Route One's Bangers & Cash Rail Jam @ The Brits
Sunshine and blue skies greeted the riders of the British Snowboard Champs today in the first competition of the week, the Route One Bangers & Cash Rail Jam.
The comp is named as riders are rewarded for throwing down banger tricks, with pure cash money, cold hard euros straight in their pockets. Most of which is now in the tills of several bars around town.
The rail jam is now in its third year as part of the weeklong event that is based in the mountain resort of Tignes in the French Alps, and for 2015 was picked up by Route One as head sponsor.
The Tignes park crew did an incredible job building a fresh new course for the comp, a course that included many features taken from the X-Games courses that have previously graced these slopes.
MC James Thorne was our host with the most for the day, amping up the crowd and riders with an eclectic mix of music that included Turbonegro, Katy Perry, German Umpah Music and about a dozen TV theme tunes in an impromptu pop quiz. But as bazaar as it all might sound it only added to the relaxed atmosphere you need at a comp like this, after all it is a jam format, and anything goes.
The comp kicked off early with riders picking up on the various lines the course had to offer and taking advantage of the opportunity to put their own spin on how to ride it. The setup included rail to rail transfers, double box kinked sections, a huge rocket rail sending riders sky ward and a rail to wall rider transfer that Jon Weatherly took full advantage of.
Early standout riding came from Jamie Trinder with his 50-50 Rodeo’s out of the rocket rail and Matt McCormick’s Cab 270-in-270-out of the gap to down rail. But it was the little shredders such as Scott Walsh, at only 12 years old that put us all to shame. The kid was throwing tech tricks that most of us didn’t even know existed when we were 12.
As the comp progressed through its 2hr Jam Session the riders threw down everything they had to get the attention for the judges and gain a place in the 18 person final. A total of 6 women, and 12 men had the opportunity to go through and as the session came to an end everyone was pulling out all the stops for their place in the final and a chance at getting their hands on the cash.
In the last 30minutes Route One rider and Winter Olympian Billy Morgan stepped into to help throw out prizes for the guys and girls who were pushing it and landing the best tricks. Everything from beanies and wax to hoodies, raglans and coach jackets were thrown out to those that were killing it.
As the jam session came to an end the riders had a short break for lunch and the Tignes Park Crew had a chance to reshape and groom the slopes for the final.
The atmosphere could not have been bettered, the sun had been beating down for a few hours, everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves and the riders were up for it. As the final kicked off it was obvious it was going to be a hard job for the judges.
The women’s category was tight, as Ella Fry-Taylor, Amelia Fisher and Gillian Finnerty threw down everything they had. Amelia and Gillian came close with Switch Boardslides and gap rail transfers that would make most men wince, but it was Ella who took the win with consistency through both technical and ballsy riding. The senior men category was the most hotly contested of the day with the likes of Lewis Sonvico, Jon Weatherly, Jamie Trinder, Henry Shackleton, Matt McCormick all baying for blood, pushing each other to go bigger and more tech than each other. Trinder stomped a Rodeo 720 out of the rocket rail after several attempts, Jon Weatherly was generally ruling everything and Lewis Sonvico was like a man possessed, throwing down the biggest gaps, the sickest transfers and the freshest lines that nobody had even thought of.
In the end it came down to the last throws of the competition as the judges watched Lewis, Jamie and Jon all push the park to its limit. Jon had perfect lines on lock through both sections of the course, Jamie was throwing Front-Flips in rail transfers, but it was Lewis who took the win. His combination of tech riding, big transfers (the biggest of the day) and style took him to a well-deserved first place. One of his final runs even included a Rodeo Gap transfer from the kicker of one rail to the landing of another, floating effortlessly over 12metres upside down and back to front. Narrowly missing a stray child and making the entire crowd gasp in amazement.
Stoked. Such a good day. Good riders, good weather, and amazing shredding at the Route One Bangers & Cash 2015. What more could you ask for?
Photos courtesy of Whitelines Magazine