STRATTON, VT (March 20, 2009) – The 27th Annual US Open Snowboarding Championships final events kicked off this evening at Stratton Mountain Resort with the men’s and women’s quarterpipe finals under clear skies in front of hundreds of spectators at the Sunbowl base area.  Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas and Scotty Lago earned the first titles of this year’s US Open, taking home top honors and $10,000 in cash for their overall impression on the judges after tonight’s quarterpipe jam. In addition, Buaas took home another $3,000 after boosting 16’ and Luke Mitrani launched 25’ and won $3,000, each compliments of Amp Energy for the highest air in the quarterpipe competition.

Kjersti impressed the judges with her big backside airs, air to fakies and going for broke with different grabs. Buaas had this to say about her big win, “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, I never ride quarterpipe, I didn’t know what to expect. I tried to take things from the halfpipe and use them in the quarterpipe, and it really paid off.”

Scotty Lago wowed the crowds by pulling out every trick in the book and scored points with his clean style and lofty airs. Lago spun frontside and backside, throwing down tricks like a frontside 720 truckdriver and a corked back 540. “I really wanted to do well,” said Lago. “The jam format was awesome. I have been coming to the US Open for 13 years and this is the first time that I have been on the podium, I’m so excited.”

Daniel Ek of Norway took 2nd for the men and Sebastien Toutant (CAN) placed 3rd, taking home $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. For the ladies, Lisa Wiik (NOR) placed second and took home $5,000 and Elena Hight (USA) won $2,500 for third.

After an insane night of riding, the quarterpipe crowds were treated to a free RJD2 show, whose songs have been featured in no less than five snowboard videos.

Tomorrow, all eyes will be on the halfpipe where top riders like Shaun White (USA), Torah Bright (AUS), Kelly Clark (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Kevin Pearce (USA) and Danny Kass (USA) will compete for the prestigious US Open halfpipe title, $20,000 in cash and valuable BGOS and SWATCH TTR points. A free Santigold concert in the Sun Bowl area of Stratton Mountain Resort will follow tomorrow’s halfpipe awards ceremony.

Sebastien Toutant, Scotty Lago, and Daniel Ek. PHOTO: Jake Stengel