Snow Cross Video and Press Release

16 Mar

Ski and Boarder Cross – the event of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics returned to Scotland for a second time on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2011 with the Western Saab Challenge, Scottish Snowcross Championships dominating the slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre.

Organised by the highly regarded Aberdeen Snowsports Club and sponsored by Saab the event is the only one of its kind to be held in the United Kingdom.

100 competitors from all over the United Kingdom raced head to head in an adrenalin and action packed knockout race along a course consisting of man-made and natural rollers, jumps, kickers and banked turns, all at high speed.

The event took many days of preparation with Glenshee Ski Centre specially cutting the track and moving hundreds of tons of snow with two dedicated piste grooming machines. A dedicated organising team of 30 volunteer officials from Aberdeen Snowsports Club, supported by Snowsport Scotland and Ian Findlay, British Ski Cross Team Manager worked for 3 days to make the course safe and competitive. Specially commissioned starting gates, similar to those used at the Vancouver Olympics, were taken to Glenshee’s Meall Odhar slopes and erected by Maritime Scaffolding of Aberdeen, a firm that specialises in building such structures in harsh environments.

Fresh spring snow made the race conditions excellent, the sun shone and with no wind the course was fast and exciting. This resulted in spectacular conditions and the sun came out on the course for the finals.

Sponsored by Saab and supported by Salomon, Zaini Hats, Red Bull, Tierney Strachan and, of course, Glenshee Ski Centre, the atmosphere on the course was electric with Red Bull pumping out the tunes on their music truck.

Experience showed through as the men’s title of The Saab Challenge Scottish Skier Cross Champion was won by British Ski Cross Team member Ed Cozzi with his first ever visit to Scotland while Gordon Skiers Coach Louise Kochalski took the gold in the ladies category.

The Saab Challenge Scottish Boarder Cross Champion men’s title was won by Glasgow rider Tim McGregor who also recorded the fastest qualifying run with a time of 59.59 seconds. The ladies title was won by Anna Richardson.

Olympians Ben Kilner and Alain Baxter added to the event with their support to the riders.

Alain Baxter, “Last year’s Championships were a great addition to the Scottish and British snow sports scene and it is fantastic to see such a prestigious sport coming to the UK. It’s great that Saab have continued to support this new event. The standard of those competing was phenomenal and it was great to see all ages enjoying the race. ”

Alain Baxter and Ben Kilner with big smiles

Local rider and Olympic Snowboard Super-pipe finalist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Ben Kilner said: “I learned to ride at Glenshee and it was amazing to see so many young riders throwing down some excellent moves as the raced the course. Snowcross is a great event and I’m stoked that Aberdeen Snowsports Club brought this to Glenshee. I’m sure some of those we saw today will go on to greater things!”

Neil Miller of Western Saab commented: “Here at Saab, we’re really pleased to have been invited to sponsor such an exciting event. It was fantastic to work with Snowsport Scotland and Aberdeen Snowsports Club, and the Western Saab Challenge was a great way to show our innovation and represent our Scandinavian heritage.”

Iain Findlay, British Ski Cross Team Manager said, “It’s been great assisting Aberdeen Snowsports Club with this event. That a local club can put together and organise a race of such quality is superb, raises the profile of Boarder and Ski Cross in the country and provides a genuine pathway for those wanting to enter the sport.”

Neil Cameron, Chairman of Aberdeen Snowsports Club, commented: “We were delighted with the success of last year’s event and were thrilled to run it for a second year with the support of Saab and all our other supporters. I hope that everyone who took part had a great time and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”

For a full listing of results click here for ski and snowboard.

For more photos click here

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