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