Woohoo! I am so happy right now, all my hard work and the lessons I had last week worked out and I placed first in the Masters Big Air at the Brits. It was perfect weather today, bright blue sky and nicely shaped kickers meant that things couldn’t really have been better. The delay to the competition start (the banners weren’t up in time) meant that I got a few warm-up laps on the triple set of Swatch kickers, this gave me a chance to get my legs warmed up and a few different grabs nailed. Of course my legs were already pretty warm as I’d had to run back to the flat to pick up my lift pass which I’d left behind when I swapped jackets.
Once the competition kickers were actually open I headed over and sized up where I thought I needed to drop in from. I set off, put in a mini-speed check and landed just past the knuckle, definitely more speed required. By the time the comp was due to start I’d had a further 2 practice runs and got my drop in point and speed sorted….bring it on!
By the time it was my turn to compete the nerves were starting to kick in a bit but I dropped in and went for it….up the kicker into the air, and a good solid Roast Beef grab, over the knuckle and down on to the landing, clean ride out. Definitely a good jump. I was the first of the two Masters to jump and I couldn’t see what Lynsey Ashdown had done off the kicker but unfortunately she fell on landing.
My second run I decided to go all out and go for the nose grab, this is pushing it for me, I’m really not keen on any grab that means I have to shift out of my nice, safe, centered stance. Unfortunately I didn’t quite reach my nose but I was pleased that I still managed to get some good air and landed cleanly. I was disappointed not to get the grab but more than pleased that this year I managed to get two clean jumps past the knuckle, cleanly ridden out. Lynsey slammed on her second jump too but until prize giving I wasn’t sure if I’d won or not as I wasn’t sure if a fallen spin would have scored higher than a clean straight air or not. Thankfully it did!
The one downer on the day has to be a major admin error that occurred at prize giving. Rebecca Cullum had been riding really well all day and had landed a really nice FS360 over the medium kicker. This has been a bit of a bogey jump for her since she knocked herself out cold and landed herself in hospital doing this trick, so I was really pleased that she not only landed it but made the final by qualifying in 5th place (6 went through). Unfortunately when it came to the prize giving for her age group they had missed her off the list somehow (she’d certainly placed 2nd if not 1st as both she & Sam Rogers had qualified for the final) and she didn’t get given a medal….as yet we don’t know if she placed 1st or 2nd in her group, or even if she should have made the overall top 3 as well. As you can imagine this was both a shock and an upset, no one likes to be missed off the prize winners list, especially when you want to show your sponsors how well you’ve ridden and what you’ve achieved. I really hope that this is made good tomorrow by having a new presentation with the right people on the podium, but whatever happens, not only has this upset Rebecca, but it will also upset the girl who was on the podium but unfortunately shouldn’t have been.
I really feel for Becca because I similar thing happened to me at Warmwell the year before last when I made the final and placed 4th overall behind 3 sponsored riders. I should have won the Best Unsponsored Female prize but it was given to someone else because they thought I’d won it already. When I pointed this out I was simply told I’d just have to win again another time! I really do hope that Becca gets better treatment and this gets fixed tomorrow because after her hard work she deserves her moment of glory!