Last week, skiers impressed across the mountain at The BRITS.

Digital Editor Joe Troman headed to the Swiss resort of Laax to catch the action at this years National Ski and Snowboard Freestyle championships, or The BRITS.

The National Freestyle championships brought with it the sunshine and good times to Laax. Ski competition was consistently of a high standard wherever you looked, from Halfpipe to Skier X.

It’s difficult to put all of our standout competition moments, below are just a few of our favourite ski moments from the epic week in Laax. For full results head to The BRITS website.

Read our Snowboard highlights here.

Kirsty Muir dominates the competition

The future of British free-skiing is certainly bright, especially with this young lady at the forefront. Kirsty Muir took home the gold in not one, not two but three disciplines. Owning the BRITS top step in Ski Halfpipe, Slopestyle and the Picture Big Air in Laax.

Joe Troman
If there is an athlete at the BRITS that epitomised the phrase ‘age is just a number’ it was Kirsty Muir, on of the youngest athletes competing this week. At 13 the future star not only bagged three national titles in Laax, but she also returned to Blighty with full pockets after also winning the Ritblat Endeavour Award. Taking home a total of £1250 in prizemoney, the 13-year-old said “I’ll spend the prizemoney on my training.”

It’s difficult to see a limit to what this young athlete can achieve after her victories across the board. The up-and-comer would have attained the accolade last year had it not been for this epees Olympians sweeping in and securing the top spots.

In 2017, Muir was snapping at the heels of of two time Olympian Katie Summerhayes on the Picture Big Air podium, but this year she went one better standing tall on the top step, despite her small frame. Kirsty was last week crowned national champion, pulling a 1080 with safety propelled by the largest kicker. But despite her winning streak, the Scot still felt the pressure “Everyone was doing amazing! Everyone was awesome!”

In the slopestyle the youngster showed maturity beyond her years, saying after her slopestyle victory “In my second final run I did a switch 900 safety. I didn’t hit the pro-line today; just stuck to the medium and got my tricks.” Stamping her dominance on the competition Muir also threw a right seven on her way to the gold.

"I haven’t been in the pipe this season apart from the last one or two days,” said Muir, allowing one to assume that she would not be leading the charge in the Laax’s superpipe. “I did both way 5s, an alley-oop 5 and I managed my switch 7 as well. I haven’t done it before – I only did it in the final run.” 

Pulling out all of the stops in the pipe paid dividends as the athlete took home the gold, despite being pushed hard by two slightly older athletes, Connie Brogden and Olivia Burke who stuck a huge flatspin 540 Japan and 720 safety respectively.
Joe Troman

Xander pinches Pete’s pipe crown

Whilst the Halfpipe was hotly contested as it is every year, for the second year running, the men’s open category was a two horse race. On day 3 of competition at The BRITS, it was a repeat of the 2017 final in the pipe, with the same two riders going toe to toe for the top podium spot. Two Olympians, Peter Speight and Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon dominated the field, fresh back from their Olympic debuts.

Both riders battled it our at the top with Pete, A.K.A. ‘Pedro’, edging his nose ahead in qualifying to head in to the final slightly ahead of Alexander, or Xander. In a bid to go one better than 2017’s second place finish, Xander knew he had to switch his run up heading in to the final.

Seeing two young Olympians going blow for blow one after the other in the world’s largest superpipe was a sight to behold. Two contrasting styles collided, with Xander sending it to the moon and scoring well for his flair and amplitude whilst Pedro impressed with a trademark clinical run landing clean, technical manoeuvres from top to bottom. Although Mr Speight landed back-to-back 9s, switch left 7s and entertaining flat spin 5s, a third consecutive national title was not meant to be.

This year in Laax, the judges rewarded style and creativity meaning that it was Xander. At the podium the two team-mates and friends hugged and congratulated one another. The TeamGB riders shared the podium with rising star Sam Ward who stuck a double in his run on his way to bagging another podium spot after his big air bronze.

“All the boys absolutely smashed it,” said Glavatsky-Yeadon. “I was really nervous - I thought that Pete was going to three-peat but I managed to just loop myself up and slip in there. Laax always supplies the goods; the best park and pipe in the world so obviously we had that to work with. It was great, the level of riding was superb.”

As well as owning the podium, Xander also Brough his own comedic flair to the commentary booth at the ski big air. Cracking jokes and informing spectators with the occasional cameo from mr Speight.

McCormick secures the double

The mens competitions were ferociously competed over as always. Aerial dogfights were commonplace in the Picture Big Air and the Slopestyle course was set alight by riders under blue Laax skies. Through the competition though there was one light that shone through a tight field, Chris Mccormick.

Joe Troman

The youngster utilised experiences gained during a season of international competition to return home with two gold medals. This season has seen McCormick place in his first ever World Cup competitions as well as bag a couple of impressive top 10s at Europa Cup Events.

First came the 19 year olds victory at the Picture Big Air, where he performed a clean double cork 1260 with a true tail grab. For those not familiar with freestyle ling, this is 3.5 rotations where the head dips below the feet twice whilst grabbing the very end of the back of the ski, and as if that wasn’t mind boggling enough Chris had to land backwards. 

The standard needed to take home the national title demonstrates the health of the sport in Great Britain, and in particular the effectiveness of the GB Park and Pipe Pathway programme. Chris was pushed hard for the win by Justin Taylor-Tipton and Sam Ward, who both threw doubles over the biggest kicker the Laax park had to offer.

Not content with just the one title, Chris flew out of the Slopestyle gate with real intent, and with more favourable conditions for the Slopestyle than during the Picture Big Air, the stage was set for quite the show. Stomping a super technical 270-on pretzel 270-out on the rail section, McCormick also stuck a mammoth right 1260 double blunt in the jumps, spinning his unnatural direction.

“Slope course was perfect today – three good jumps and a rail… what more could a boy ask for?!,” said McCormick. “There were many good skiers in the competition today, but I’m glad to take the title.”

Sam Ward took home the silver in a bitter-sweet week where he secured three medals, but none of them gold, a fantastic performance and we are sure he will duo one better in years to come. Harris Boothe took home the bronze with a smooth and stylish run.

Pam Thorburn taking the young guns back to school

Despite being eligible to race in the masters category, Pam Thorburn wasn’t going to let the young guns get the better of her. Forgoing almost certain victory in the masters, the World Cup racer chose to make a bid to regain the national title.

Pam coaches Ski Cross at The Cross Collective, and had a flock of budding racers in tow in Laax. After her seeding run in qualifying she expressed her joy that she had beaten all of her students in the time trial. The padawans all failed to match their teachers time, even despite their coach nursing a couple of fairly serious injuries she still managed to post the fastest time of the day by over a second.

“My shoulder is so wrecked, I’ve also got a couple of broken fingers I’ve got to sort out which is why I haven’t raced since January. Getting my body right is my only focus right now, but we got a bunch of podiums with some of the younger skiers as well, so I guess there’ll be some celebrating tonight.”

She added “it’s a lot of stress coaching and competing, but I thought, ‘I’m here, I might as well do it’” and it sure seemed to pay off for the former alpine skier who made the switch to Ski Cross in 2012.

The men’s event saw a new BRITS champion, with Jonathan Bingham fast in qualification and clinical in the final to stand atop the podium, with Seb Ison in second and Pete Speight stood on the third step wielding a pair of pipe skis.

The Ski Club of Great Britain are proud to support The BRITS, who are also supported by Picture Organic Clothing, Laax and SWISS.