Snowpark, New Zealand – August 1st, 2008: Snowboarding is back and it feels oh so good. Kicking off the 08/09 Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Season, The 5Star Burton New Zealand Open Slopestyle Finals for both men and women took place Friday afternoon (NZST) at Snowpark, New Zealand, with riders pushing the bar right from the get-go.
?07/08 Women's Swatch TTR World Tour Champion Jamie Anderson (USA) returned to the scene, dominating the competition for first place with Mikkel Bang also taking home his first title of the season. Both riders claimed huge shares of the $50 000 USD prize purse and 850 TTR Ranking Points, earning them top spots in Swatch TTR World Rankings.
Jamie Anderson brewing a barley with a run full of hops. PHOTO: Aaron Blatt.
In conditions that favored the well-seasoned and competitive-savvy rider, it became clear from the early rounds of the semi-finals what riders would pull away from the pack. Jamie Anderson continued to prove her Slopestyle prowess established last season, layering her buttery style all over each and every feature of the course. Back-to-back 5s, massive 3s and rail combos oozing with flavor, this was Jamie's contest and with another Title in her collection, she extends her lead as Swatch TTR World No. 1 going into the 08/09 Season.
Cheryl Maas (NED) who placed 2nd still made her mark however, pushing the limits with a sick BS7 Tailgrab that none else dared attempt earning her the spot of TTR World No. 2. Sina Candrian (SUI) who was the only other female rider beside Maas to go for a 7, finished 6th in the Slopestyle moving her into TTR World No. 3. Canadian female rider Spencer O'Brien took third with solid runs throughout to move up a staggering 90 places in the rankings to TTR World No. 7.?
Similarly amongst the men, Mikkel Bang could not have put on a better show. Outdoing himself with each successive run, Bang rewrote the definition of 'stomp', with the cleanest collection of switch BS 9s ad cab 7s of the week, earning himself the 08 Burton NZO Slopestyle Title and the No. 1 spot in the Swatch TTR rankings.?
Mikkel Bang – style and stomped. PHOTO: Miles Holden
Chasing close behind Bang was a number of international riders that threw down everything they had but couldn't get close enough to Bang's consistency. Chas Guldemond (USA) busted out his signature BS 1260 in the semi finals, with equally impressive cab 9 nose grabs in his bag. Guldemond's third place moved him into TTR World No. 2, less than 2 points behind Bang.?
Tim Humphreys (USA) and Charles Reid (CAN), both favorites going into the finals, were having trouble connecting their tricks in the final rounds. Still managing to land some epic 7s and 9s, Reid's second place and Humphrey's fifth moved them into the TTR Top 5.?Special mention goes out to Canadian shredder Sebastian Toutant, who after taking a hard slam on a double BS rodeo attempt, sucked it up and went for another go, only to succumb to lack of speed the second time around. Expect big things from Seb in the near future.?
1. Jamie Anderson
2. Cheryl Maas
3. Sina Candrian
4. Ellery Hollingsworth
5. Jordie Karlinski
1. Mikkel Bang
2. Chas Guldemond
3. Tim Humphreys
4. Charles Reid
5. Janne Korpi
For full ranking updates, hilarious blogs and action packed videos from the Southern Hemisphere, check out ttrworldtour for all the latest coverage from the Swatch TTR 5Star Burton New Zealand Open, continuing on August 2nd, 2008 NZST with the men's and women's Halfpipe competitions which again can be followed live on go211.