Finnish men and American women dominated the only halfpipe on the South American continent in the first World Cup halfpipe event of the ’03/04 season. On this hot spring day in the Andes, the sidelines were alive with Chilean enthusiasts cheering for amplitude and any blonde-haired women making her way down the pipe. Competitors showed up five days earlier to train, finding the grim remnants of a low-snow year and no clean transitions in sight, but Scandinavian shaper David Ny and a dedicated FIS crew came to the rescue and built a pipe that competitors were stoked on.

Finland’s Antti Autti-the Flow rider who caught fire last year-took first with way overhead, smooth, stylish spins. Another Finn, Risto Mattila landed in second in front of upcoming Norwegian shy-boy Halvor Lunn who took third. Stephen Fisher was the top U.S. rider on the men’s side, he kept it real in fourth place (one spot in front of Tommy Czeschin, who probably would have made the podium with a nine instead of a seven during his last run) with a first-place finish at the bar that night.

Fisher is still on the up, but the next big story in U.S. halfpipe riding might be Tyler Emond-he made it to tenth in the season’s debut.

Straight off her ‘Rookie of the Year’ win at TransWorld’s Riders Poll Awards in San Diego last week, Hannah Teter spun 900 and McTwisted her way into first. Seventeen-year-old Palmer rider Lindsey Jacobellis followed close behind for second place. Norway’s hottest export, Kjersti Buass let loose a giant fs 540 mute on the first hit, assuring her a third place finish.

Tricia Byrnes narrowly missed making the finals in the cutthroat FIS qualification process. Only six women and ten men advanced.

Nokia followed up the contest with a disco party last night to celebrate. In true South American style, the party got going at midnight with Nokia girls, free drinks, and hot techno beats. Revelers were seen straggling back as the sun came up over the spectacular slopes of Valle Nevado.

Look for more updates as we continue to stumble through South America on a shoestring, Yerba mate, and SPF 30.

Men’s Final Results
1. Antti Autti (Fin)
2. Risto Mattila (Fin)
3. Halvor Lunn (Nor)
4. Steven Fisher (USA)
5. Tommy Czeschin (USA)
6. Magnus Sterner (SWE)
7. Crispin Lipscomb (CAN)
8. Kim Christianson (NOR)
9. Marius Otterstad (NOR)
10. Tyler Edmond (USA)

Women’s Final Results
1. Hannah Teter (USA)
2. Lindsey Jacobellis (USA)
3. Kjersti Buass (NOR)
4. Torah Jane Bright (AUS)
5. Lisa Wiik (NOR)
6. Silvia Mittermueller (GER)