NZ Open 2009, the WSG review

Wed 19 August 09

Our NZ reporter Sarah Mulholland was out at the open last week for the slopestyle finals. Read the report and checkout these amazing shots.

NZ Open 2009, the WSG review

NZ Open 2009, the WSG review © Photo: Sarah Sarah Mulholland,

August 11-15 2009 saw the 7th annual Burton New Zealand Open Snowboarding Championships arrive at Cardrona Alpine resort. Part of the Burton Global Open Series and the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Snowboard Tour, the Open showcased the talents of over 70 men and 35 women. Olympic medallists Kelly Clark (USA) and Danny Kass (USA) and some of the world’s best riders, Torstein Horgmo (NOR), Antti Autti (FIN), Jamie Anderson (USA), Peetu Piironinen (FIN), Scotty Lago (USA), Janna Meyen (USA), Charles Reid (CAN), Takaharu Nakai (JPN), Dustin Craven (CAN), Chanelle Sladics (USA), Lisa Wiik (NOR), Shelly Gotlieb (NZL), Silvia Mittermuller (GER), Daisuke Murakami (JPN), Tim Humphreys (USA) and Mitch Brown (NZL) battled for a piece of the $50,000 prize purse.

Burton NZ Open 2009, Danny Kass
Burton NZ Open 2009, Danny Kass
Photo: Sarah Sarah Mulholland,

Practise sessions and qualifiers on the slopestyle course and halfpipe were hampered by the heavy snowfall, thick fog and limited visibility during the earlier part of the week, which saw an impressive crew of riders from over 16 countries overcome the challenging conditions.

Cardrona Alpine Resort’s newly shaped 800m-long slopestyle featured and impressive selection of interesting and huge features including: up and downrails, boxes, three kickers and a unique upstair feature to quarterpipe.

Burton NZ Open 2009, Seppe Smitts
Burton NZ Open 2009, Seppe Smitts
Photo: Sarah Sarah Mulholland,

The weather gods smiled upon Cardrona Alpine Resort as it sat in bluebird sunshine, sitting above an inversion layer of cloud for the semifinal and final Slopestyle competitions on 14 August. The women were first up and NZ Open 2008 champion Jamie Anderson (USA), impressed the judges with a run that started with a street style tailside, 5-0 to fakie on the box into switch backside 360 on the first kicker, followed by a Cab 540 melon into a front 360 melon, followed by a 5-0 on the uprail, to a tail stall on the quarterpipe, finishing with a 50/50 frontside boardslide on the kinked rail, winning her 1st place on the podium for a second year running. Janna Weatherby (USA) took 2nd place while, Burton team rider Shelly Gotlieb (New Zealand), representing the Kiwis had a solid and impressive run including a Cab 5 indy, a backflip and a backside 360 tailgrab, and clinched 3rd place. Up next were the men, with French Canadian Sebastien Toutant taking the top spot after recreating his winning run from the semis, starting off with a backside 270 on the first rail to 50/50 backside 360 on the second rail, into a backside rodeo 540 indy, into a Cab 900 stalefish, followed by a backside 1080 double cork melon, followed by a noseslide on the uprail to alleyoop backside 50/50 on the quarter, finishing with a frontside boardslide on the kinked rail. After an impressive showdown, second place went to DC rider Torstein Horgmo (Norway) and Eric Willett (USA), O Matic team rider took 3rd on the podium.

Burton NZ Open 2009, slopestyle course in Cardrona
Burton NZ Open 2009, slopestyle course in Cardrona
Photo: Sarah Sarah Mulholland,

The competition came to a close on Saturday with the Halfpipe, in which Kelly Clark came out top in the women’s finals. 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. Snowboarding legend Shaun White blew the crowd and the judges away with his winning run, which started with a frontside lien air, to backside 900 melon, followed by a frontside 1080 stalefish, into a Cab double cork 1080 stalefish, to frontside double cork 900.

Burton NZ Open 2009, womens slopestyle podium
Burton NZ Open 2009, womens slopestyle podium
Photo: Sarah Sarah Mulholland,

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 and Mason Aguirre are currently in the lead for the Burton Global Open Series Championship titles and a piece of the $200,000 prize purse.


Slopestyle Final Women
1 Jamie Anderson USA Billabong
2 Janna Weatherby USA Volcom
3 Shelly Gotlieb NZL Burton
4 Joanna Dzierzawski USA 686
5 Silvia Mittermueller GER Oakley
6 Hana Beaman USA Vans

Slopestyle Final Men
1 Sebastien Toutant CAN O'Neill
2 Torstein Horgmo NOR DC
3 Eric Willett USA OMatic
4 Tore Holvik NOR Sweet
5 Seppe Smits BEL Burton
6 Stef Zeestraten NZL Oakley

Halfpipe Final Women
1 Kelly Clark USA Burton
2 Jiayu Liu CHN Burton
3 Zhifeng Sun CHN Burton


Best Trick: Elizabeth Beerman, Frontside 900

Halfpipe Final Men
1 Shaun White USA Burton
2 Luke Mitrani USA Burton
3 Kazuhiro Kokubo JPN Burton

Best Trick: Luke Mitrani, Double Michalchuk

Checkout more of Sarah's photos on her website

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