Heavy snowfall and limited visibility delayed the start of the second day of the seventh annual Burton New Zealand Open, but the riders and course crew overcame the challenging conditions with a full day of competition. It was no small task as over 70 men and 35 women from 16 countries were slated to take to Cardrona Alpine Resort’s newly sculpted slopestyle course, each vying for a highly coveted spot in Friday’s semifinal competition.
The men were first to drop into the 800m-long course featuring up and downrails, boxes, three kickers and a unique upstair feature to quarterpipe. Top scoring qualifier, Atsushi Ishikawa (JPN) kicked off his first place finishing run with a frontside boardslide sameways 270 out on the downrail, followed by a 50/50 180 out on the box, busting a big Cab 720 indy off the first kicker, followed by a switch backside 900 mute, into a backside 720 melon, followed by a 50/50 on the uprail, finishing with a backside 50/50 on the quarter pipe coping, to a 50/50 on the flatdown.
Following the men’s competition, a thick fog rolled in making things more difficult for the women as they were lined up and ready to go for their turn in the course. 35 women were to take two runs through the course, the best score counting, however Mother Nature had other plans and the women were only able to take their first run. Friday morning will see the continuation of today’s women’s slopestyle qualifications, followed by men’s and women’s semifinal and final competitions.
Those men and women advancing on to semifinals and finals will compete against riders like Torstein Horgmo (NOR), Chas Guldemond (USA), Antti Autti (FIN), Takaharu Nakai (JPN), Mitchell Brown (NZL), Danny Davis (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Tim Humphreys (USA) and Sebastien Toutant (CAN), Chanelle Sladics (USA), Cheryl Maas (NED), Jamie Anderson (USA), Lisa Wiik (NOR), Sarka Pancochova (CZE), Shelly Gotlieb (NZL), Silvia Mittermuller (GER), Sina Candrian (SUI) and Spencer O’Brien (CAN).
The NZ Open action continues tomorrow with men’s and women’s halfpipe qualifications. Cardrona Alpine Resort is the home to the only 22’ halfpipe in New Zealand, which is the same size pipe that will be featured at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Burton would like to thank Cardrona Alpine Resort, Go211.com, Speight’s Summit Golden Lager, Juice TV, The Edge FM, Anon Optics, High Cascade Snowboard Camp, Nature Valley, goodbars.co.nz, Joe’s Garage, SolRX, McKenna, Smirnoff Ice Double Black and Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour for their support of the New Zealand Open.
If you can’t make it to New Zealand, watch the semi-finals and finals live on Go211.com, where webcasts and highlights of the competitions will also be available for on-demand viewing once the event is over.
Slopestyle Qualifications Men
1 Atsushi Ishikawa JPN Flow
2 Sergey Tarasov RUS Burton
3 Christian Haller SUI Burton
4 Tore Holvik NOR Sweet
5 Arthur Longo FRA Volcom
6 Sage Kotsenburg USA Quiksilver
7 Eric Beauchemin USA DC
8 Gjermund Braaten NOR DC Shoe Co USA
9 Johann Baisamy FRA Billabong
10 Jye Kearney AUS Burton