Burton Canadian Open Snowboarding Championships Underway

CALGARY, AB (February 2, 2010) – The first day of the second annual Burton Canadian Open 2010 Snowboarding Championships kicked off this morning under partly cloudy skies at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. A field of 55 men, whom would be whittled to a mere 10 by the end of the day, were registered and raring to go as they took to the 22′ superpipe.

The majority of the field was made of Canadians like Tanner Davidson, Brendan Davis and Anthony Wolf, in addition to local Calgarians Mitch Crowshaw, Craig Moore and Pierce Mimura. A strong international contingent came out to ride, consisting of athletes from 12 countries including Belgium, Great Britain, France, Australia, Switzerland and Japan.

Heats one and two dropped alternately in a best of three run qualification round. The highest scoring run of the day was landed by Johann Baisamy (FRA) on his second run which started off with a frontside inverted 720, followed by a Haakon flip, a nose and tail double grab, into a backside 900, followed by an alley-oop rodeo, ending with a stylish slasher. Ben Watts out of Bend, Oregon placed first in his heat with a run that started with a big backside 900 melon, followed by a frontside 900 stalefish, into a frontside 720 Indy, finishing with a Cab 720 tailgrab.

The top five finishers in each heat move on to Saturday’s semifinals where they will face Olympic riders like Justin Lamoureux (CAN), Manuel Pietropoli (ITA), Christian Haller (SUI), Jeff Batchelor (CAN) and Antti Autti (FIN), in addition to world-class riders Charles Reid (CAN), Markus Malin (FIN), Dustin Craven (CAN), Janne Korpi (FIN) and Stale Sandbech (NOR).

As the day wore on and the clouds rolled in, the women took to the pipe, a field of 31 women was vying for only five spots in Saturday’s semifinal competition where they would compete against Olympians Palmer Taylor (CAN), Linn Haug (NOR), Cilka Sader (SLO), Julianne Bray (NZE) and Sarah Conrad (CAN). The French domination continued with Sophie Rodriguez taking the top spot for the ladies with a lofty tailgrab, followed by a backside 540 mute, air to fakie tailgrab, into a Cab 360 lien, into a frontside 720, finishing with a difficult switch frontside air. In addition to Rodriguez, Kiwis Kendall Brown and Paula Mitchell, Calgarian Lauren Shanahan and Naho Mizuki of Japan will be moving on to Saturday’s semifinals.

The Burton Canadian Open action continues tomorrow with men’s slopestyle prequals. An overall male and female Burton Global Open Series Champion will be crowned at the final event, the US Open Snowboarding Championships held in Stratton, Vermont. The top three men and women will take home equal prize money, with first place winning $50,000, second place $30,000 and third place taking home $20,000.

The Burton Global Open Series is also part of the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Snowboard Tour (TTR), the largest group of independent freestyle snowboard events in the world. TTR ranks riders based on their results at participating competitions and crowns a TTR World Champion at the US Open. For more information on the Swatch TTR World Tour, visit www.ttrworldtour <http://www.ttrworldtour/> .com

If you can’t make it to Canada Olympic Park, watch the semifinals and finals live on Go211.com, where webcasts and highlights of the competitions will also be available for on-demand viewing once the event is over. The 2010 Canadian Open halfpipe and slopestyle action can be seen on The Score on February 28 at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Halfpipe Qualifications Men
Heat 1
1 Johann Baisamy FRA FLOW
2 Seppe Smits BEL BURTON
3 Ben Mates AUS SMITH
4 Daniel Friberg SUI DC
5 Tasuku Ishizaki JPN CAPITA

Halfpipe Qualifications Men
Heat 2
1 Ben Watts USA BURTON
2 Trevor Jacob USA NIKE 6.0
3 Brett Esser USA OMATIC
4 Jan Necas CZE GNU
5 Cody Weselis USA GNU

Halfpipe Qualification Women
1 Sophie Rodriguez FRA Nike ACG
2 Kendall Brown NZL ROXY
3 Naho Mizuki JPN RIDE
4 Lauren Shanahan CAN MISSION
5 Paula Mitchell NZL O’NEILL

Burton would like to thank WinSport Canada, Go211.com, Paul Mitchell, Amp Energy, Samsung, Travel Alberta, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Hotel Association, Alberta Lottery Fund, Snowboard Canada Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding Magazine and Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour for their support of the Canadian Open.

About the Burton Global Open Series
The Burton Global Open Series events are the pinnacle snowboarding events of the season. Founded by Jake Burton, the Opens have grown from grassroots events to global spectacles attracting tens of thousands of spectators and riders from around the world. Since the beginning, the Opens have been driven by riders, for riders evolving with snowboarding and riders’ needs over the years. With events held in New Zealand, Europe, Canada, Japan and the United States, the Opens set the standard for snowboarding events around the globe. For more information, visit www.opensnowboarding.com.

About the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour is a non-profit, rider-driven organization with the mission to create the highest quality competitive snowboard environment in the world, using authenticity, accessibility and innovation as guiding principles. Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing into the most respected snowboard tour worldwide featuring global grass root and key independent freestyle snowboarding events over a ten-month period from Southern to Northern Hemisphere locations. Events are rated via a 1-through-6Star system, with points allocated accordingly, a 6Star event holds the highest (1000 Swatch TTR points). Any rider participating in these events, from up-and-coming to professional talent, earns ranking points and a position on the Swatch TTR World Ranking List. The top male and female rider at the end of the season are crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion.

About GO211.com
GO211.com is the leading community and video site for action sports created for and by athletes and enthusiasts. It’s the place to go for behind-the-scenes videos, blogs, and photos from pro athletes and featured contributors along with other action sports fans. GO211.com is proud to offer a broad range of exclusive content submitted directly from the athletes and is proud to host interactive live webcasts of the top events in surf, skate, snow and BMX. The current GO211 Pro Team roster includes: Hannah Teter, Nate Yeomans, Torah Bright, Mikes Losness, Kelly Clark, Jack Mitrani, Andy Finch, Donny Robinson, Christian Hosoi, and Holly Beck, among others.

About WinSport Canada
For more than 21 years, WinSport Canada’s disciplined business focus has successfully built upon the foundation of the 1988 Olympic legacy assets. WinSport Canada has become Canada’s leader in developing and sustaining world-caliber winter sport training facilities. WinSport Canada owns and operates Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, the Bill Warren Training Centre in Canmore, the Beckie Scott High Performance Training Centre on Haig Glacier, Camp Green on Farnham Glacier and funds two-thirds of the operating costs of the Olympic Oval in Calgary. These facilities give Canadian high performance athletes the ability to become the best in the world and recreational athletes the chance to discover and develop in sport. For more information about WinSport Canada, please visit www.WinSportCanada.ca.