Heavy snow resulting in poor visibility tested competitors today during men’s and women’s slopestyle qualifications at Perisher Blue Resort. Riders from all over the world took on the grotty weather during day three of the Burton Australian Open to earn a place in Friday’s slopestyle finals, alongside some of the world’s best snowboarders.
The slopestyle course challenged riders with a variety of features including a down rail, battleship rail, three kickers and a wall ride.
“Practice was nice yesterday, but the new snow today made the course really slow. It was definitely a challenge, but it was super fun, the course is really nice and the jumps were well built,” said top men’s qualifier Eric Willett. “Speed was kind of an issue but hopefully it won’t be too bad for Friday’s finals.” Joining Willett in Friday’s slopestyle finals are Jaako Ruha (FIN), Halldor Helgason (ICE), Andreas Monsberger (AUT) and Markus Malin (FIN) and fellow American Sage Kotsenburg.
Although the snow continued to fall, the ladies braved the elements and took to the course. Kara Rennie of Canada earned the top spot for the women in slopestyle qualis with a run that started off with a 50/50 to backside lipslide on the down rail, followed by a huge straight air on the first kicker, followed by a tailgrab, finishing with another straight air. US shredders Laurie Currier and Ashley Wendorf will also be competing in Friday’s finals against back-to-back slopestyle X-Games gold medalist and New Zealand Open slopestyle winner, Jamie Anderson.
The Burton Australian Open continues tomorrow with the men’s and women’s halfpipe semis and finals.