A fresh covering of snow and bluebird conditions greeted riders on the first day of The Brits Snow & Music Festival in Laax on Sunday.
The competition kicked off with the Dare 2b Halfpipe Championships. BRITS regular and Dare 2b rider James Machon scooped gold for the boys and BRITS newcomer Janina Kuzma exploded on to the scene taking the top spot for the girls.
The girls were up first and Emma Lonsdale hit the pipe hungry to defend her eight-time crown. Unfortunately for Emma she had some serious competition from BRITS newbie Janina Kuzma who impressed with her huge safety grab and 540 to start her winning run. She then threw down grab after grab with an alley oop critical, mute, tail and japan grab finishing with a right side 5.
Janina said, "I'm a Kiwi but I've got a British passport as my Dad is from Scotland, I'm competing on the Freeride World Tour - there were a few days free before Verbier so I thought I'd come and have a go, with the halfpipe being included in the Olympics I thought It would be a perfect warm up for the AFP World Champs."
The men's final was fiercely competitive with James Machon pulling out all the stops to defend his British title. He started with a huge flair tail grab, right side 9 tail grab followed by a left side 9 tail grab. In case there was any doubt he pulled off a stellar second run with a right side 7, switch 7 and huge flair to cement his number one spot.
James said, "I'm very happy to win again, Dare 2b have been really helpful and supportive this season and it's good to see them supporting the halfpipe event."
Watch highlights from the Dare 2b Halfpipe Championships 2012:
Yesterday, The Brits continued with the Trespass Snowboardcross Championships. GB coach James Foster tweaked Laax's first permanent snowboardcross course and the riders were eager to get stuck in. Head judge Andy Mills said: "We couldn't have asked for a better day, the weather and the snow were both perfect."
After an intense day of racing, the top riders could barely be separated, meaning tight finishes and carnage on the course, which made for a classic snowboardercross final. In the women's category, Maisie Potter from Wales came first in both her age group and overall. Maisie said, "I'm really happy. The course was really good and fast, the best one yet."
Next up were the men, which included the entire GB snowboardcross team, who have been training hard throughout the season. The hard work paid off and there was a clear sense of rivalry between the squad, who dominated the podium. It was Thomas Bankes who secured top spot above his teammates. Thomas said, "We had a great day. The course was amazing and a great improvement by the organisers. Riding with the guys in the finals was fun, to win here at the Brits is always good."
Watch highlights from the Trespass Snowboardcross Championships 2012:
The BRITS Snow & Music Festival runs March 18 to 25.