It was a clean sweep for the Kiwis on day one of the Burton New Zealand Open at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Juliane Bray of Wanaka and Nick Hyne of Queenstown taking out the women’s and men’s Slopestyle titles respectively.
Competition was fierce from a strong international field and although falling snow marred visibility throughout the day, this didn’t stop competitors getting huge air off the tabletops and throwing down technical slides on the specially designed rails.
Head judge, Ste’en Webster said the competition had taken snowboarding to a new level in New Zealand.
“Having judged for a number of years at World Cup level overseas, it’s the first time we have seen a truly international standard event in New Zealand,” he said. “The course was very impressive – probably the best slopestyle course seen to date in New Zealand. I was particularly blown away by the staircase feature.”
Webster said the dept of talent in the competition was very apparent with both local and international riders stepping up to the occasion.
“Juliane was miles ahead on the rail section of the course – she nailed the staircase feature perfectly and backed it up with good airs for the cleanest run of the day. Molly Aguirre (USA) was leading going into the finals – totally ripping it, as was Hana Sullivan of Motueka, but in the finals Juliane stepped up to take the title.”
“Nick was his usual smooth styley self but he had to fight for his title – there were at least five other people riding the rails as good as he was such as Danny Davis and Jeremy Thompson, both from the USA. Both were incredibly clean and rode as though it was a perfect blue sky day. However, Nick combined solid rail riding with technical spins including a switch backside 9 which means he took off backwards, spinning 900 degrees, landing it cleanly.”
The Burton New Zealand Open continues at Cardrona Alpine Resort tomorrow (Friday) at 9.30am with the preliminaries for the Halfpipe. Saturday sees the grand finale of the Open, the Halfpipe Finals kicking off at 9am in Cardrona’s International pipe. For more information visit www.cardrona.com or www.opensnowboarding.com.