When: 10 January, 2009

Where: Laax, Switzerland

Patrick Burgener and Emma Bernand Win Junior Halfpipe The Burton European Open Snowboarding Championships continued today under sunny skies in Laax, Switzerland with the junior halfpipe competition, where riders 14-years-old or younger competed in the perfectly shaped BEO halfpipe on Crap Sogn Gion. Fourteen-year-old Swiss snowboarder Patrick Burgener, who won yesterday’s junior slopestyle competition, claimed another BEO title today when he won the boys’ halfpipe event. Emma Bernard from France, who took third place in the junior slopestyle yesterday, earned first place in the girls’ halfpipe competition.

Patrick Burgener was very happy with his double wins and said, “I liked the pipe, it was in perfect shape. I felt good about today’s competition because I was very confident after winning yesterday’s event, so I really gave it my best in the halfpipe. The level of riding was very high, so I was very happy to win both competitions."

About her win today, Emma Bernard said, “I’m really glad that I won because it’s my last year in the junior category and it will be more challenging for me to do well in future competitions. I was on the podium yesterday, and am happy that I did well in both events." Emma’s close friend Clémence Grimal, who placed second in both junior events added, “I’m really happy for both Emma and me because we are very good friends and we both did well in the competitions."

In the finals, sixteen boys and eight girls from 11 different countries had three runs to earn their top scores. The same girls who were on the podium in yesterday’s slopestyle competition were also on the podium for the halfpipe competition, just in a different order. Fourteen-year-old Emma Bernard (FRA) earned the top spot with a frontside air, backside air, frontside mute 360, Cab 360 finishing with a nose grab to fakie. Clémence Grimal (FRA), who placed second in yesterday’s slopestyle competition, earned second place again in today’s halfpipe event with a run that included a frontside air, backside air, nose grab, mute grab, frontside 360, Cab 360 and a frontside 540. Yesterday’s girls’ slopestyle winner Ty Walker took third place in the halfpipe competition with a frontside air, backside air, frontside 360, Cab 360, straight air ending with a backside 540.

The boys really stepped it up in today’s halfpipe competition, throwing strong, smooth runs that could easily earn respect in the men’s halfpipe pre-qualification competitions. Patrick Burgener (SUI) stole the show with a run that earned a nearly perfect 98.17 points starting with a big backside air, lofty, smooth back-to-back 720s, frontside 900 tail grab, backside 540 mute ending with a Kelly air. Jan Scherrer (SUI), who earned second place in the junior slopestyle competition, landed in second place again with a run that included a frontside 720, Cab 360, frontside 540 lien, backside 900 and finishing things off with a Kelly air. Filip Kavèiè (SLO) earned a spot on the podium with a frontside nose grab, backside air, frontside 540 lien, backside 540, frontside 360 tailgrab ending with a Cab 360 mute.

The slopestyle course was also busy today at the BEO as 160 men battled in the slopestyle pre-qualifiers for 40 spots in tomorrow’s qualifier competition. Only the best of the best will make it through qualifiers to compete against top invited riders like Shaun White (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), David Benedek (GER) and Kevin Pearce (USA) in Thursday’s slopestyle semi-finals and finals. Tomorrow at the BEO, the men’s and women’s slopestyle qualifiers will take place.

Thanks to the junior competitors for getting the BEO’s birthday party off to a great start – the future of snowboarding is in good hands with stand-out riders like the BEO junior winners.

Junior Halfpipe Boys’ Results

1 Burgener, Patrick (SUI) 98.17

2 Scherrer, Jan (SUI) Forum 91.00

3 Kavèiè, Filip (SLO) Burton 82.17

Junior Halfpipe Girls’ Results

1 Bernard, Emma (FRA) Roxy 83.83

2 Grimal, Clémence (FRA) Roxy 72.17

3 Walker, Ty (USA) Roxy 60.00