The final day of the 5Star Burton New Zealand Open went off on Saturday featuring men’s and women’s halfpipe finals at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
The weather cleared from the previous day and the sky popped blue making for a perfect day up on the hill for the event. The women took to the pipe first and Kelly Clark (USA), for the second consecutive year, dominated the field finishing in first place. The men’s competition kicked off after the women and it was a heated battle for a podium spot. In the end, it was Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) who rose to the top and took home the title. Clark and Podladtchikov both walked away with 850 Swatch TTR Ranking points and a cool NZ$6,000 in their pockets.
Kelly Clark Wins Halfpipe with Untouchable Amplitude
The women’s finals featured some heavy competition and Kelly Clark was the rider to beat as she displayed her signature amplitude and smooth style. Clark set the bar high with her first run and was able to maintain her lead all day claiming the first place spot. She started her winning run with a massive frontside air into a backside 540 mute, frontside 900, method, frontside 720 and finished with a Cab 720 mute. Hot on her heels was up and coming Spanish rider, Queralt Castellet, who has been making some waves in the women’s halfpipe scene. Queralt put together a great run and took home second place leaving Japanese rider, Soko Yamaoka in third. Although Sina Candrian (SUI) placed 16th in today’s halfpipe, she moved into the TTR tour lead because she also placed 7th in yesterday’s slopestyle competition. Since not very many women competed in both disciplines, Candrian was able to nab the current tour leader position.
Iouri Podladtchikov Takes Halfpipe Title Moving Into World No. 2
The men dropped into the pipe in the afternoon and perfect weather conditions continued for the men’s field. Iouri Padladchikov (SUI) had a little trouble on his first run but came back to take the top spot with his second drop putting down a huge crippler, double McTwist 1260, frontside 1080 tailgrab, and a Cab 720. With today’s result, Podladtchikov moved into World No. 2 in the Swatch TTR Rankings sitting behind current leader, Gjermund Braaten (NOR). Japanese riders were out in full force and young 14-year old ripper, Taku Hiraoka, gave the men’s field a run for their money. He threw down an excellent run to take second place. And, American rider, Louie Vito, stepped it up with his second run to take home the third spot on the podium.
Snowboard Live Scoring (SLS) Judging System Debuts in the Halfpipe
Today’s halfpipe competition marked the debut of the new Snowboard Live Scoring system (SLS), which takes a new approach to judging halfpipe runs. Instead of looking at a rider’s overall run like the Overall Impression system, the new SLS system scores each hit in a rider’s run which are then combined with an overall flow score in order to provide a clear definition of how the judges arrive at a final score. The SLS system was a success in today’s halfpipe competition and seemed to be well received by the riders.
With the Burton New Zealand Open in the bag, the TTR Tour will head across the Tasman sea to Falls Creek, Australia for the 4Star Stylewars competition which will kick off on August 22, 2010.
The tour will then head back to New Zealand for the 3Star Billabong Bro Down, scheduled for September 11, 2010. The TTR Tour will then take a quick break before winter returns to the Northern Hemisphere. Check out ttrworldtour.com for new videos, news and photos from New Zealand and head over to GO211.com for a replay of the webcast from the New Zealand Open.