[Photos: Me, Youri and Alex the Winner]
Yep, we’re the fuckin’ shit. Getme. But first the pipe, before we start noshing ourselves off.
Again today was a mish-mash of foggy snow and clear blue skies but, as ever, it seemed Burton had done a deal with the devil to ensure that the bad conditions never got a chance to interfere with the pipe contest. Rumours of sacrificed goats littering the organisers’ office are unconfirmed.
With the pipe looking perfect, the women kicked off the day’s proceedings and with the wheat now separated from the chaff the girls put down some strong runs to set up for tomorrow’s final. Topping the pile was Aussie Holly Crawford, on Australia day no less, so I’d imagine she’ll be having a couple a coldies, maybe a snag or two and an early night. Frickin’ huge fs5 on the first hit. Git a dog up ya shezza! Finland’s Meri Peltonen qualified in second and Sarah Conrad from Canada followed up in third.
The men looked to have scored the better weather as the comp started, although midway through the fog came in and threatened to postpone proceedings. Henning Marthinsen and Sam Cullum had take their second runs in crap light, but overall the conditions were near perfect and though many of the pipe specialists are at the X-Games we were nevertheless witness to some stellar performances. Whagwaan? Rolf Feldman, Eisuke and Stefano Munari went huge on their first hits but couldn’t manage to maintain their momentum for the rest of their runs, Dan Wakeham had me cracking up, screaming “Come on England!" on his big first hit inverted seven and Roger Kleivdal and Mitchell Brown killed it with solid spins and solid amplitude. Markus Keller was perhaps unsurprisingly in 1st place after his solid first run, putting down amongst others his trademarked alley-oop, back to back 7s and the epic fs 9 nose bone. However, young Finnish rookie Markus Malin had other ideas and his second run blew everyone away with its height and teched-out steeze. Sadly I can’t for the life of me remember his run entirely, but there was a 10 in there, perfect landings and 93.5 points out of 100 sees him looking eagerly at tomorrow’s grand finale.
***SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT!***Now then, as the men were training Burton had organised the first ever BEO Media Minishred contest. The deal was each magazine/film crew/whatever had a team of 3, with 2 guys being desk jockeys and the other being whatever pro rider they chose to recruit. There were teams from Pleasure, SnowPlanet, Method and Laax locals amongst others in the mix. For us, it was our Events Manager Hamish Duncan, designer/photog Alex Roberts and Nidecker’s Finnish pro Antti ‘Naku’ Piirainen. Naku turned out to be a rather inspired signing if I do say so myself, frontflipping off the mini step-down, bs 3 nosebonking the mini spine box and rock fakieing the mini wallride. Hamish ain’t no slouch either and fs 3 Tindyed over the spine while Al brought up the rear with a bs 180. The others were strong, but not strong enough for our team of radicalists and we beat off stiff competition from Method and the Laax locals to bag the win. Thanks to Motorola for the goodie bags and now we’re off to drink the bubbly. Happy days.***SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ENDS!***
Pipe finals tomorrow, check it out on TV or the cyberwebonetcast. More on www.burtoneuropeanopen.com. Cheerio, blogospheroids.