WANAKA, NEW ZEALAND – August 13, 2010: Slopestyle finals went off today at the 5Star Burton New Zealand Open at Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka, New Zealand. The organizers had to modify the format due to weather delays, but the competition was able to run and riders made the best out of the low-visibility day. On the men's side, Christian Haller (SUI) put together a clean run on the challenging course to take first place and slopestyle specialist, Jamie Anderson (USA), took home the top spot for the women. Haller and Anderson each earned themselves NZ$6,000 and 850 Swatch TTR Ranking points setting them up with a good result on the TTR World Tour for the 2010/11 season.
With some weather delays the competition format was switched up to an all finals round with 37 men and 19 women each getting two runs for a shot at the podium and a piece of the NZ$50,000 prize purse.
Norwegian Rider Gjermund Braaten Bolsters his Tour Lead
The New Zealand Open is the second 5Star event for the men on the 2010/11 Swatch TTR World Tour season and Gjermund Braaten (NOR) was able to maintain his World No. 1 position in the TTR Rankings with a second place finish today. Christian Haller climbed the rankings to the World No. 6 spot with his first place finish and Mikkel Bang (NOR) moved up in the rankings to World No. 8. This was Haller's first major TTR title win of his career and got it done with a run consisting of a backside lipslide on the down-flat-down bar, tailslide on the gap to flat box, switch backside 720, Cab 900 and a frontside 720 tailgrab.
Jamie Anderson Takes Over the TTR Tour Lead
For the women, the New Zealand Open was the first major competition for the 2010/11 season, so the pressure was on for riders to get a good result at this early season event. Jamie Anderson powered through the fog and rain to claim the top spot, which bumped her into the World No. 1 position. Anderson won the women's competition with a boardslide-to-tailpress on the down bar, a frontside 180 out on the up box, switch backside 180 mute, backside 360 mute, and a backside 180 mute. Local New Zealander, Shelly Gotlieb, had a good day and finished in second place while Kjersti Ostgaard Buaas (NOR) rounded out the podium in third place. With their podium finishes today, Gotlieb moved into the World No. 5 spot and Buaas is now sitting in the World No. 2 position in the Swatch TTR World Rankings.
Snowboarding Live Scoring System in Full Effect
The New Zealand Open used the new Snowboard Live Scoring (SLS) judging system for slopestyle finals and will also use the system for tomorrow's halfpipe semi-finals and finals. The SLS system was well received by riders today and seemed to run smoothly for the judges, as well. The new system can be viewed in action during the live webcast on GO211.com during tomorrow's halfpipe competition.
Check back to ttrworldtour.com for some fresh videos from the New Zealand Open and be sure to check out the new videos explaining how the new SLS judging system works. And, don't forget to tune into GO211.com to check out the halfpipe finals live from Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand.
ABOUT SWATCH TTR:
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch Ticket To Ride (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, innovation as guiding principles". Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing into the most exposed 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 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 based on an average of their best eight results of the season is crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion. For more information visit www.ttrworldtour.com.