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This year's Relentless Freeze Festival looked like it was ready to step up the UK's premier winter sports festival a notch and Friday's British themed day proved to be a great warm up to a superb weekend.
The main event of the day was the Battle of Britain competition on the huge ski-jump-esque set up. The crowd were treated to a great spectacle with the best of British taking part. Jenny Jones, Gary Greenshields, Jamie Nicholls and Andy Nudds were all throwing it down, and though it is only early in the season the UK riders were really pushing the limit of the jump. Due to warm weather the run in was a little slower than expected, though that didn't stop the guys throwing down some serious tricks.
With Olympian Dom Harington and X-Games winner Jenny Jones not making the final it looked like current Brits champion Jamie Nicholls would be among the favourites. His double-corked 1080 got the crowd going, though due to the hand drag on the landing he only made third place. Scott Penmann had joked with the competitions MC's, Tim Warwood & Christian Stevenson, earlier in the day that his only trick was the double front flip, which he styled out to claim second place. With the lack of speed making the double cork almost impossible Billy Morgan finished the afternoon with a perfectly executed double back flip, gaining both a huge cheer from the crowd and bagging him first place.
Once the snowboarding had taken place there was an hour or so to go until the premier of Jeremy Jones new film Deeper and the Battle of Britain ski competition. With 20,000 people expected over the weekend this was the biggest Freeze Festival yet and with Relentless on board the entertainment had stepped up a gear.
Over by the For Boarder By Boarders stand they had set up a small mini-ramp, and to the backdrop of some beatboxing in the Desperados tent, we were treated to a mini skate demo with Vans snowboarder Chris Chatt showing off his skills on four wheels. There was also a bike demonstration from a couple of guys in the Relentless team including a 1.2m bunny hop and a variety of super-mans, tail whips and back flips all on show.
Battle of Britain Snowboard
Battle of Britain Ski
Friday was an absolutely awesome experience, and though some of the biggest names in freestyle skiing, snowboarding and music were to follow it will take some beating.
Photo's © Paul Anthony Easton
With two weeks to go until the first festival of the season kicks off I thought I'd take a look at this year's Relentless Freeze Festival, based at one of London's famous landmarks, Battersea Power Station.
What better way to kick off the festivals than a huge kicker, followed by a great party on the shores of the river Thames. The Relentless Freeze Festival will be hosting the likes of Torstein (and hopefully another triple), current TTR champion Peetu Piiroinen and four-time X-Games Gold medallist skier Simon Dumont, to name a few. The evening entertainment also rivals that of any summer festival with the likes of Roni Size, Mark Ronson and Pendulum headlining and up and coming acts such as Jettblack, Bedouin Soundclash and The Nextmen.
An eventful 2010/11 season that saw double-corks taking precedent in competitions, Shaun White wining Gold at the Olympics, Bristol born Jenny Jones getting her third winter X-Games Gold and Torstein Horgmo's landing the quite ridiculous first triple-cork on film. Surely this can only mean another banging winter in on its way.
Along with a whole host world class athletes competing over the weekend Friday will again showcase the best of British, with the aptly named Battle of Britain. Competitors include Brits winners Gary Greenshields and Jamie Nicholls - who clocked up a top ten finish in August's Burton NZ Open. The British riding is always entertaining as it bring's together a crowd usually seen competing at The Dawn of the Shred and The Brits through to the indoor scene. Jamie has to be this year's favourite, but it will still be an entertaining afternoon finding out!
Friday is also the UK Premier and the final stop of the European Tour what is arguably the year's biggest snowboard film 'Deeper'. The film will be premiering on Friday night after the Battle of Britain competition and will then be screened throughout the rest of the weekend. Deeper follows one of snowboarding's all time greats, Jeremy Jones, on a mission to access the world's wildest terrain including friends Xavier De AL Rue, Travis Rice and Jonaven Moore.
The film, sponsored by O'Neill, has been in the making for the past two years and is set to take back country riding to a new level. The producers Teton Gravity Research have already premiered the world's first 3D snowboard film earlier this autumn, which went down a storm, and Deeper is set to be even bigger. The last time a film of this magnitude was released was Travis Rice's project 'That's it, That's all' and Jeremy Jones passion for free-riding will surely take this to the next level.
With 16 days until these two great events, I can't wait. I'm sure there will be plenty for me to write about after the show. Whether it's the snowboarding, skiing, music or the chance to meet Jeremy Jones the Freeze weekend is set to be a hit. See you there...
The winter is now well and truly over for most of us. If you're not fortunate enough to have planned some summer skiing to the Southern Hemisphere the next six months will be all about next winter. Where to go, who to go with, and how many times can I get my snow fix in during to 2010/2011. Some of us addicted to waste deep powder, others prefer spending their days inverted in the half pipe and some people are all about the apres ski and party scene.
To aid my fellow snow addicts through another British summer I will be pre-viewing and updating information on the big events, festivals and parties to hit the slopes next winter.
For now I have compiled a list of what we can expect this winter with dates, line-ups and news to follow.
To kick off the winter the London Freeze has been announced for the weekend of the 29th-31st October 2010. The Freeze will play host to both FIS Ski and Snowboard competitions where big names such as Stefan Gimpl and Danny Kass have competed recently and line ups that have included Cypress Hill and Eagle's of Death Metal.
The early season snow and parties usually starts at the Ischgl Opening Party. Last year the conditions were great and Katie Perry headlined the piste side stage.
New Year is a huge party across the Alps, Tignes has a huge stage by the Aeroski and Courchevel 1850 has a massive party by the Crozets. Every bar is packed and the atmosphere from Morzine to Meribel is rocking.
January offers up a few competitions where the skiing and riding will be awesome and the celebration parties, no doubt, will be big. Laax plays home to the Burton European Open, where Brit Jenny Jones has shown success the last couple of seasons. Aspen usually hosts the Winter X-games, one of the biggest competitions in snowsports, expect to see everyone from Shaun White and Tanner Hall to Torah Bright and Jenny Jones fighting for the podium. The party atmosphere is huge with flood-lit competitions, big crowds and DJ sets to keep you warm.
February, being the school holidays and peak holiday season, is a little more chilled. If you need an adrenaline rush though head to Innsbruck, Austria and the Bergisel Stadium for the Billabong Air & Style. This event is home to Dave Benedict's original double cork and Travis Rice's double rodeo. Expect large crowds following the huge dare-devil stunts in the snow filled stadium.
March is a major month for parties, festivals and competitions There is something here for everyone. You can check out everything from the Avoriaz Jazz Festival or Meribel's Altitude Festival to the hedonistic Snowbombing in Mayrhofen. For some serious freestyle skiing and boarding we are hoping to see a return of last years European X-Games held in Tignes as well the Burton US Open in Stratton Mountain, Vermont. There is also The Brits in Laax and BUSC (British Uni champs) in Alpe d'Huez for a more home from home vibe. The Big Snow Festival in Arinsal brings Ibiza to the slopes. For the seasonaires and locals there is the inter-resort competition held in Chamonix, Boss de Bosses.
Finally we head back to Ischgl for the Closing Party in May where you can expect another big name act, spring snow and champagne in every direction.
With all this and plenty more to be announced and confirmed, the slopes are not just for skiing. There are some world class parties and must be seen to be believed events to come this winter. So get yourself out there and enjoy everything the mountains have to offer. If we have missed out any festivals or events that are worth a mention tweet us the info for the next update.
Written by Stephen Adam
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