The Super Pipe finals of the Garnier Fructis Pro Challenge certainly caused a stir in the snowboarding world this weekend.
A world-class assortment of riders lined up to battle it out in the Super Pipe finals and showcase their skills on the Aussie snow.
American snowboarding sensation Louis Vito (USA), aged just 18, threw down a flawless final run which included back to back 900 rotations and a backside 1080 – the first ever on Australian snow – to claim victory and his second successive Garnier Fructis Pro Challenge held at Perisher Blue.
Fellow American Danny Kass (Olympic Silver Medalist ’02 & ’06) finished runner-up in an epic battle – the lead see-sawing with Vito throughout the final as they pushed their performances to amazing levels. Kass looked set to out-do Vito’s run with a series of high 900 rotations but came unstuck on a backside 1080 spin during the final stages. Australian Andrew Burton put on a great snowboarding display and claimed a worthy third place.
“This has been an amazing event,” Vito said, brandishing his $21,000 winners check. “The Perisher crew did an incredible job building the Pipe which made us go for the big moves. We (Vito and Kass) pushed each other today and that’s what it’s all about – going harder and higher for the win – I’ve had a great time here and full credit to Garnier and the Australian’s for putting on such an incredible event.”
Just a day earlier, Vito won additional prize money by placing third in the professional Slope Style contest.
The Garnier Fructis Pro Challenge offered $100 000 in prize money over two days across Open Men and Open Women in the disciplines of Slope Style and Super Pipe and made the record books as the biggest Snowboarding Event ever in Australia.