Left: Jamie Anderson. Photo: Phil Erickson
The 7th Burton NZ Open have come to an end after a fantastic week with beautiful conditions and epic snowboarding.
The competition in the girls' slopestyle qualification had been fierce, and it styed stiff through semifinals, but it was Kiwi Shelly Gotlieb that came out on top, killing it on the course with a run that featured style and variety on the rails, a Cab 5 indy, a backflip and a backside 360 tailgrab. Gotlieb continued to ride strong through the finals, taking third, being outdone by Janna Weatherby (USA) in second and 2008 NZO slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson (USA) in first. Anderson impressed the judges with a run that started with a street style tailslide, 5-0 to fakie on the box into a switch backside 360 on the first kicker, followed by a Cab 540 melon into a front 360 melon, followed by a 5-0 on the uprail, to a tail stall on the quarterpipe, finishing with a 50/50 frontside boardslide on the kinked rail. “I had a blast," said Anderson of her win. “It was a beautiful day, we lucked out with the weather, and I was happy with my riding, I had so much fun today." In the men's section it was Sebastien Toutant (CAN), followed by Torstein Horgmo (NOR), who stuck the sicket tricks.
Saturday saw the halfpipe riders competing with Asian girls finishing strong taking four of the top eight spots in the women’s finals, Zhifeng Sun from China taking third. Her winning run featured an impressive frontside 900. Jiayu Liu (CHN) rode away with second with a run that featured back-to-back 720s and back-to-back 540s. But it was Kelly Clark that pulled it out with a whopping score of 83.67. Her winning run started with a massive frontside air followed by a backside 540 indy, into a frontside 720 tailgrab, followed by a Cab 720, finishing with a frontside 540 indy. Clark had this to say of her win, “I felt really good today; I got to try new things. I like progressing, and when you ride against a solid group of competitors it pushes me to do more. I’m happy that I did well for my first contest of the summer, especially going in to an Olympic year." After the girls the men really set the pipe on fire, with Shaun White (USA) spinning double corks 10er amd Luke Mitrani (USA) in second place.