It’snowheaven – The English Rose – By Jess Softley

Being the first English ski and snowboard Championships, there were high expectations for this inaugural event to equal its Scottish counterparts.

However, with seasoned event organisers Snowsport England, no one need worry. With a set up designed to challenge slopestyle riders, and big boots to fill, over 90 athletes turned up to show off England’s pride and joy.

The proof of its success came flooding in, as some of this year’s GB Olympic hopefuls came to test their skills against Chill Factore’s indoor snow dome. Riders of all abilities in both disciplines came to showcase their skills, as spectators and parents of some of the young hopefuls, could watch on with pride from the balcony.

The snowboarders presented a high standard of ability, impressing the judges on both the rails, kickers and wall rides, hoping to gain that all important top podium position.

It was clear early on that the level of technicality was high between riders, with John Weatherly particularly catching the eye of not only the judges but also the spectators, as he pulled out a monster backside 360 gap over the two pipe stalls.

Matt McCormick also stood out as he stepped up the bar with a steezy front 7 off the big kicker. Close on the heels was Keiron Staton, who was determined to let no one stand in the way of his podium position.

The girls were definitely determined not to be over shadowed by their male counterparts.

The talented Isobel Jones and Brit winner Becky Menday showed off their versatility on the shotgun rail, securing their fate in the finals, with Isobel taking 1st place and Becky just sliding in behind with 2nd. Followed closely behind was Cerys Allen.

With such insane runs, 1st place went to John Weatherly, with Matt McCormick just missing out, taking 2nd place, and Keiron Staton taking a well earnt 3rd.

So did they English comp match its Scottish counterpart in this healthy competition, Och aye it did!

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