Catch all the latest from the GB Snowsport freestyle championships in Switzerland, updated daily.

The British freestyle ski and snowboard communities have upped sticks and moved out to Laax for the week, their unofficial home from home. The resort has long played host to the competition and provides the perfect playground for freestyle skiers and snowboarders, during and outside of competition. 

Find out more about Laax and its pioneering initiatives here

The Ski Club is proud to support the championships which have a reputation for nurturing up and coming talent and providing whole families of freestyle athletes with a chance to compete with a healthy side of fun. We can’t think of a better way to end the season…

Once again the Club is at the event and can report on the highlights from each day, on course but also with the latest antics off the slopes, of which there are many. Keep your peepers on this article with updates daily!

For more behinds the scenes of the championships head over to our Instagram channel where updates are posted as they happen.

Day 1 of Competition, Picture Ski Big Air and Snowboardcross, 2nd April

Competitors were met with some windy conditions in the P60 park, but the inclement weather did little to dampen the spirits of the Picture Ski Big Air and Snowboardcross competitors.

One competitor, in particular, had a certain glow about him, Olympic bronze medalist Billy Morgan today celebrated his 30th Birthday by reclaiming the national snowboardcross title he held back in 2017.

“It was pretty good fun – I had a great time,” said Morgan. “I was really disappointed I didn’t make it last year but I genuinely didn’t think I’d have what it takes to cut it this year. The final was pretty intense – I didn’t want to look back! I knew if I looked back I’d scrub a bit of speed of and be taken over so I had to stay 100% concentrated to the end. I could hear them coming up behind me and I got a little bit rumbled in the last corner, took a board to the shin but somehow managed to make it out alive and across the finish line.”

In the ladies’ event, Masie Hill retained her title from last year on a challenging course. “It was actually a great course, you needed a lot of skill to get over it – I really liked it,” said Hill. “I just pulled out of the gate and went fast! It’s always good, you never know who’s behind you so you just go as fast as you can.”

The up-and-comer admitted however that she only had eyes for her primary discipline saying “I’m really looking forward to slopestyle on the last day – that’s what I’m here for.”

New and household names featured strongly in some of the age competitions: young gun Mia Brookes took out the female under-12s posting the second fastest female time of the day, in any age group,

GB Park & Pipe programme manager Lesley McKenna won the ladies masters, while snowboarding legend Ed Leigh ended up on the men’s masters podium alongside GB Park & Pipe snowboard coach Jack Shackleton.

Next-door to the snowboard racing, the skiers were dropping hammers on the gargantuan big air kicker. Blessed with ideal conditions for qualifying and the heats, the weather closed in for the hotly anticipated super final.

Kirsty Muir battled the elements single handed as the only women in the field to be hitting the biggest kicker, although it was not to be. Muir could only manage a 360 and she lost out to Amy Clayton’s much cleaner and grabbed full rotation over the still  sizeable medium kicker. Kirsty had to settle for the silver and Lara Shaw picked up the bronze with a 720 to close out the podium.

“It’s my first overall championship win and I'm so stoked with it,” said Clayton. “I had a massive crash in Livigno a while back and to come back on the jumps is a massive thing for me. Conditions were good; got slightly windy for the finals, but I’m super happy I landed the backflip in qually and I landed everything I wanted to.”

As the skiers practiced before the superfinal, fan favourite and second-place qualifier Justin Taylor-Tipton bailed hard and ruled himself out of the rest of the contest – a blow after a thrilling qualification performance.

However, it was the number one seed Tom Greenway who was least affected by the gusty conditions, throwing a switch double 1260, wowing the crowds and the judges to take the win. Jasper Klein’s 1260 Japan may have earned him a silver medal, but it was his enormous double backflip that earned his place in the hearts of onlookers. Grabbing bronze was Harris Booth with another 12, this time with a safety grab.

Greenway is looking forward to the rest of the week and obviously happy to start of The BRITS with a win. “I was super happy with it, obviously the conditions weren't great, it was super windy today and everyone was being a bit cagey because of it,” he said. “I had an idea of something more to send, but I played it a bit safe.

“But it's my first overall British title and I'm pretty happy with that.”

Day 2 of Competition, Picture Snowboard Big Air and Skicross, 3rd April

With almost all weather outlooks forecasting high winds and cloudy conditions, there was always the chance the ski cross and snowboard big air competitors would face some adverse conditions. Unfortunately, those weather prophecies came true in Laax. Both titles were eventually determined by qualifying runs alone, with the weather causing the cancellation of the head to head knockout rounds.

On the ski cross course, it was a genuine young gun, 13-year-old Octavia Steiger who set the fastest qualifying time (57.77) which was enough to earn her top spot on the women’s podium. She edged Emily Keen (58.93) by just over a second while Imogen Smith (1:00.42) was third).

“The race was good, conditions were tough but I thought I handled them well and it was very fun,” said Steiger. “The course was fun; it was different to last year which was good. It was challenging; it was a bit slow given the conditions but it was good.”

British Junior World Championships representative, Nick Bingham fared best in the tough conditions, stamping serious authority over the rest of the field. The youngster posted a time of 53.67, almost three seconds faster than anyone else at the time. Tommy Dade (55.40) closed the margin by more than a second on the final run, but it wasn’t enough to take the top spot, with Patrick Young (57.55) a further two seconds back in third.

“I thought the course was really great,” said Bingham. “A great competition as always and such a good way to finish off the season. I’m delighted to be British champion. I took part in the Junior Worlds in Austria before this so it was just a great way to finish off the season.”

While it was hoped that the best of the UKs lengthy list of kicker loving snowboarders would find a break in the clouds to battle it out on Laax’s money booster, but mother nature proved to be a tease today. During practice, the clouds briefly retreated to allow riders to fine tune their tricks. Soon after, the cloud crept back up towards Crap Sogn Gion, returning with rising winds and sticky snow and forcing competition to grind to a halt after a single seeding run.

Conditions prevented riders from hitting the biggest kicker but where the amplitude was down, the style was up. It was de-ja-vu for Matt McCormick, who was pipped at the post by Billy Cockrell, after both lay down mute 720s with the latter deemed to stomp his trick cleaner by the tiniest of margins. Fraser Jamieson took the bronze medal with a cranked 720 Japan.

“I was happy with the win today, it was hard conditions and they weren’t the same as last years, so a very different comp,” said Cockrell, named by GB Park+Pipe coaches as their most improved rider of 2019. “Still a good one and great to shred with everyone.”

Dropping first was 12-year-old sensation Mia Brookes who stomped a huge backside 720, opening the contest in style and running away with the win for the second year in succession. Silver went to yesterday’s snowboardcross champ Maisie Hill, who’s towering frontside 540 wasn’t clean enough to overhaul Brookes. Bronze went to the 2018 slopestyle champ Cerys Allen, with all riders looking to add to their strong results later in the week in the slopestyle in Laax’s epic snowpark.

Brookes, who invested last year’s winnings in some new Lego, was asked what she would do with this prize: “Buy a car, a mark 1 VW Caddy! And I’m gonna fill the back with Star Wars Lego…” This author likes the sound of that very much, just a small five years until Mia can drive it though!

Having lost the title he had held for three years, BBC’s Ed Leigh was looking for redemption after his boardercross result yesterday. With a go big or go home mentality, he dropped into the Masters' category and showed that dads can still get rad with an enormous laid out backflip over the sizeable medium kicker. With wins for his wife Sian and daughter Suki in the women’s masters and under 16s respectively, and a silver for son Oscar, it will be the household to celebrate with in Laax tonight!

Day 3 of Competition, Cancelled, April 4th

Laax’s week of 4 seasons continued today and competitions were unable to run due to heavy snow and high winds. This has meant that unfortunately, the ski and snowboard halfpipe competitions will not run in 2019, with both ski and snowboard slopestyle running in tandem on Friday. It wasn’t all bad though, competitors were greeted with more than 30cm of fresh snow so there was still plenty of fun to be had on the mountain.

Day 4 of Competition, Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle, 5th April

After heavy snowfall the previous day, Britons woke from their slumbers praying for sunshine. After a beautifully chaotic pub quiz hosted by Ed Leigh the night before, it wasn't just the heads that were a little hazy. From the Laax base station, competitors could barely see a few hundred metres up the mountain and a repeat of the previous day seemed imminent. 

Mounting the cablecar, riders had their eyes eagerly glued to the windows, wishing for the clouds to clear as they gained altitude For the first three quarters of the cablecar ride, conditions did not seem to be ideal, but mercifully just before the bottom of the legendary halfpipe, the clouds broke. That meant that to the left competitors were able to see the entire slopestyle course basking in Swiss sunshine, and thanks to Laax’s incredible shaping crew, the overnight snow had been cleared from the snowpark and primed ready for a thrilling day of competition, and what a day it was!

The cancelation of the previous day’s competition had meant that ski and snowboard slopestyle competitions would have to run in tandem. Happy accident, silver lining, call it what you like, this circumstantial rescheduling that forced the two different disciplines to run simultaneously was a show to behold.  

“The weather was on our side today which was really rad. The course was amazing, Laax did an incredible job preparing all the snow, and it was an epic day!” said Matt McCormick, the winner of the Men’s snowboard event. The GB Park and Pipe athlete dropped in last on the day, laying out a backside double cork 1080 mute to cork and 720 truckdriver in the kickers, head and shoulders above the rest of the field. The remaining steps of the men’s podium was a family feud, as Waite brothers Harry and George battled it out. Seniority appeared to prevail as the older brother Harry took the silver ahead of George in third.

In the women’s contest Mia Brookes continued her dominance, lacing together a switch backside boardslide 270, cab 360, cab 540, backside 720 on her final run, and no one could get close when she landed it cleanly. Brooks beat last year’s champion Cerys Allen who settled for silver. The outgoing champion relinquished her crown despite attacking the biggest kicker on the mountain, but she wasn’t able to complete a run as technical or clean as Brookes. 14-year-old Amy Casswell took bronze to complete the podium.

The men’s ski competition was set to be one for the books with Tom Greenway and Chris McCormick earning two of the highest scores in qualifying, it was clear that the pair would be locking horns to fight for the top spot. 

McCormick’s best run featured a 270-on pretzel-270 off, nollie 3, cork 9 with Cuban grab and a switch 7 safety, however it would only be good enough for second place on the day. Greenway – who emulated McCormick’s 2018 performance by taking the big air-slopestyle double - threw switch tails 270-on 270 off followed by a hand drag 3, left double 12 safety and finished it off with a switch dub 9 safety to earn an unassailable 94-point score.

“It was so good to throw down the tricks I wanted to do against some hard competition,” said Greenway. “I crashed first run in finals so it was a lot of pressure in the second so I was happy to walk away with the win.”

The female skiers also had a ripper of a competition with eventual winner Amy Clayton saying “It was really fun actually, it was so smooth up there. The view from the top was amazing with the low cloud – it was great.” The 14-year-old produced a 98-point final run to take the win and marked herself as a star of the future, the double gold medallist is definitely one to watch for the future!

That's a wrap, see you next year!

The Ski Club is proud to support The BRITS, which would not be possible without the competition's highly supportive Partners: LAAX, Picture Organic Clothing, Swiss International Airlines, Swiss Travel System, Switerland Tourism and GB Snowsport.