The first day of The BRITS 2014 saw 65 skiers take to the slope under bright blue skies. Taking top spots for the second year running in Tignes, Ed Drake (28) and Emily Sarsfield (30) were crowned official champions in the Trespass British Skiercross. … 

With a record field taking to the slope and Mother Nature dishing out nothing but the good stuff, the atmosphere was electric around the formidable Tignes cross course. After each skier posted their fastest qualifying times, the elbows came out as they went head to head in some of the fiercest racing the competition had ever seen. From the juniors to the masters, fighting spirit is evident in the world of British Skiercross!

In the overall men’s category Alpine skier Ed Drake was dominant all day, and after clocking up the fastest time in qualification he smashed his way through the head to head races in near perfect fashion. Sam Gerrett (25) who qualified second fastest, was just short of Drake all day, but still put in a top drawer performance to convert his great qualifying pace into racing prowess as he claimed the second step of the podium. Grabbing the third available medal was BRITS newbie, and giant slayer Jed McNab (14). After moving up from the youth category to take on the big guns, the Chamonix based rider showed skills beyond his years and came from behind to take bronze in the final.

Amped on his second BRITS title, Drake commented: “It was such good fun; I had a really great day. I love that the sport is getting busier and busier. There’s so much talent to come in the next few years.”

The ladies side was equally as fierce, but it was Emily Sarsfield who kept a cool head in the warm conditions to lead the qualifying with a performance that would have seen her as third seed in the men’s contest. When it came down to the nitty gritty of racing, her experience really shone through as she swept up her second title in 2 years. Alongside her on the podium was the incredible teen duo of Emma Peters (16) and Andrea Seaton (15), who stepped up to the big leagues in impressive style to grab silver and bronze respectively. Honourable mention also goes to Pam Thorburn (26) who also gave the boys a run for their money in qualifying, clocking in just tenths slower than Sarsfield, but an unfortunate semi-final saw her miss out on the chance of a medal.

Sarsfield, delighted about her win said: “It was perfect weather and a perfect day. It’s so great to see everyone enjoying it. I’m an old timer but I loved seeing how many kids were involved, it’s so good for the grass roots of the sport”.

The British Championships continues to be a breeding ground for young British ski talent. This year saw strong numbers of entrants in the kids’ category for both girls and boys, with Diaco Abrishami (12), a recent convert from Giant Slalom and 11 year old Val Thorens local Elektra Brown both smashing the opposition to make it to the top of their respective podiums.

Trespass British Skiercross Championships Results

Men                                                                      Women

1st – Ed Drake                                                     1st – Emily Sarsfield

2nd –Sam Gerrett                                                2nd – Emma Peters

3rd –Jed McNab                                                   3rd – Andrea Seaton

Get yourself over to www.the-brits.com, where you will be able to find results and picture galleries of all the Snowboard and Freeski action, as well as highlights from across the festival.

The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive sponsors: Trespass & Monster Energy. Supporting Partners: Whitelines, Downdays.eu, Ski Club, Snowboardclub.co.uk, Funi and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).

Picture: Emily Sarsfield competing at the World Cup earlier this month. Credit Dan Smye-Rumsby