BUDS IS BACK BABY!
The British Unversity Dryslope Championships is definitely one of the most exciting weekends in the student snowsports calendar!
Hundreds of university students congregate on a swamp-like hill in Edinburgh to enjoy a weekend of skiing, snowboarding, and one or two shandies with a view. It’s a great way for different universities to make friends (and possibly rivalries) whilst watching some of the country’s best student athletes compete.
For some people, the weekend started on Thursday at the BUDS pre-party, but for the unlucky remaining few, it started around midnight when we began the dreary journey from Salford University to the Scottish capital. Luckily this was a great chance for most people to get some much needed rest ahead of the weekend. Arriving at Hillend, myself and our president Josh Porter rushed through the committee entrance to start setting up our camp for the weekend, while our spectators hopped rather unceremoniously off the bus and through the spectator entrance.
The morning started out at full speed, with the slopestyle ski qualifications happening on the left slope, and the ski slalom on the right. This was a great layout to the event, as the spectators were able to watch both disciplines straight away, kicking off the weekend with plenty of action. Salford Snow was lucky enough to have competitors in both these events, so I rallied together our team to maximise the support for the athletes. I can assure you though, trying to assemble 40 sleepy competitors is no easy task!
Our freestyle skier and fellow Line-S blogger, Josh Porter, sailed through to the semi finals (and finals) with 3 solid runs in qualifications, earning some serious steeze points on the rails.
The same cannot be said for myself.
I ended up missing my race start because I was too busy trying to sort out everyone else, which set a bad precedent for my run. Once I eventually slotted myself back into the race, I fell two gates from the end, and my weekend of competing was over. I have to give credit to everyone who competed in the slalom, as Hillend is a notoriously steep slope, and the course got the better of many racers.
Following the morning’s events, we made the most of Scottish-style hillside après. University snowsports really embraces the party side of competitions, and before you know it the slope may as well have been Folie Douce. Speakers, gazebos and sunglasses were a common theme, along with each team’s personal chant (which probably aren’t acceptable to be posted on the internet).
By late afternoon, the finals for the ski slopestyle and ski slalom were well underway, with Josh Porter placing 7th in freestyle and our racer Hannah Winkle placing 26th in the racing, an amazing result for Salford Snow. As a smaller University I have really tried to push competing this year, and we are thrilled to in the rankings with the best of the best. Bring on the Alpine Championships in March!
Keep an eye out for more BUDS diaries coming soon…