When: Sat 18th of August 2007
Where: Perisher Blue, Australia
Words and photos: Alex Roberts. www.alextroberts.com
On Friday morning I got to Perisher Blue Resort after 8 years away to find a busy resort enjoying some nice weather for the finals of the Burton Australian Open. The park shapers had done a great job on the slopestyle course which was easily accessed by the 8 seater chairlift on Front Valley. Starting with a rail and box at the top leading into 4 kickers winding their way down the slope next to the aussie gum trees. Dingo and Drew were on the mic and geeing everyone up, while Dingo's mum had the bbq going.
I arrived in time for the Men's Semi Finals, the level of riding was sick and I'm told it was the best seen so far in Oz. The international contingent included riders from the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and our close neighbours the Kiwis from New Zealand.
Young Japanese rider Kazu Kokubo was killing the course with styled tech spins and massive 1080s over the last kicker, a 60ft table to be used for the Big Air later. Other standouts for me were Nick Gregory, Chas Guldemond, Mason Aguirre, and Torstein Horgmo. It was great to see such a high level of riding here in Oz, let's hope it continues to improve next year with the aussie and kiwis competing with the strong mix of international riders.
The Big Air comp was straight after the Slopestyle, and Torstein was straight into it, he really is killing it which is great to see after his bad back injury at the Burton European Open this January. Also great to see was Robbie Walker taking the Mens Big Air Prize, and Austria's Claudia Fliri stomped a huge FS7 over the big kicker to take the womens title.
On Saturday it was time for the Pipe finals, again with sunny weather which was nice for the photos but no help to the frontside wall of the pipe. Andy Finch lead after his second run and ended the day's competition with a third run Victory Lap of huge Straight Airs all the way down the pipe. Check the shot of his Indy to Fakie on the last hit, still huge. I wish all the runs were like that, style over technicality.
Check the official site for more info and results at http://www.opensnowboarding.com/aus/index.aspx.
Righto, that's it for the BAO, bring on the Stylewars at Falls Creek! Enjoy the shots below...
Kazuhiro Kokubo on a FS 1080
The slopestyle park
The Unknown soldier
Torstein 'Killing It' Horgmo
Women's slopestyle winners
Men's slopestyle winners
Big Air winners
Horgmo again, this time killing the pipe
Andy Finch going big-up on the last hit
Women's halfpipe winners
Men's halfpipe winners