Gale force winds, freezing rain and lightning greeted riders early Friday morning as they arrived at Snow Park NZ for the 3rd day of the Burton New Zealand Open. The gnarly weather threatened to cancel the slopestyle semis and finals, but the strong winds proved to be not only a curse but a blessing. Although a stiff breeze remained, the cloud cover blew out leaving clear skies and allowing the ladies to take to the course after a delayed start for the women’s semi-final slopestyle competition. Each of the 21 women riders took two runs through the slopestyle course, the best run counting. Great Britain’s Jenny Jones led the pack out of the semis with a score of 80.67, starting off strong with a tailslide on the C-box followed by a 50/50 front 180 out on the high bar. Off the first kicker she pulled a clean back 3 melon followed by a front 3 melon on the second kicker, finishing with a 50/50. Claudia Fliri out of Austria placed second in the semis, she pulled off a front boardslide on the C-box and a 50/50 front 180 out on the upper rails she went straight into a Cab 5 tailgrab on the first jump to a front 3 melon, finishing things off with a 50/50 nosepress. SLC’s Hana Beaman placed 3rd in the semis, she got things started with a backside tailslide, followed up by a boardslide to fakie. Beaman busted back-to-back 5′s on the hits and finished up with a backside to frontside boardslide on the battleship. The ladies got a chance to take a break from the cold wind and weather as the 40 men’s slopestyle semi-finalists headed up the hill. Dan Brisse took the 3rd place spot by starting off super tech on the rails with a switch front board pop to boardslide into a switch front blunt 270 out. On the kickers he landed a Cab 5 stalefish followed by a backside 9 melon. Placing 2nd was Alessandro Boyens from Germany, once again pulling off the Alessandro-oll (we still don’t know what it’s called), in addition to a Cab 9 tailgrab. Edging Boyens out for first place by a 0.5 margin was Mason Aguirre who stepped up and threw down on the rails with a front board pop to tailslide and a tailslide 270 out on the highbar. Aguirre stuck a backside 7 and a front 9 melon on the kickers to take the 1st place spot in the semi-finals.As the riders prepared for the finals the wind continued to blow; the wind meter blew away, the light tower for the evening’s QP comp fell over and the banners kept taking flight. Thus, the finals were cancelled and the semi results were made official. Jenny and Mason were handed their checks and declared champions. The top six riders in each gender took home equal payouts out of a $20,000 purse. 1 21 Jenny Jones GBR Bristol SALOMON 80.67 $50002 180 Claudia Fliri AUT Kramsach VOLKL 77.83 $25003 30 Hana Beaman USA Salt Lake City RIDE 76.33 $12504 16 Torah Bright AUS Cooma ROXY 73.67 $5005 3 Sina Candrian SUI Flims BURTON 71.00 $2506 60 Izumi Amaike JPN Yokohama city FLOW 70.17 $2501 59 Mason Aguirre USA Mammoth Lakes BURTON 78.00 $50002 179 Alessandro Boyens GER Saas Fee STATIC, 77.50 $25003 57 Dan Brisse USA Salt Lake City VOLCOM 75.00 $12504 9 Stef Zeestraten NZE Wanaka K2 71.67 $5005 256 Eric Willett USA Breckenridge ZION 71.17 $2506 10 James Hamilton Douglas NZE Albany – Auckland ROSSIGNOL 66.17 $250The 5th annual Burton New Zealand Open is being held at Snowpark, New Zealand and is the first stop on the Burton Global Open Series, where riders accumulate points towards the Global Open Championship and $100,000 cash to the top male and female. The New Zealand Open is also the second stop and a 5 star event on the TTR World Snowboard Tour and provides riders with the chance to get on the TTR World Ranking list early in the season. Hi res images of the event are available to download daily at: www.boarderzone.com/nzopen/press/Username: nzopenPassword: cab900Don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the world’s top riders competing in the Halfpipe competitions via LIVE webcast at the 2007 Burton New Zealand. Chheck out all of the live action on your favorite website:www.transworldsnowboarding.comwww.snowboardermag.comwww.Lat34.comwww.snow.co.nzwww.method.tvFriday, August 10 — US (Saturday, August 11 — New Zealand)EST:PST:Event:5.30-6.30pm 2:30-3:30pmHalfpipe Semi-Final WOMEN 6.30-7.00pm 3:30-4:00Training Halfpipe Semi-Final MEN7.15-8.45pm 4:15-5:45pmHalfpipe Semi-Final MEN8.45-9.15pm 5:45-6:15pmTraining Finals WOMEN&MEN9.30-11.30pm 6:30-8:30pmHalfpipe Finals WOMEN&MEN