TTR Burton NZ Open 2011
Is the snowboarding season already happening?! It was just the other day that Jamie Anderson was picking up her crown.
Ok, so I know that it isn't event number 1 on the calendar but the TTR Burton New Zealand Open is easily one of the big hitters on the tour so the battle lines are going to be clearly drawn when the event has closed its doors. So what did we expect from this? I know I expected a lot of the same from last season really: close scores, insane tricks and a whole lot of snow.
Rider: Louie Vito
Photo: Pablo Azocar
First thing's first, let's take a look at slopestyle. Unlike last year, the weather decided that blue skies and sunlight would be better for this year's comp in Cardrona. As standard it was a best-of-3 format and the girls were up to kill the course first. Kjersti Buaas and Jamie Anderson were the strong contenders after the first run and they stayed there until the podium beckoned them, later to be joined by Jordie Karlinski. Jamie takes the first slopestyle win of the season and with that a foot in the door for yet another title.
For the men's slopestyle event there were some familiar names in the mix from the off. Mark McMorris and Sebastien Toutant dominated for the Canadian contingent. But with these two never wanting to settle for second it was a hard fought battle up to the wire with Seb finished in second but only by half a point! Completing the trio was Stale Sandbech who was stoked with his finish.
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What's a slopestyle win by Jamie Anderson if it's not twinned with a win for Kelly Clark in the halfpipe? We're continuing the battle from last season right into the 2011/2012 season and that's something we don't mind one bit! A lot of things seemed similar in the halfpipe with the podium finishing up with the same three as the Winter X Games Europe as Kelly Clark took top spot, followed by Hannah Teter and then Queralt Castellet.
As you'd expect from the men's competition tens were absolutely everywhere especially in Ryo Aono's runs. He threw down back to back tens on his first to beat last year's winner, Iouri Podladtchikov to the top spot. But the heartache didn't end there for IPod as he was knocked down to third by twinkle-toed Louie Vito.
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The snow season may have kicked off early but we're in for a huge wait now because that's it until December. That being said I think we're in store for another battle between Kelly Clark and Jamie Anderson, with the guys comp being wide open. Only time will tell...