Canadian rider, Mark McMorris, and American, Jamie Anderson, took the first 5Star Slopestyle titles of the 2011/12 TTR World Tour season at the 2011 Burton New Zealand Open. The slopestyle finals went down at Cardrona Alpine Resort with optimal weather conditions making for some great riding. All riders who competed in slopestyle at the New Zealand Open have all earned ranking points towards both the TTR Slopestyle Tour Rankings and the TTR Overall Tour Ranking lists.
The competition was run using a best-of-three-run format with women and men alternating on each run. The women took to the course first and it was an immediate battle between two-time TTR World Tour Champion, Jamie Anderson, and Norwegian competition queen, Kjersti Buaas. Jamie held the lead all day and won with a run that included a switch backside 180 tailtap, a front blunt to fakie and a half Cab 5-0 to backside 180 on the jib section and a switch backside 540, frontside 360 and a backside 540 on the jump line. Kjersti came in a close second and Jordie Karlinski (USA) took home third place.
It was local girl Shelley Gotlieb though who made everyones jaw drop, as out of nowhere she attempted the first double backflip by a women in competition, and came so close to stomping it.
The men took the last run of the day and Mark McMorris won the title with a run that consisted of a full Cab stall, Cab 270 frontboard to fakie and a half Cab to backside 360 in the jib section and a backside double cork 1080, frontside 900 and ended with a Cab 1260 on the jump line.
Mark had this to say about his win, “Today was awesome. I’m so stoked to be on the podium with some good friends. Everybody rode insane and I’m happy to get a top spot at my first 5Star”. Fellow Canadian, Sebastien Toutant, was right behind Mark in second place and Norweigian up-and-comer, Stale Sandbech rounded out the podium in third place.
The first 5Star halfpipe competition of the 2011/12 TTR World Tour season is in the bag and Japanese rider, Ryo Aono, and American, Kelly Clark, took home the victories at the 2011 Burton New Zealand Open. It was another perfect day at Cardrona Alpine Resort and the level of riding was set high from the start by the talented field of international riders. Ryo and Kelly both took home $7,000 NZD for their wins and earned 850 TTR ranking points that will count towards both the Halfpipe World Tour Ranking and the Overall World Tour Ranking lists.
The halfpipe finals ran the same format as slopestyle finals using a best-of-three-run format with men and women alternating runs. Kelly Clark sketched on her first run leaving the door open for the other women including Queralt Castellet (ESP), Hannah Teter (USA) and Gretchen Bleiler (USA) who all have impressive tricks in their repertoire. But, Kelly was able to nail her second run that held up to take the win, which was made up of a frontside 720, Cab 720, backside 540 and finished with a frontside 900. Hannah Teter stomped a smooth run to take second place and Queralt Castellet was going big all day and ended up in third place.
The men’s leader board shifted with each run and the Japanese contingent was on fire putting down some impressive tricks. In the end, it was Ryo Aono (JPN) who landed a near-flawless run consisting of a frontside 1080, Cab 1080, frontside 900, backside 900 and ended with a frontside double cork 1080. Louie Vito (USA) was looking good all day taking second place and Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) ended up in third. Louie was happy about taking second place on the podium and was glad to bank the TTR points that he needs to qualify for the upcoming World Snowboarding Championships saying, “I came down to New Zealand especially to get some points for the TTR World Champs and it’s fun, I could be traveling to worse places than New Zealand. And, it was a good day today, the pipe was in really good shape and I was stoked to finish on the podium.”