(USA) won his third US Open slopestyle competition and Kjersti Buaas (NOR) took her first US Open title at today’s 2008 US Open slopestyle competition under bright bluebird skies at Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont. Jamie Anderson (USA) and Jenny Jones (GBR) took second and third respectively for the women and Tim Humphreys (USA) and Charles Reid (CAN) earned second and third place on the men’s podium.
“I feel great,” said Shaun White. “I wasn’t planning on competing, but I thought I would take a run this morning to see how I felt. I really liked the landings, we lucked out with the weather and I ended up taking it. I’m stoked.”
Kjersti was also pleasantly surprised by her win. “I’m surprised. I was going to pull out of the competition, but ended up going for it. I tried to stay mellow and mixed it up going for big jumps and small jumps. I feel like I hit my head…that’s how confused I am. I never thought I could win…it’s very cool!”
There was a lot at stake in today’s slopestyle competition, including $20,000, 10,000 BGOS points and 1,250 Swatch TTR points for the top male and 1000 points for the top female. The women kicked things off with ice glistening overhead in the trees and a very firm slopestyle course underfoot. With no room for error, most of the girls got off to a cautious start. But not Kjersti Buaas, who won the bronze medal in women’s halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. She went all out on her first run, which secured her a US Open championship title for the first time in her career. Kjersti’s run started out with a 50-50 noseslide on the flat down box to a nosepress on the flat box to a frontside 360 stalefish, frontside air, frontside 720 mute ending with a backside 180 Indy. Last year’s US Open women’s slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson took second with a solid run that included a frontside 540 to a Cab 540 to a floaty backside 180. And Jenny Jones, who was brave enough to ride after a painful injury in semi-finals, took a very respectable third place.
In the men’s competition all eyes were on Shaun White, who had qualified first from the semi-finals. As usual, Shaun did not disappoint. He took first place from his first run, throwing down a frontside 270 boardslide, a nosepress to backside 180 out to a Cab 900, backside 900 mute, switch backside 900 mute ending with a frontside 1080 stalefish on the jumps. Tim Humphreys’ first run was also his best with a backside 720, Cab 540, frontside 720 and backside 720, earning him his first US Open podium spot. Up-and-coming rider Charles Reid, who took third place, was also on the US Open podium for the first time in his snowboarding career.
After today’s competition, both Jenny Jones and Kazuhiro Kokubo continue to lead the Burton Global Open Series, but things could change drastically after tomorrow’s US Open halfpipe competition when this year’s champions will be awarded $100,000 each – currently the largest single payout in snowboarding. Kevin Pearce maintained his grip on the Swatch TTR Tour lead. Jamie Anderson moved up to TTR No. 1 with Jenny Jones right behind her in World No. 2. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) overtook Risto Mattila (FIN) for World No. 2, which will make for an intense showdown for the Men’s Swatch TTR World Tour Champion, who will be crowned tomorrow after the US Open halfpipe finals.
On the party and band front, Chicago retro-rap duo The Cool Kids will warm up the cold Vermont night with a free show on the concert stage at Stratton’s main base area from 8:00-9:00 p.m