05 April 2017


Action kicked off yesterday at the British Snowboard & Freeski Championships 2017 (BRITS) in Switzerland, with the skiers tackling the jumps and berms of the Laax Ski Cross course. With the level of competition probably the highest and tightest it has been at the BRITS, British Ski Cross racer Emma Peters defended her British title, and Ollie Davies, who moved from Alpine racing to Ski Cross last summer, took his first ever British Ski Cross title.

Skiers of all ages took to the LAAX course for their individual timed runs, ahead of the head to head semis and then finals. In the overall men’s category, the GBX Ski Cross team were in action ahead of the World Junior Championships in Valmalenco, Italy, where they will compete this Friday. With some speedy times being set in the qualification rounds there was clearly a big appetite to win, but with softening conditions and the World Junior Championships just days away, the athletes in the male Open category agreed that they would use the results from their timed runs to decide the winners. In the timed qualification rounds, it was Ollie Davies who had clocked the quickest time, finishing in 39.82 seconds, with his closest rival Laurence Willows clocking a time of 40.32. Just fractions of a second behind him was Under 18 rider Jonathan Bingham who took third in a time of 40.65.

Photo by Bluebird Photography.com

After transferring over from Alpine to Ski Cross less than a year ago, Davies was delighted with his title. He said after the win: “I didn’t think it was going to be easy this year as there is loads of good athletes, but it was great to take the title in my first year here at the BRITS. I was happy with my time in qualification and it was good fun. It was a shame we didn’t get to race head to head, but conditions weren’t great and we really didn’t want to risk anything with the World Juniors this week. It is always good to get a British title, so yes, I am pretty satisfied.”

In the overall ladies contest, there was some exciting racing, culminating in a closely contested final. After claiming the overall title with relative ease in 2016, British Ski Cross racer Emma Peters had to fight hard to reclaim her Brits title this year, fending off challenges Claire Winthrop who took second place, and her younger sister Zoe Winthrop who claimed the third and final podium place.

After retaining her BRITS in 2017, Emma Peters was in a jubilant mood: “It is amazing to reclaim my title, especially with the tricky snow conditions later in the day. I always enjoy coming to the Brits and it is great to see so many younger skiers coming through. Last year was way more chilled and straightforward, but this year I had to work for it! If you look at the top of the course, you can just see that there is a higher standard with loads of the athletes from the GBX programme and lots of other Ski Cross programmes. It’s great to see a high level here at the BRITS.”

Emma Peters | Photo by Bluebird Photography.com

The BRITS continues to cultivate up and coming talent, and this year was no different with many younger Ski Cross athletes battling it out to claim the British titles in their age groups. There was some impressive racing across the age groups, with some outstanding skiing from Octavia Steiger who took the win in the female Under 12 category and Under 16 athlete Nicholas Bingham who was impressive in both the qualification round and final. See the BRITS website for full results from all age groups.

British Skicross Championships Results

Men                                                                    Women

1st – Ollie Davies                                               1st – Emma Peters

2nd – Laurence Willows                                    2nd –  Claire Winthrop

3rd – Jonathan Bingham                                     3rd – Zoe Winthrop


Ski Cross Men & Women's Podiums | Photos by Bluebird Photography.com 


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The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive Partners: LAAX, Picture Organic Clothing, SWISS International Airlines, Switzerland Tourism and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).

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