Saturday I rode at the London Freeze Festival. I had to wake up at a not so reasonable time to get a train from my home in Kent to Clapham, London. When I arrived I got the chance catch up with friends and have a walk around the site before the public were allowed in which was cool.
After riding the setup in practice and getting some tricks down I knew it was going to be a good day. Everyone was riding extremely well and they were all in really happy, positive moods.
After a short relax and some food, the Battle of Britain got underway. The format for all of the competition stages were pretty tight with a 20 minute qualification and then a 20 minute final. This was exhausting. The level of riding was unreal. Everyone in the battle of Britain was riding to the standard of some of the international guys which just goes to show how although Britain don’t have mountains or snow we can keep up with the athletes from countries that do.
In the battle of Britain I managed to bag myself the first place and qualification through to the international competition alongside Josh Birch (2nd), Jamie Lawson (3rd) and Andy Collin (4th.) Josh was extremely consistent throughout the competition, landing big and bold tricks like his big transfer from the kicker to the Sure Deodorant Can feature. Jamie also killed it with his iconic nose butter two on pretzel two off.
I also want to give a special mention to Sam Brennan for doing my favourite trick of the day, fastplant 270 on switch out. Props!
As well as qualifying through to the international competition I also won one of the five ‘Sure’ best trick prizes. Which bagged me £100.
After the Battle of Britain we had a long wait until the start of the International competition. Most of this time was spent eating, trying to sleep and getting to chat with some of the international riders.
The International competition started in front of a massive crowd and the atmosphere was buzzing. The fact that I was competing against some of my idols in skiing was unreal. I have looked up to the likes of Sig Tviet, Kim Boberg, Juho Kilkki and LJ Strenio over the past years – admiring their style, love of life and riding, so to be competing against them felt absolutely mad!
During the qualification round in the International competition the standard of riding was crazily high! I didn’t expect to do very well against the huge line up of skiers so I put down the best tricks possible and hoped for the best. I then won another £100 for the Sure best trick award which made me feel even happier with how I was skiing.
I was totally stoked following that to find out that I had made the final 7 in the international competition, I was the only Brit through and the pressure was on!
In the final everyone killed it. Juho with a mad 540 switch up on the close out rail to Sure can feature and LJ sending a disaster 450 on to the kink. Not to forget Sammy Ortlieb, he was easily the most creative out there, especially when he used the scaffolding along the side of the set up as a feature.
Towards the end of a really intense final I went back up to the top to have one last run. While recovering from running up the stairs, James Webb (who was on the Mic and did a brilliant job of MC’ing) shouted “Come on Mikey lets see a trick!” and then got the entire audience to chant my name before I dropped in. With everyone yelling “Mikey! Mikey!” I decided to try the trick I had been attempting for a couple of runs earlier with no luck. But, I guess with the pressure of the huge crowd watching it helped me to land the blind swap front swap pretzel 270 out. Being the only Brit left in the final, the whole crowd erupted and I can easily say it was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.
I am over the moon with the final result of coming 4th overall. Congratulations to Juho for 1st, LJ for 2nd and Sammy for 3rd.
Thanks to all my sponsors for their continued support and to everyone who supported me at The Freeze with words of encouragement or loud cheers!
K2 Skis, Fulltilt, Planks, Bawbags, Orage, Adidas Eyewear, Ski Bartlett, Waterbird and Alpoholics you are all amazing!
Today, it was back to school and down to Earth with a bump as a 15 year old studying for his GCSEs – wish me luck!!