The 10th annual Burton European Open is gearing up to be one of the season’s most exciting snowboard events as many of the world’s best riders get ready to compete in Laax, Switzerland from January 9-16, 2009. The third Burton Global Open Series event of this season and a 6-Star Swatch TTR event, the BEO offers a prize purse of $125,000 and two new Volvo XC 60s for the male and female overall winners.
All invited riders are confirmed and all open spots have been filled. Around 300 riders from 24 different countries – from amateurs to rookies to pros – registered online for a spot in the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines. Riders from Europe, USA and Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even Israel are expected to join this year’s anniversary event.
All riders who make it through the qualification will have the chance to battle with the world’s top riders, among them last year’s Swatch TTR World Champion 07/08 and defending BEO Halfpipe Champion Kevin Pearce from the US. Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who just won the Nissan X-Trail Jam in Tokyo last weekend, is defending his BEO 08 Slopestyle title and will be going after the BEO Halfpipe crown this year. Last year’s BGOS Champion Peetu Piiroinen will be one of the hottest candidates for a podium spot in both Halfpipe and Slopestyle, especially after his 2nd place finish in the Big Air competition at last weekend’s Nissan X-Trail Jam. Shaun, Kevin and Peetu will be joined by an armada of former BEO winners including Keir Dillon/USA, Nicolas Müller/SUI, David Benedek/GER, Heikki Sorsa/FIN, Mikkel Bang/NOR and Andy Finch/USA.
For the ladies, two-time BEO winner and Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark/USA will try to earn her third BEO victory. Kelly has gotten off to a strong start this season with a 3rd place finish in the New Zealand Open halfpipe event and a first place title at the season’s first Grand Prix at Copper Mountain last weekend. Also confirmed is reigning Swatch TTR World Champion 07/08 Jamie Anderson, who is currently in first place for the 2009 BGOS $100,000 title after three first place finishes at the New Zealand and Australia Opens in August.
For more information about this year’s BEO, check out opensnowboarding.com.