LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (August 04, 2009) Over 200 athletes from 17 countries will converge on Cardrona Alpine Resort next week vying for a piece of the NZ$50,000 prize purse for the seventh annual Burton New Zealand Open.

The competition has attracted major names of the snowboarding fraternity including Olympic hopefuls Kelly Clark (USA), Justin Lamoureux (CAN), Jiayu Liu (CHN), Mason Aguirre (USA), Sina Candrian (SUI), and Ryo Aono (JPN), among others.

Competing against the world¹s best, New Zealand¹s talent will put up fierce competition on home territory and includes Mitchell Brown (Mt Maunganui), James Hamilton (Auckland), Ben Stewart (Whaangamata), Nick Hyne (Queenstown) and Stef Zeestraten (Wanaka). Kendall Brown (Mt Maunganui) and recently named New Zealand Snow Sports Snowboarder of the Year Shelly Gotlieb (Ohakune) will be competing for positions on the women¹s podium. In total 24 New Zealanders have been accepted in to the prestigious competition.

NZ Event Manager, Reuben Yeoman is delighted to have such a high-caliber field competing this year. “The talent on display will be a real treat for spectators and will produce extremely tough competition conditions. It is a big year for the athletes and I am looking forward to a top quality event,” he said.

Competition gets underway on Wednesday 12 August with the men and women’s Slopestyle qualifiers, culminating with the Halfpipe final on Saturday 15th August. For the Slopestyle, competitors will go head to head on the 800m course featuring down and up rails, table tops up to 50ft and an Airbag up to 65ft. Both the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions offer athletes two runs (three in the finals) with the best score counting to advance them to the next round. Judging criteria is based on overall impression.

There is plenty of free off-mountain action to enjoy throughout the competition including the world premiere of Burton’s “The B” movie showcasing the world’s best snowboarders, followed by rider signings. New to the event line-up is Through the Eyes of Anon, presented by Casio Exilim, a photographic and slideshow exhibition portraying the history of snowboarding.

The Gravis Open Sessions offer two live concerts during competition week featuring DJ team Black Sun Empire, State of Mind and dubstep exports Truth on the 13th August. Headlining the Gravis Open Sessions on Saturday 15th August is Tiki Live with a dynamic seven-piece band The Dub Soldiers; supported by DJ Reno. Tickets for both concerts are still available from Play It Again – Wanaka and Queenstown.

The Burton New Zealand Open, takes place August 11-15, 2009 at Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand and is the first stop on the 2009/2010 Burton Global Open Series and a Swatch Ticket to Ride event.

For more information see www.opensnowboarding.com.

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 riders¹ 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, 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 is crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion.

About Cardrona Alpine Resort
CARDRONA is located in the Crown Range between Queenstown (57kms/60mins) and
Wanaka (34kms/35mins) in the South Island of New Zealand.  With consistently
good weather and reliable snow conditions Cardrona offers superb terrain
suited to all ability levels. Cardrona is renowned for its wide open,
undulating terrain that is perfect for beginners and intermediates, whilst
the Arcadia and Tulips chutes offer extra challenge for more advanced
riders.  Cardrona is home to New Zealand¹s premier terrain parks, with up to
four half pipes, a gravity cross and a range of beginner freestyle features.
For more information, visit www.cardrona.com.