pipe. Despite the powder in the bottom he still managed to get his run stomped and walk away with Gold overall, stoked!
The final day of the Brits saw a chiller day for the skiers and the Half Pipe for the snowboarders. Despite another gnarly weather day and a pipe full of powder, Cerys managed to take gold and Tom 2nd in the Kids categories.