Kelly Clark wins Burton New Zealand Halfpipe final
New Zealand’s largest snowboarding event, the Burton New Zealand Open Snowboarding Championships, came to a close after four intense days of competition. Part of the Burton Global Open Series and the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Snowboard Tour, the 7th Annual New Zealand Open showcased some the world’s top snowboarders competing in halfpipe and slopestyle competitions for over NZ$50,000 in prize money.
Hundreds of competitors from all over the world flocked to Cardrona Alpine Resort to compete, and action got underway on Wednesday with men’s and women’s slopestyle pre-qualifications and qualifications. Men’s and women’s halfpipe qualifications went down on Thursday, followed by men’s and women’s slopestyle semifinal and finals on Friday with Jamie Anderson (USA) and Sebastien Toutant (CAN) riding away with the top spots worth $6,000 each.
Saturday saw a field of 40 men and 21 women compete for the halfpipe titles worth NZ$6,000. In the women’s competition Kelly Clark and Jiayu Liu battled it out in semifinals with huge amplitude and clean spins, while Elizabeth Beerman just bumped Kiwi Kendall Brown from advancing on to final.
Halfpipe finals consisted of three runs each for men and women, with the women first to drop. The Asian contingent finished strong taking four of the top eight spots in the women’s finals, with 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.”
With the Burton New Zealand Open finished, the next stop in the BGOS is the European Open, taking place January 9-16, 2010 in Laax, Switzerland. The European Open is the second stop on the 2009-2010 Burton Global Open Series.
Jamie Anderson is currently in the lead for the Burton Global Open Series Championship titles and a piece of the $200,000 prize purse. With only two results on her account so far, 08/09 Swatch TTR World Champion Kelly Clark moves into world no. 7 with her victory in New Zealand.