The guests of honor at the Burton European Open’s 10th birthday party competed yesterday in halfpipe semi-finals in Laax, Switzerland up on Crap Sogn Gion. 2008 BEO halfpipe champions Kevin Pearce (USA) and Kelly Clark (USA) qualified first in today’s semi-finals, demonstrating their determination to hold on to their BEO titles.
The men dropped in first, with 42 riders competing for 16 spots in Friday’s halfpipe finals. An eclectic field of men’s riders aged from 14-40 lined up, with reigning BEO halfpipe champion Kevin Pearce earning the top qualifying spot, closely followed by Shaun White (USA). Top halfpipe riders Danny Davis (USA), Mason Aguirre (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Markku Koski (FIN), Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) and ‘oldie but goldie’ Gian Simmen (SUI) also made it into the finals.
The sun came out for the ladies’ halfpipe semi-finals, and just like Kevin, reigning BEO halfpipe champion Kelly showed her dominance with her first run, scoring nearly 10 points ahead of the rest of the competitors with a super impressive run. With huge amplitude and smooth style, Kelly easily took the top spot in semi-finals with a frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 540, method, frontside 720. Women’s halfpipe legend Nicola Thost (GER) was a surprise guest at the BEO birthday party and showed that after six years off from competitive snowboarding, she still has what it takes to qualify for halfpipe finals.
All qualified riders will take to the halfpipe one last time on Friday to battle it out for a BEO title.
Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results 1 Clark, Kelly (USA) BURTON 91.17 2 Haug, Linn (NOR) BURTON 82.33 3 Sadar, Cilka (SLO) BURTON 79.50 4 Thost, Nicola (GER) BURTON 74.67 5 Pancochova, Sarka (CZE) BERN UNLIMITED 72.50 6 Ligocka, Paulina (POL) ROXY 68.50 7 Wiik, Lisa (NOR) ROXY 68.33 8 Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti (NOR) ROXY 66.67
For more information on the Burton European Open, head to opensnowboarding.com.