Where: Snowpark, NZ
Running with full momentum off her Slopestyle title win yesterday, 07/08 Swatch TTR WorldTour Champion Jamie Anderson (USA) surprised everyone today with an epic first run in the Halfpipe finals to take home her first Halfpipe Title at the 08 Burton New Zealand Open. With her second win, Anderson claims another 850 TTR ranking points, extending her Tour Lead by over 60 points.
Japanese male rider Kazuhiro Kokubo was the other star of the day, flying high with unparalleled amplitude and style to take home his first Swatch TTR Title of the season putting into TTR World No. 8.
The day began similar to yesterday, with slight overcast and tough visibility. Semi-finals proved to be a tough obstacle for many riders as they battled with flat light, and an inconsistent pipe. Those that managed to push through the less than ideal weather to the finals however, suddenly switched into high gear and judges and fans were greeted with impressive runs as the day’s leaders broke away under blue skies.
Jamie Anderson, qualifying in the semi-finals for the last spot in the finals, set the bar incredibly high with her first run, connecting all her tricks, including sick airs and 5s, with fluidity and style. The bar remained untouched right on through to the end of the three-rider super final, and not even esteemed pipe rider Kelly Clark, who only finished third in the Pipe despite her massive signature amplitude, could knock Anderson from the No. 1 spot. Clark moved up to TTR World No. 5. If Anderson can keep up her dominance in both formats in the coming events, she’ll set herself up as the rider to beat in the 08/09 season.
Further down in the Swatch TTR rankings, Swiss rider Sina Candrian moved up four places to TTR World No. 2 despite not making the finals and finishing 12th, followed by Ellery Hollingsworth (USA) who moved up seven places to TTR World No. 3.
In the men’s field, Chas Guldemond (USA) was favoured to do well, but a hard slam in the semi-finals took him out of the competition. Nevertheless, Guldemond’s 24th place finish in the Halfpipe combined with the previous days podium finish in the Slopestyle moved him into Swatch TTR World No.1.
The finals however, proved to be the Japanese riders time to shine with Kazuhiro Kokubo (now in World No. 8), Daisuke Murakami (now in World No. 23), Kazuumi Fujita an Ryo Aono all making the Top 5 with incredible runs composed of insane amplitude, back to back 9 combos and simply mind blowing style overall.
Finnish rider Janne Korpi finished 6th in the pipe to take Swatch TTR World No. 2 followed by local New Zealand shredder James Hamilton who moved into TTR World No. 3 with an 8th in the pipe.
Check out www.ttrworldtour.com for full ranking updates, in depth videos and behind the scenes blogs from the entire week of competition at the 08 Burton New Zealand Open. Also visit www.go211.com for full replay action of both the Slopestyle and Halfpipe formats. Following the NZO, the Tour stays in Snowpark, New Zealand to prepare for the Billabong Snow Stock. Billabong has been taking the show to Snow Park since 2003, and this is the first year which the Big Air event will be 3 Star TTR rated. All information and news will be available on www.ttrworldtour.com and www.billabong.com/au.