August 12, 2007 was the day of the Burton New Zealand Open halfpipe finals. After being delayed one day due to bad weather most the day was sunshine, until it came time for the last runs in both the men’s and women’s finals. A storm moved in causing flat light conditions, and blowing snow. The riders decided to continue on and deal with it, some still going for it, others taking it easy due to the sketchy conditions.

The girls riding in this event was top notch. Some girls runs consisting of multiple back-to-back spins. Sevens were a trick of standard and done with amplitude and style. Soko Yamaoka was a standout of the day but fell short of the podium. Torah Bright took first place with technical and bold runs. Kelly Clark came in a close second place with high amplitude first hits. And the smooth style riding of Swiss rider Manuela Laura Pesko grabbed the third spot on the podium.

The men’s finals were witness to some very impressive riding. The Swiss and Japanese were out in strength, but it was the focus and persistence of a kiwi rider that took the bacon. Mitch Brown waited until the last run and as if it was destiny the sun came out to light his run and he took full advantage of it stomping everything gracefully with lots of amplitude, it was the type of run that after watching it was clear he won before it was even announced. Joining Mitch on the podium was Scotty Lago in second place, and Ryo Aono from Japan in third.

Women’s top five:

1.Torah Bright, Australia
2.Kelly Clark, USA
3.Manuela Laura Pesko, Switzerland
4.Sarah Conrad, Canada
5.Soko Yamaoka, Japan

Men’s top five:

1.Mitch Brown, New Zealand
2.Scotty Lago, USA
3.Ryo Aono, Japan
4.Murakami Daisuke, Japan
5.Justin Lamoureux, Canada