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The first 5Star halfpipe competition of the 2011/12 TTR World Tour season is in the bag and Japanese rider, Ryo Aono, and American, Kelly Clark, took home the victories at the 2011 Burton New Zealand Open. It was another perfect day at Cardrona Alpine Resort and the level of riding was set high from the start by the talented field of international riders. Ryo and Kelly both took home $7,000 NZD for their wins and earned 850 TTR ranking points that will count towards both the Halfpipe World Tour Ranking and the Overall World Tour Ranking lists.
The halfpipe finals ran the same format as slopestyle finals using a best-of-three-run format with men and women alternating runs. Kelly Clark sketched on her first run leaving the door open for the other women including Queralt Castellet (ESP), Hannah Teter (USA) and Gretchen Bleiler (USA) who all have impressive tricks in their repertoire. But, Kelly was able to nail her second run that held up to take the win, which was made up of a frontside 720, Cab 720, backside 540 and finished with a frontside 900. Hannah Teter stomped a smooth run to take second place and Queralt Castellet was going big all day and ended up in third place.
The men’s leader board shifted with each run and the Japanese contingent was on fire putting down some impressive tricks. In the end, it was Ryo Aono (JPN) who landed a near-flawless run consisting of a frontside 1080, Cab 1080, frontside 900, backside 900 and ended with a frontside double cork 1080. Louie Vito (USA) was looking good all day taking second place and Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) ended up in third. Louie was happy about taking second place on the podium and was glad to bank the TTR points that he needs to qualify for the upcoming World Snowboarding Championships saying, “I came down to New Zealand especially to get some points for the TTR World Champs and it’s fun, I could be traveling to worse places than New Zealand. And, it was a good day today, the pipe was in really good shape and I was stoked to finish on the podium."
Riders who competed in halfpipe at the Burton New Zealand Open, from pre-qualifiers to finals, have all earned ranking points that will count towards the TTR Overall and the TTR Halfpipe World Tour Ranking lists. After the close of the New Zealand Open, Roope Tonteri (FIN) is leading the men’s Overall Tour Ranking with four results already registered. And, on the women’s side, Silvia Mittermueller (GER) is leading the women’s Overall Tour Rankings with three results in the bag. Check out www.ttrworldtour.com for the complete Slopestyle Tour Ranking, Halfpipe Tour Ranking and Big Air Ranking lists.
With the 5Star New Zealand Open a wrap, the TTR World Tour will take a brief hiatus and be back for the first 6Star event, the Air & Style Beijing, going down this December in China.