PERISHER VALLEY, Australia (August 27, 2007) — On Saturday, August 25, The Garnier Fructis Australian Open 2007 concluded at Perisher Blue ski resort with the men’s and women’s semifinal and final halfpipe competitions taking place. US Olympians Kelly Clark and Andy Finch both rode away with top honors and $5000 in this year’s second event of the Burton Global Open Series.
The warm day made for challenging pipe conditions, causing course officials to revise the schedule and combine the semifinal and final competitions. The field of 16 female and 40 male semifinalists each took two runs, the top 8 women and 16 men were then given one additional run. Final results were based on the best run of the three.
Kelly Clark’s first run of the day impressed the judges with huge amplitude and clean rotations. Clark, a 2002 Olympic Gold Medalist, started out with a huge frontside air that was followed by an equally large method. She then spun a frontside 540, which was followed by a backside mute grab, after that a frontside 720 and she ended with a Cab 360. Her score for that run held off the competition for the remainder of semis and finals, as Kelly took first place in the women’s halfpipe. “The pipe was challenging, said Clark, the current TTR ranking leader. “But, I knew what I wanted to do and landed my tricks on my first run. I was stoked to win, for sure.
Andy Finch was equally as stoked with his second run, which landed him first place in the men’s halfpipe competition. Finch, an Olympian in the 2006 Games, began his run with an enormous Heave-Ho, followed by a front 1080, into a Cab 720, to a backside Alley-oop 360, and finished with an Alley-oop Rodeo 360. Finch was so secure with his run that he utilized his last drop for a victory lap of straight airs. “It felt good to win, but it felt even better to do those straight airs, said Finch. “I had a great day, being out here with the boys was a blast. I’m super psyched right now!
On Friday, August 24, the slopestyle semifinal and finals took place. For much of the day, fellow DC team riders, Torstein Horgmo and Chas Guldemond battled it out head to head. But edging out Horgmo with his last run of the day was Guldemond who started things off with a Cab 270 on 270 off the rail, followed by a frontside boardslide 270, Cab 540 melon, backside rodeo 540 on the step-up to a Cab 900 nose grab, finishing off with a monstrous backside 1260 nosegrab. “We’re good buddies, but the battle will continue, said Guldemond of Horgmo. “I was fired up (that I won) that’s for sure.
In the women’s event, 17 year-old Jamie Anderson won first place with a run that began with a boardslide on the rail, tailslide on the box, then spun a frontside 360 on the first hit, followed by a backside 180, into a Cab 540 melon grab, and finished with a frontside 180. “I felt like I was riding better in practice, but I still stuck all my landings during the competition, said Anderson. “I was surprised but happy that I won. It’s great!
With the Australian Open finished, it’s on to the inaugural Canadian Open, taking place from December 3-9 at CODA’s Canada Olympic Park. Currently, Mason Aguirre (USA) and Elizabeth Beerman (USA) are in the lead for the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series Championship title.
To download print-quality photos from the event, visit: http://www.opensnowboarding.com/aus/AO_media.aspx and click on the ‘Photos for Publishing’ link at the bottom of the web page. Enter the following to access hi-res images: username: aus07 password: downundersteeze
For more information on the Burton Global Open Series, visit opensnowboarding.com