Burton European Open Cancels Slopestyle Finals Due to Inclement Weather
Dangerously high winds and low visibility forced event organizers and competitors to cancel the Burton European Open slopestyle finals for the safety of the riders. Slopestyle course conditions at 3000 meters on the Vorab glacier deteriorated to a point that it was far too risky for riders to compete.
“I was definitely looking forward to competing in my first Burton European Open event," says Burton Global Team rider and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White (pictured below). “The course was super fun today until the weather rolled in. I’m still glad I came because it’s always fun to be in Europe. I like meeting the snowboard fans here – they’re always really stoked to hang out with us. I really hope I can come back next year and compete at the BEO."
Burton Global Team rider and two-time BEO slopestyle champion Natasza Zurek said, “I know everyone here gave it their best shot to make this contest happen, and I really appreciate all of their efforts. The thing is that you can’t do anything about the weather – it either loves us or hates us. My prediction is that next year at the BEO the weather will love us."
Cancelling the event was a very difficult decision for all involved as many of the world’s top riders, including Antti Autti (FIN), Travis Rice (USA), Natasza Zurek (CAN) and Shaun White (USA) traveled long distances to compete at the event. Ultimately, the riders’ safety comes first, and all of the competitors supported the decision to cancel the event.
Despite the warmest winter in Europe in 55 years, LAAX made a tremendous commitment to build the best slopestyle course possible with 50,000 cubic meters of natural snow. Nine snowcats worked up on the glacier for ten days straight to build a course that all the riders were stoked on.
The $62,500 slopestyle prize purse will be split evenly between the invited men and women riders as well as the male riders who made it into the slopestyle qualifiers for their efforts to come to the event.
The Burton European Open slopestyle finals was also one of the six remaining events where riders could earn points towards the Burton Global Open Series Championship title, which will award $100,000 each to the male and female overall winners at the conclusion of the US Open. Because this event was cancelled, a rider’s four best results will now be used to determine the winner of the overall title.
The lack of BEO slopestyle results also means that the TTR Ranking Points allocation for this format will be null and void. This does not affect the next set of TTR SIX(6)STAR Ranking Points that riders can earn at this week’s men's and women's BEO halfpipe competition.