The largest snowboard contest from the land of the rising sun, TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open, finished with an exciting line-up of results as both Superpipe and Slopestyle formats delivered both dramatic and delicate changes to the TTR Ranking List presented by Swatch, between 20th-25th February 2007.
In bright sunny skies at the ALTS Bandai Resort, Fukushima, Friday’s TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Men’s Slopestyle (also known as ‘Parkstyle’ in Japan) resulted in an all-American Burton podium. In a best-run-counts Final, Kevin Pearce (USA) took 1st place honours with a fluid Cab 900 on the kicker followed by an incredibly smooth & high Cab 540. Coming in a close 2nd, Shaun White (USA) earned his spot with a Cab 1080 on the kicker and a Cab 720 on the hip. Mason Aguirre (USA) presented a switch backside 900 on the kicker to a backside air on the hip and earned his 3rd place solid result. Slight changes in the TTR Ranking List occurred as 5th placed Janne Korpi (FIN) gained vital TTR points allowing him to stealthily claim the TTR World Nr 4 spot — until the following day again changed the facts.
Saturday’s Men’s Halfpipe was equally decisive for Burton’s American team as the sublime Shaun White (USA) and Danny Davis (USA) claimed 1st and 2nd positions respectively. White (USA) stormed a frontside 540 stalefish, backside 900, frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 1080, ending on a backside 1080; Davis (USA) threw down a frontside 1080, cab 1080, backside alleyoop, backside 900, completing with a frontside 900. But a Japanese hero stopped a second American podium whitewash as Ryo Aono (JAP) narrowly beat Mason Aguirre (USA) to claim 3rd level result with a stomped backside 540, back-to-back 900 switch, frontside 1080, cleaning up with a Cab 720 – causing a frenzied sensation amongst the mass of local spectators.
With Iouri Podladtchikov (RUS) and Scotty Lago (USA) still leading the Men’s TTR World Rankings, the margins became narrower as the TTR Top 10 reflected a significant shift at end of the contest days. Accumulated with his Slopestyle result, Korpi’s (FIN) 19th place was enough to edge him into the prestigious TTR World Nr 3 chair. Davis’ 2nd place finish helped him drop straight into TTR World Nr 5, whilst Pearce (USA) finally hit the TTR Top 10, landing straight in at TTR World Nr 6 — just above Risto Mattila (FIN). Lurking just below the Top 10, at TTR World Nr 11, White (USA) grows an ever-present player in the crucial weeks leading up to the crowning of the Men’s TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion, at the TTR SIX(6)STAR Burton US Open in March.
The women’s events upped the TTR Ranking ante as the Slopestyle results scored further Ranking dramas. Hana Beaman (USA) took top spot with two high-performance runs that included a backside 720 on the kicker and a mute grab on the hip. Kelly Clark (USA) cropped up 2nd with a backside 360 tail-grab on the kicker, and a method on the hip. Fast on Clark’s heels was Izumi Amaike (JPN), who in Samurai-style swiped the 3rd spot for Japan with a huge Cab 540 on the jump followed by an impressive straight air on the hip.
The Women’s TTR Top 10 made way for major European-based changes as last season’s TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion, Cheryl Maas (NED), slammed straight back into the TTR World Nr 2 position & Conny Bleicher (GER) rocked up to the TTR World Nr 4 spot. Saturday’s slopestyle became more than just a contest win as the women eagerly took competition spirit to the vital end. In the first podium Top 3 result that did not fly the Stars & Stripes, Australia’s Torah Bright (AUS) tore the contest apart with a ripping best run consisting of a backside 540, air-to-fakie, cab 720, frontside 540, ending on a backside 300. Japanese fans helped Yayoi Tamura (JAP) to 2nd place as she creamed a superb run with a backside air, frontside 540 Melon, clean Mctwist, frontside 720 into a cab 360. Slipping into a respectable 3rd, Manuela Pesko (SUI) liifted her best with a backside 540, frontside 720 Melon, Cab 360 tailgrab to a backside air-to-frontside air Melon.
Ever closing the gap on striking young TTR World Nr 1 holder, Jamie Anderson (USA), Maas (NED) maintains her Nr 2 place post-halfpipe. New TTR Top 10 entries go to Southern Hemisphere snowboard queens, Juliane Bray (NZE) enjoying the TTR World Nr 4 spot, and Bright (AUS), straight in at TTR Nr 6. The heat is on in the quest to discover the Women’s TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion, soon to be announced at the TTR SIX(6)STAR Roxy Chicken Jam in Park City this March.
As well as TTR Ranking Points, all riders participating at the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open also earn points towards the Burton Global Open Series.
Check out the latest rider shout-outs from the event on www.ttrworldtour.com with winning runs and dedicated exclusive interviews from the riders live in Japan.
Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open 07 MEN Slopestyle Top 3
1/ Kevin Pearce (USA) BURTON
2/ Shaun White (USA) BURTON
3/ Mason Aguirre (USA) BURTON
Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open 07 WOMEN Slopestyle Top 3
1/Hanna Beaman (USA) RIDE
2/Kelly Clark (USA) BURTON
3/Izumi Amaike (JAP) SALOMON
Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open 07 MEN Halfpipe Top 3
1/ Shaun White (USA) BURTON
2/ Danny Davis (USA) BURTON
3/ Ryo Aono (JAP) YONEX
Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open 07 WOMEN Halfpipe Top 3
1/ Torah Bright (AUS) ROXY
2/ Yayoi Tamura (JAP) ELAN
3/ Manuela Pesko (SUI) FTWO