LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (July 3, 2007) — The Burton Global Open Series announces a stellar line-up of the world’s leading professional snowboarders for the 2007 Burton New Zealand Open championships. Olympic gold medalists and X Games champions are among the athletes who will compete at Snow Park NZ in New Zealand’s biggest snowboarding event.
Former World Superpipe Champion (’06) Mason Aguirre (18) will return to see if he can make it three in a row and retain his men’s champion title as well as the quarterpipe title. He is joined by Olympic gold medalist, Kelly Clark (24) who will defend the women’s championship and quarterpipe titles following her double win last year. Both hailing from the United States they will have tough competition on their hands in the form of their fellow countrymen. Ross Powers (28) owns more halfpipe titles than any other rider in history including a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics while Elena Hight (17) was the youngest rider to compete at the Torino Olympics last year. Other high profile athletes confirmed for the event include Keir Dillon (USA), Heikki Sorsa (Finland) and Kazuhiro Kokubo (Japan).
Going head to head with the world’s best will be top Kiwi riders Juliane Bray (31), Mitch Brown (19) and Kendall Brown (17), all of whom represented New Zealand at last year’s Winter Olympics.
Event organiser, Reuben Yeoman, said the event was shaping up to the biggest yet. “We’ve got a very impressive field of athletes from all over the world and each year the level of riding gets pushed higher and higher. Both the Halfpipe and Slopestyle events promise to feature spectacular riding while the Quarterpipe Invitational is always a major crowd puller with its no-holds-barred atmosphere.
The Burton New Zealand Open is free to watch for spectators and last year attracted crowds of more than 8,000. The event takes place on August 7 to 11 at Snow Park NZ near Lake Wanaka. For more information on the Burton New Zealand Open head to www.opensnowboarding.com.