When: 16 January, 2009
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Wow. What a final that was. Sorry for the delay in the report but all that sickness left your correspondent actually sick with the dastardly manflu. Bit better now so here’s the skinny on the superpipe finals that set the bar pretty frickin’ high for subsequent pipe contests this season.
With an abundance of balloons hanging in the crystal blue sky, the conditions were as close to perfect as can be for the unwrapping of the last gift at the Burton European Open’s 10th birthday bash. The 16 men and 8 women had three runs to show their wares in the finely sculpted 22-foot deep pipe, with the best one counting.
Snowboarding can seem to be overly obsessed with youth on occasion – if you’re over 27 then there’s gonna be some pre-teen nipping at your heels for your spot on the team – but the interesting fact about these finals was that one finalist in each of the men's and women's were not only over 30, Nicola Thost and Gian Simmen were also winners of the first Olympic golds nigh on 11 years ago in Nagano, as the wheels of the first BEO were being set in motion. And they didn’t just make up the numbers either – Gian’s beefy air to fakies were a joy to watch and Nicola was putting down the front 7s despite not having ridden a pipe for 5 years prior to this contest. But though they've doubtless still got it, some of those damned kids are just a bit too good.
Women’s Halfpipe Finals Results 1 Clark, Kelly (USA) BURTON 94.17
2 Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti (NOR) ROXY 85.33
3 Ligocka, Paulina (POL) ROXY 81.17
Men’s Halfpipe Finals Results 1 Pearce, Kevin (USA) BURTON 95.50
2 White, Shaun (USA) BURTON 92.33
3 Podladtchikov, Iouri (SUI) VOLCOM 89.33
Women’s Slopestyle Finals Results 1 Wiik, Lisa (NOR) ROXY 75.83
2 Candrian, Sina (SUI) BURTON 75.67
3 Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti (NOR) 72.67
Men’s Slopestyle Finals Results 1 Davis, Danny (USA) BURTON 91.17
2 Piiroinen, Peetu FIN BURTON 90.83
3 White, Shaun USA BURTON 90.33