Check the “Features” section for coverage by Transworld‘s Jennifer Sherowski and Nick Hamilton.
STRATTON, Vt. (March 22, 2008) – Glory, fame and fortune were on the line today at the US Open Snowboarding Championships, where the world’s top riders battled for five different prestigious titles, two Volvo C30 R-Designs and cash awards worth a total of $471,500. Today’s big winners were 2008 BGOS champions Torah Bright (AUS) and Peetu Piiroinen (FIN); 2008 US Open halfpipe champions Torah Bright (AUS) and Shaun White (USA); 2008 Men’s Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion Kevin Pearce (USA); Volvo Most Valuable Riders Cheryl Maas and Shaun White; and 2008 US Open big air champions Cheryl Maas and Tim Humphreys.
Last season’s Burton Global Open Series champion Torah Bright had this to say about her second BGOS title and $100,000 title win, “I had tears coming down under my goggles. I just couldn’t believe that I could win the title twice. I’m really very happy.”
Finnish rider Peetu Piiroinen, who has never won a major title in his snowboard career, said, “I never thought I had a chance to win the BGOS title. I just cannot wait to call my family in Finland – they won’t believe it!”
The action-packed day kicked off with the men and women’s halfpipe finals, where history repeated itself when 2007 US Open halfpipe champions Shaun White and Torah Bright once again took first place and $20,000 each. Just like at last year’s US Open, Shaun also won the Volvo for his overall riding at the event.
At the start of the halfpipe finals, four men and two women were still in contention for the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series title, and every rider in the running had calculated what ranking he or she needed to take home competitive snowboarding’s biggest single payout. In the best-of-three run finals Torah Bright took the lead early with a run that featured a backside 3 Indy, switch backside 720 mute (Winner of Zune Best Trick and $5,000), backside 540, melon-to-fakie with a Cab 720 at the end. Coming off a win at yesterday’s slopestyle, Shaun White won his third US Open halfpipe title, ending his day with a victory lap. Shaun’s winning run consisted of a first-hit frontside 1080 stalefish to Cab 1080 into his signature frontside 540 stalefish, McTwist, frontside 900 with a backside 900 ender—all huge and flawless. Scotty Lago clocked the Zune Best Trick and $5,000 with a double cork frontside 1080.
Later that night, the big air went down and the Volvo Most Valuable Rider awards were given out. Tim Humphreys did every trick in the book from frontside and backside 1080s, backside and switch backside 720s and a backside rodeo 540 to win the title. Cheryl Maas also impressed the judges with her trick arsenal that included a frontside 360, backside 540 and a backside 720 tailgrab (SoBe $2,500 Sick Trick award), earning her the top spot. Chas Guldemond earned the SoBe Sick Trick for his backside 1260 melon.
Cheryl’s overall performance at the event earned her the Volvo. “I’m super stoked, I was just about to sell my old car and I never thought I’d have a car this nice,” said Cheryl about her Volvo win.
Kevin Pearce also had a big day as he took third in the US Open halfpipe competition and was crowned the new 07/08 Men’s Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion, earning $50,000.
After the big air competition, Grammy-nominated heavy metal band Mastodon heated things up with a free show on the concert stage at Stratton’s main base area from 8:00-9:00 p.m.