The ninth annual Burton European Open wrapped up this weekend with one of the most exciting halfpipe competitions in recent memory as Kevin Pearce (USA) upset Shaun White’s (USA) near certain victory. Kelly Clark (USA) easily soared into first place, taking women’s halfpipe riding to an entirely new level with incredible amplitude and super smooth style. Kelly and Kevin each earned $10,000, 1,000 TTR Ranking Points and 8,000 points toward the Burton Global Open Series Championship title, which awards $100,000 to both the male and female BGOS point leaders after the US Open.
“This is a big win for me and sets me up well for the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series Championship title,” said two-time Burton European Open halfpipe champion and three-time US Open champion Kelly Clark. “My run today was definitely one of the best I’ve ever had.”
Kevin was also thrilled about his win: “The contest was exciting,” he said. “I had to drop after Shaun in all three runs, which was super nerve-wracking. But in my last run, I just went for it. My winning run was literally the first time I’ve ever landed back-to-back 1080s in a pipe – even in practice. It felt really good to win – the contest, pipe and weather was amazing today – so I’m super stoked.
Also announced today were the first ever Overall Burton European winners with Jamie Anderson & Shaun White, each winning a Suzuki Grand Vitara Freeride for having the highest overall combined scores from the BEO halfpipe and slopestyle competitions.
“I’m so stoked,” said Jamie Anderson. “Everyone was telling me that I won the car, but I didn’t want to believe it until it was over. This is the first time I’ve ever won a car, and it’s really great timing because I don’t even own a car right now!”
The riders were definitely stepping it up in the perfectly-cut 22-foot halfpipe, where they had three runs to put together their best scores. In the women’s competition, Torah Bright took the initial lead with a very technical, strong first run that looked like it would be hard to beat. Then Kelly Clark dropped in, and she meant business. Her first hit was a huge frontside air that was way bigger than many of the guys first hits. Throughout her run, she kept her amplitude way up, stomping a backside 540 mute, frontside 540 tail grab, indy grab finishing things off with a frontside 720 mute. Her first run score of 92.67 proved impossible to beat, and she used her last two runs to ‘play’ in the pipe, attempting to land a 900 and just doing huge straight airs during her victory lap. Swatch TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright (AUS) finished in second place and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter (USA) took third place.
Kevin’s win today is the first major halfpipe victory of his career and the first time he has beat snowboarding superstar Shaun White in a pipe competition. Shaun, who won yesterday’s slopestyle competition at the BEO, was the clear leader throughout today’s halfpipe finals, scoring a strong 90.67 in his second run, taking a comfortable six-point lead over the rest of the competitors. In the third runs of the finals, Shaun was the assumed winner – that is until Kevin dropped for his third and final run and went for broke, kicking things off with a frontside 1080 tailgrab, a Cab 1080 stalefish, frontside 9 mute, a huge McTwist to a huge frontside air. Kevin’s amazing run knocked Shaun into second place with Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) taking third place.
After the 6-Star BEO halfpipe finals, Jamie Anderson took over the World No. 1 position in the Swatch TTR Rankings, with Kelly Clark moving into World No. 2 and Torah Bright rounding out the top three in the current Tour standings. On the men’s side of things, Risto Matilla moves into the lead in the Swatch TTR World Rankings knocking Andy Finch down a notch to World No. 2. Kevin Pearce moved up into World No. 3
With the Burton European Open finished, it’s on to the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open, taking place from February 26 – March 2 at Alts Bandai, Fukushima in Japan. Currently, Mason Aguirre and Jamie Anderson are in the lead for the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series Championship title.
BEO Overall Winners – each wins a Suzuki Grand Vitara freeride edition car
Women’s: Jamie Anderson (USA)
Men’s: Shaun White (USA)
Women’s Halfpipe Final Results
1 Kelly Clark (USA) 92.67
2 Torah Bright (AUS) 88.33
3 Hannah Teter (USA) 82.67
Men’s Halfpipe Final Results
1 Kevin Pearce (USA) 94.33
2 Shaun White (USA) 90.67
3 Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) 84.00
Women’s Slopestyle Finals Results
1 Jamie Anderson (USA) 69.00
2 Jenny Jones (GBR) 67.67
3 Silvia Mittermueller (GER) 65.17
Men’s Slopestyle Finals Results
1 Shaun White (USA) 81.00
2 Chas Guldemond (USA) 74.17
3 Tim Humphreys (USA) 73.83
Be sure to watch full webcasts of the 2008 Burton European Open on Go211.