GB Park & Pipe main team skier Murray Buchan has very kindly given us his insights to Round 1 of Championship Skiing. Thanks Murray – this is a fantastic round up of everything that went on in this years first round of matches:
“Another summer of CSS is underway and I could not be more excited. Hopefully I’ll be invited back by the Bearsden team, who knows? But if not, you can guarantee I’ll be on the edge of my seat following the contest as the rounds progress. Especially after last year which saw such a tightly fought competition, I can’t wait to see what this season has in store.
Bearsden V Tamworth
First up Bearsden versus Tamworth! This was a real chance for two very different teams to really give us a taste of what they had in store ahead of this year’s competition. With Tamworth being a Snowdome it was no surprise to see their A game on the rails. Tom Greenway set the tone with a strong rail hit followed by a great flare with a tail grab in the quarter pipe. Millie Wilkinson was also coming out with riding very strong rail riding – getting very technical with going both ways onto the down tube. Grom, Brad Fry is really one to keep an eye on. Spinning both on and off coupled with some right and left switch ups on the rail would’ve gotten him some really high marks in my mind. The standout trick of the Tamworth team in my opinion had to be Tom Smith’s switch backflip. Overall, a fantastic start but I think Tamworth have a lot more room for creativity and a chance to make some crazy rail features.
Bearsden came out swinging with the usual suspects throwing some big tricks straight off the bat. The inclusion of the Burke siblings (Olivia and Luke)in the line up is really quite promising for Bearsden. With Olivia comfortably spinning a 540 safety grab off the jump followed by another 540 in the quarter pipe. Luke came out with a huge switch 540 off the jump followed by a front 270 off the up tube. – no easy task! Last year’s MVP, Chris McCormick was as expected on top form with a strong and very creative jump trick – a one footed backflip. Harris Booth looks promising too, a very nice corked 360 off the jump and 630 out of the cannon rail all suggest that Bearsden are shaping up to be serious title contenders.
Aberdeen V Stoke
Next up another strong pair of strong teams. Both Aberdeen and Stoke showed big presence during last years league and both could’ve very easily snapped up the title. A year later it’s great to see that they’re both equally as strong. Another pair of siblings featured in the Aberdeen team. The Muir sisters are two potential stars of the future with Kirsty throwing a massive 720 off the jump and Fiona doing a cleanly executed 540 and a very nice switch 360. 900’s seem to be the jump trick of choice this year with Rob Wilkinson of Aberdeen and Justin Taylor-Tipton from Stoke both pulling one out the hat early doors. Both riders battled hard for this round with Rob spinning onto a down bar off the big jump of Aberdeen and Justin with some insane trickery on the blue gas tube at Stoke –making up for the Stoke’s lack of big rail features. Justin’s sister Ella also had a
big part to play in Stoke’s win with some big air off the jump and greasing the long blue rail. The stand out trick for me of the round had to of been Teddy Halket’s misty 720. It was a bit different from the usual probably gave Stoke a few extra points to ease them across the line.
Braehead V Hemel
Last but not least was Braehead versus Hemel. Coming off the back of a win at Bearsden’s Go Big or Go Home comp Chris Wadsworth was always going to be an
important rider for the Scottish snowdome. A well executed switch 900 mute grab coupled with some strong rail tricks set the standard high. Molly Fitzpatrick threw her name in the hat for the top rail rider title with left and right spins out of the rail. The youngest member of any of the CSS teams is showing a lot of promise for future rounds. Hitting the big jump, Deja Parker will be a strong contender for Micro Machines. Mark Donnelly however was my favorite due to his very relaxed style and creativity. Hemel’s Tom Saunders also decided to pull a 900 from his repertoire along with a 630 off the big tube. Youngster Lexi Rowlands following in her older siblings steps with some very strong rails with a switch on, switch up, front 270 out. Both Oscar Louth and Dean Harris are showing some really promising creative skiing. It ended up a draw so 1 point to each team. The outcome I think was fair and certainly makes for an exciting next few rounds.
After the first round the teams that are starting to edge ahead in my opinion are Stoke and Bearsden. Last years winners are a force to be reckoned with there is no denying that. Will they be able to do the double? You’ll have to wait and see….
Next up in Round 2, it is Stoke V Braehead, Bearsden V Hemel and Aberdeen V Tamworth.”