The English Indoor Ski and Snowboard Cross Championships took place, on 29th July, with a new format for racing, which was welcomed by competitors and parents alike. Over 70 skiers and snowboarders took to the course at Snozone, Castleford where a round robin format was used to determine the semi-finalists. This meant the athletes raced more head to head heats than in previous years, giving them invaluable race experience against a range of different competitors.
Ski and Snowboard Cross is on the rise in the UK, and with a mixture of experience and youth on show, there were battles from first to last run. Some of the UK’s top riders were on show representing GBX, Cross Snowsports and Para Snowsport GB. There was also a strong contingent of riders from the successful sponsored rider programme from The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead.
The day kicked off with the snowboarders and after a quality training session on the challenging course, riders then began the round robin racing. Gillian Finnerty won 5 of her 6 races to win the overall ahead of Mae Hodgson and Fraya Williams. Over in the men’s race, the experienced Kyle Wise came through some tough races to take home his 5th English Snowboard Cross Title just ahead of Bradley Gaulter. Alex Kennedy finished in 3rd place.
After some course preparation, the skiers took to the track and with another high quality field, the action came thick and fast. As with the snowboarders, all the females were racing against each other making for 10 heats of racing. Grace Harrison was the stand out performer winning all her races to take the overall title ahead of Isobel Lincoln and Maisie Morgan. With a large turnout in both the men’s Open and U16 categories, there was some exciting racing and breathtaking moves in the expertly built course. Tommy Dade became overall English champion beating Nicholas Bingham in the final. A great start put Dade in the lead and he held his line to the finish to take the title. Joel Marsh rounded off the podium in 3rd place.
Ian Findlay, Talent Lead at Snowsport England added
“We were delighted that the new format went down well with the athletes. We wanted to give them more experience of head to head racing and that was achieved. Over 200 individual heats of racing took place and that require a great effort from the athletes, volunteers and Snozone who kept the course in great shape all day long. Thanks to Snozone, Castleford for their support in the build up and during the event.”
For more information and photos of the English Indoor Ski/Snowboard Cross Champs, visit the Ski & Snowboard Cross Facebook page: Facebook.com/EnglishSSBXChampionships