In the early hours of Wednesday 25 February 2015, a team of 8 Brunel Snow Club members congregated upon a minibus behind the Hamilton Building and set off on a roughly one hour journey, albeit hindered by traffic, up the road to Milton Keynes, the final destination, the indoor snow slope at SNO!Zone, XScape! The reason; they were to compete for Brunel Snow Club, The Union of Brunel Students and Brunel, for the first time in 3 years, at the British Indoor Snowsports Championships 2015…the southern heats in particular. The day started early with the club captain attending a 08:30 info meeting, simultaneously collecting the teams numbered bibs and ski passes for the day. Following this a much needed team breakfast was had in preparation for the day’s proceedings.
First up in the competition itself was the racing, slalom and duel slalom events. Here; Jack Cole, Brendan Cogen, AJ Smith and Ed Morris were to compete in the individual ski slalom event. Slalom, which can be completed on both ski’s or board, is an event where you traverse down a slope whilst going through a series of gates or around markers which are designated by poles in the slope. It is one of the typical alpine events seen at the FIS World Championships or Winter Olympics. There got kitted out in their Brunel Snow Club gear and numbered bibs and headed out onto the slope. Despite it being the first attempt at competitive slalom for each of them, they all put on a good effort and show and whilst they were not successful in qualifying for the finals, the good thing, the important thing, is that they didn’t come last!
Due to the programme for the day, there was then a long wait for the much anticipated freestyle competition. To maintain their competitive spirit and “edge” the team decided to compete in another sport in the mean time…bowling! This was followed by a nutritious meal of chicken fried in eleven different herbs and spices. The time flew by and the freestyle competition approached.
Harry White and Charlotte Colman were set to compete in the Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Skiing events respectively, whilst Adam White would be competing in the Men’s Freestyle Snowboarding event. The layout of the course was such that there were 4 features or obstacles. The first involved both a rail and a corrugated tube in the snow, the second was a big kicker, the third; a choice of two rails, and the fourth; a sideways grind rail. It is up to the competitors to choose which features they hit and scoring, unlike in slalom which is done based on your time, here is done by a score being given for the feature attempted, its success, and whether you did it with good posture, flair and of course big air dude!!!! #niceairbruh
Having not competed in a freestyle event before this was the first time for all three of the Brunel team competing. Regardless, they all gave each feature a go during the practice period despite the numerous falls and faceplants. In the competition itself, all three attempted all features during both of their 2 attempts. Unfortunately, due to the competitive experience and skill of their opponents, the three were also unable to qualify for the finals!
Ultimately, the day proved to be a brilliant learning experience with it being the first experience of competitive snowsports for the entire team. They may not have qualified for the finals, but they went, the represented, and they came back in one piece! They are all looking forward to next year, when, now with a little experience, they can hopefully improve on this years result.
The final words on this competitive experience should go to thanking the Brunel Snow Club Captain, Matt Townley, for organizing the teams entry and participation in the event, and for being designated driver.
As always; that is not it! There are a few things to mention still!
Secondly; our next social is going to be an 80’s themed social. Yes that’s right! One of the best decades! We will be heading to the lovely location known as liquid! Watch our media feeds for more details on that.
Finally; keep Tuesday 19th May free on your diaries! For that day will bring you the original and best Brunel Annual End of Year Boat Party 2015, hosted by, as per usual, Brunel Snow Club! It is going to be an awesome night of boozing and cruising along the Thames, before joining up with the engineering and design boat party goers as we hit one of London’s main nightlife hotspots! Tickets are £15. Watch out for more details on our media feeds. In the words of Mr Chow, your words the next day will be; “We had a sick night!”.
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Brunel Snow Club Secretary,
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Aerospace Engineering Student