When: 9 January, 2009

Where: Laax, Switzerland

The Burton European Open Snowboarding Championships kicked off its week-long birthday bash today in Laax, Switzerland with the junior slopestyle competition, where riders 14-years-old or younger competed in the legendary BEO slopestyle course on Crap Sogn Gion. Fourteen-year-old Swiss snowboarder Patrick Burgener won the boys’ slopestyle competition and 11-year-old American rider Ty Walker won the girls’ competition.

Bluebird skies and a perfectly designed slopestyle course greeted the little rippers in today’s competition where riders as young as eight-years-old braved the adult-sized slopestyle course, which starts off with several creative features, including a mini-spine log jib, followed by a wallride and the choice of a downrail or downbox then a halfpipe feature followed by three kickers.

Sixteen boys and nine girls from 14 different countries had three runs in the finals to earn their top scores. The girls started things off with 14-year-old Clémence Grimal from France dropping first with a solid run that included a straight air indy grab on the second kicker, earning her second place in the competition. Eleven-year-old Ty Walker (USA), who hails from Stowe, Vermont, impressed the judges with her winning run, which included a backside air over the jib, a 360 on the wallride, a switch frontside boardslide on the box, a Cab 360 and frontside air on the halfpipe feature finishing with a backside 360 tail grab, a backside air and a nosegrab on the three kickers. Fourteen-year-old Emma Bernard from France came in third place with a solid run that included a frontside 360 and Cab 360 on the halfpipe feature followed by a frontside 180, straight air indy and a straight air nosegrab on the kickers.

The boys were riding strong too, throwing grown-up sized tricks like frontside 9 indys on the jumps and 540 alley oops on the wallride. Swiss rider Patrick Burgener earned first place with an impressive run that started off with a frontside 360 bonk on the log jib, a 540 alley oop boardslide on the wallride, a backside boardslide, a frontside 540 to a big backside air on the halfpipe feature finishing off with a backside 720 mute grab, a frontside 900 indy grab and a Cab 540 melon grab on the three kickers. Swiss rider Jan Scherrer, who is part of the Freestyle Academy at LAAX, came in second place with a run that included a frontside 360 indy grab and back-to-back 720s on the kickers. Tim-Kevin Ravnjak from Slovenia earned third place with a solid run that included a frontside 540 and back-to-back 720s on the kickers.

In other BEO news, 40 men advanced from the halfpipe pre-qualifiers today to the halfpipe qualifiers, which take place on Monday. Tomorrow at the BEO, the young rippers will once again be in the spotlight as they compete for titles in the junior halfpipe event.

Junior Slopestyle Boys’ Results 1 Burgener, Patrick (SUI) 93.17

2 Scherrer, Jan (SUI) Forum 83.67

3 Ravnjak, Tim-Kevin (SLO) Burton 80.33

Junior Slopestyle Girls’ Results 1 Walker, Ty (USA) Roxy 74.33

2 Grimal, Clémence (FRA) Roxy 73.00

3 Bernard, Emma (FRA) Roxy 72.00

For more information on the Burton European Open, head to www.opensnowboarding.com