Anderson & Haller win NZ Open Slopestyle Finals

Tom Copsey Tom Copsey
Christian Haller uses the Force to take him to first in the NZO slopestyle.
Christian Haller uses the Force to take him to first in the NZO slopestyle. Photos: Pablo Azocar

Despite bad weather Jamie Anderson and Christian Haller hold it down to take the top spots in the slopestyle at the Burton NZ Open.

The Burton New Zealand Open Slopestyle finals took place today at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Burton rider Christian Haller (SUI) taking first place in the men’s event and Jamie Anderson (USA) winning the women’s competition.

Women's winner, Jamie Anderson.
Women's winner, Jamie Anderson.

Haller and Anderson both walked away NZ$6,000 richer for their performance on the challenging Slopestyle course which was even more tricky with today’s variable weather conditions. Due to the snow conditions and morning delays, the competition format was condensed, with all 37 men and 19 women semi-finalists going straight into a single final round, where the riders took two runs, best of which counted for their final score.

Tore Holvik hits the post.
Tore Holvik hits the post.

The low visibility and variable snow didn’t seem to hinder the best riders, with some amazing runs being thrown down regardless. The first feature of the course offered a choice between a down-flat-down round bar or a round down bar, the second feature was a choice between an up box or a gap to flat box, followed by three jumps measuring in at 45-feet, 55-feet, and 75-feet, then finishing with a quarterpipe to goalpost / hip.

Mikkel Bang sending it.
Mikkel Bang sending it.

Christian Haller put it all together in his second run to score 80.84 points with a backside lipslide on the down-flat-down bar, tailslide on the gap to flat box, switch backside 720, Cab 900, frontside 720 tailgrab. But the margins were tight with current TTR tour leader Gjermund Braaten’s (NOR) first run score of 80.64 points holding top spot until then. Gjermund’s run consisted of a frontside 270 gap over the down-flat-down rail, frontside 270 on the gap to flat box, frontside 540, Cab 720, and double back rodeo 900. Coming in third with 79.00 points was 2010 Burton US Open Slopestyle winner Mikkel Bang (NOR). Mikkel’s run started with a gap to switch backside lipslide on the down-flat-down rail, backside lipslide on the gap to flat box, backside 540, Cab 720, switch backside 900.

Women's podium.
Women's podium.

In the women’s competition, Jamie Anderson (USA) took her third straight New Zealand Open slopestyle title and had this to say about her win, “I can’t believe it, I love the Burton Opens and winning this event three times in a row is amazing, so I’m ecstatic and so stoked to start of the year with a good result.” Jamie’s winning run earned her a score of 79.20 points and consisted of a boardslide-to-tailpress on the down bar, a frontside 180 out on the up box, switch backside 180 mute, backside 360 mute, and a backside 180 mute. Coming in second place behind Jamie was Burton rider, Shelly Gotlieb (NZL), who held it down on her home turf with a great second run earning her 74.56 points. Rounding out the podium in third place was Kjersti Buuas (NOR) who also had a good run that scored 73.60 points.

Men's podium.
Men's podium.

The newly developed Snowboard Live Scoring system (SLS) was used today by the judges, which gives scores for each individual hit during a run that is then combined with a flow score to provide a more transparent final score. Viewers of the live webcast on GO211.com were able to see this system in action and watch real-time ranking changes, among other features of the site.

The live action at the Burton New Zealand Open culminates tomorrow with highlight event, the halfpipe.

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