29/01/2010 | by Tom Copsey
When: 9.-10. January 2010
Where: Nashan, Beijing, China
Biggest Asian Swatch TTR Event About to Kick off
While the upcoming European contests are getting a lot of attention in, well, Europe, the Far East is also gearing up for their biggest event of the season: The 4Star 8th Red Bull Nanshan Open is taking place on the 9-10th January, 2010. This event offers a US$25,000 prize purse, up to 500 Swatch TTR ranking points, and a chance for six locally qualified riders to compete against the 24 invited top level international snowboarders.
Riders from 13 different nations attending the event, making it the most diverse in the event’s history. Beside Andrew Wilde, He Wei, Li Jie, Ming Ming, Li Penghuan and Jokey Tong, who qualified at the end of December, we will see some more or less familiar faces from the Swatch TTR Tour like Matti Kinnunen (FIN), Atsushi Ishikawa (JAP), David Bertschinger Karg (SUI), Marc Swoboda (AUT), Stefan Karlsson (SWE) and Werner Stock (AUT).
So who should you look out for? Matti Kinnunen is one of the hottest new talents on the Tour and has already collected a win at the 3Star Nissan Stomp It in Italy this season. Werner Stock, who recently placed 6th at the 6Star Billabong Air & Style returns to China for the second season and is hoping to improve his ninth place finish of 2009. But wait, what about the Asian riders? Take Atsushi Ishikawa for example. At the age of 32 he is not the youngest rider in the field, but as one of the most experienced riders at Asian TTR Tour events he is one to watch closely. This will be his third time at the Red Bull Nanshan Open and after a third place in 2008 and a second place in 2009, Ishikawa will be on the hunt for the top spot this year.
The 8th Red Bull Nanshan Open has year after year proved to be a high quality 4Star event on the Swatch TTR Tour, with a perfectly shaped slopestyle course in the Quiksilver Nanshan Mellow Park at Nanshan Ski Resort. The team at Mellowparks.cn are the driving force behind the event and have constantly kept raising the bar.
The event is said to be the most exotic cultural experience for all invited riders who get to enjoy a full week’s worth of 5-star hotels, foot massages, fine dining, wild parties and sightseeing. “One of my TOP events – always so stoked to get an invite and would never say no. It is just an awesome time,“ says Peter König (AUT) (of all people) after his second year at Nanshan. “You get together with all your buddies from around the world and the snowboard industry, meet in China and have the best seven days that will be in your memories forever.”
Moving away from Asia, the Swatch TTR Tour is taking full speed in Europe at the 6Star O’Neill Evolution, the 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam and the 6Star Burton European Open. A lot will be decided in the race for the Tour title as the upcoming weeks offer a handful of results before the Tour takes it a bit slower over February. More information on all events, predictions, videos, rider and event profiles are available on www.ttrworldtour.com