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Jay Hebblethwaite Blog End of Season 23'

Jay Hebblethwaite Blog End of Season 23'

Georgina Clark |

Before going out to the Austrian Alps for my final competition of the 2022/23 season I went to the UK Alps - Scotland! The British Championship, for the first time ever, was to be held at Cairngorm Mountain, Scotland. An amazing crew of people turned up to spectate, compete and organise the event. There were even Red Bull sponsor riders, Kirsty Muir and Paddy Graham getting involved in the event. 

The day of the slopestyle competition, in true Scottish style, the weather rolled in. We could not even see the first rail from the drop in point! Luckily, there was a gap in the weather for everyone to get their first runs in. After over an hour of waiting in the thick of the cloud for weather to clear up the announcement came over the microphone that run two was cancelled. The announcement must have been quite loud because the weather gods seemed to hear us as the weather cleared and was gorgeous for the rest of the day. I ended the day with getting third in the slopestyle.

My last competition of season was the Stubia Europa Cup Premium. In preparation, I put my university work on hold and planned three weeks training with a professional snowboard team in Austria. While out there, I worked hard on my skiing. Even with tough weather conditions, I still managed to work on my tricks and with different drills from my coach, I refined my technique. We had a make-shift gym at the house where we would train 5 times a week in – even after long days of skiing! There were deadlines on my final graded projects for university while I was training. This meant on rest days I had to work on my machine learning code all day. 

It was hard work, but it was well worth it. I leant so many new tricks while I was out there and when it came round for the competition, I felt prepared. Similar to the story of the Scottish weather, we had to wait several days for a storm to roll through before we finally got clear skies and no wind for the last day of competition. It was Big Air. I had my new trick – double misty 1080. The hour of practice went well. I landed my first run but with a slightly scruffy execution my score was docked and I needed to clean it up in run two. I was nervous in the start gate but I took a deep breath and dropped in. I landed my trick perfectly! It filled me with confidence that I could put a new trick down in competition only a week after learning it. Despite the judges not scoring it as well as I hoped, I was still happy to have done that trick. The next day I had to pack my equipment and head back to the UK and finish off my exams at university.Jay Hebblethwaite