The picture perfect pipe
[Photos: Alex Roberts]
Yeah, sorry about the delay in posting this but we did have shit traffic and ended up back in Munich way later than we’d hoped. So, after postponing the contest till Sunday due to Saturday’s crap weather, we awoke and were greeted with perfect bluebird conditions. Sadly, the clement weather had brought out every man, woman, child, their family of dogs and kitchen sinks this side of Bregenz up to the Crap Son Gion and as a result the lift queues were massive and our chances of a sly couple of powder runs before the contest diminished.
But, hey, we’re not there to ride; we’re there to cover the report and after a couple of sly powder runs we settled in to watch the events unfold in Laax’s monster U jump. This was a thing of beauty to behold, icy walls shimmering in the sun and a shape that any artfag sculptor would be proud of. The riders were stoked on how the pipe was riding, so that useless MC chap announced it was time for kick off and the ladies got the show underway.
Finland’s Meri Peltonen had some stylish hits
Whilst the lower ranked riders offered up little to write home about, the top 3 women certainly did. Third place went to the US’s Ellery Hollingsworth who stepped it up a notch, second to Sarah Conrad from Canada who’d been going huge all week and drawing admiring glances from the photographers’ lenses. She continued her strong run of form with big straight airs and legit spins but it was not enough to beat the eye-opener of the week, Australia’s Holly Crawford. Riding with a suspected cracked rib sustained earlier we were expecting her to hold back in her 3 runs. Well, maybe that’s what we would have done, but not Holly. In a level of pipe riding that got all-comers cheering she deservedly took the BEO pipe title, a stack of TTR points and more goodies than she could possibly carry. Seriously, her first hit huge fs 5 stale was boned out in a way that Shaun White would be proud of and she maintained her amplitude down the length of the pipe with a run that also boasted a japan air, a stalefish, a frontside 7 and topped off with a cab 540. In a quote that’s directly pinched from the BEO release, she was understandably happy: “It was an awesome day, even though I was riding with the pain of my broken rib. I’m so stoked to win the comp today!”
Markus Keller was frickin’ sick, but couldn’t quite land his whole run clean. First hit fs alley-oop
With the women’s podium decided it was over to the men. Whilst the majority of well-known pipe specialist were in the US for the X-Games, there were still some big hitters, from past present and future, to ensure that the spectacle was one that was worth the weeklong wait. The 3 run final format meant that riders had a couple of chances to put down a solid run before, if needed, cranking it up and going hell for leather. I guess youngblood Christian Haller doesn’t think the same as me, though, as straight out the gates he was going for the big fs 1080 tail on his first hit. Sadly he fell on it the first 2 times and, though he rode it out in his last run the landing was less than spot on which cost him major points. Props to the kid for going for it though and by the looks of it he’ll threaten next year. The guys who’d qualified in the top 3 from the semis also struggled, with Roger Kleivdal, Markus Malin and the snowboarding purists’ favourite Markus Keller not quite living up to their potential on the day.
First placed Crispin Lipscomb booting it on a corked fs 7 midway through his second run
After the first run Finland’s Janne Korpi was in pole position thanks to some big, technical and well executed tricks. It looked to be going the Finn’s way till the third and final runs when Iouri Podladtchikov finally put down the combo that he’d earlier struggled with cleanly to nudge his way into second but even that wasn’t enough to claim the title. With the level of riding high and back-to-back 7s to back-to-back 9 combos flying around, Crispin Lipscomb confided, “I gotta go for the 10 in there. It might not be pretty but it’s gotta be done to be in with a chance.” And for his last run he did. And, to be honest, it wasn’t pretty however the rest of his run was huge, technical and finished off with a very pretty monster backside alley-oop 360 that he kinda span flat on. Sick. “I am so happy!” enthused Crispin. “It was a super sunny day with great riding. This win makes me wanna come back to ride this great pipe again here in Laax!”
And with that, the 2007 Burton European Open was wrapped up. After battling with the elements, she came good in the end and we’re looking forward to next year’s already. Though we may have to drench ourselves in pig’s blood and howl at the moon a bit to appease the weather gods next time. Thanks to Burton for everything, Laax for their snowboard-friendly attitude, the riders for the show, the crowd for the cheers, the Riders Palace for the hangovers and you for tuning in.
2007 BEO men’s halfpipe final results
- 1. Crispin Lipscomb CAN
- 2. Iouri Podladtchikov RUS
- 3. Janne Korpi FIN
- 4. Peetu Piiroinen FIN
- 5. Markus Malin FIN
- 6. Rolf Feldmann SUI
- 7. Markus Keller SUI
- 8. Christian Haller SUI
- 9. Mitchell Brown NZE
- 10. Roger Kleivdal NOR
- 11. Sergio Berger SUI
- 12. Gian Simmen SUI
- 13. Henning Marthinsen NOR
- 14. Xaver Hoffmann GER
- 15. Stephan Maurer SUI
- 16. Luke Wynen USA
2007 BEO women’s halfpipe final results
- 1. Holly Crawford AUS
- 2. Sarah Conrad CAN
- 3. Ellery Hollingsworth USA
- 4. Juliane Bray NZE
- 5. Meri Peltonen FIN
- 6. Andrea Schuler SUI
- 7. Lisa Wiik NOR
- 8. Anne Sophie Pellissier FRA
More on www.burtoneuropeanopen.com.