There was plenty of action on day one of competition at the Burton New Zealand Open with Slopestyle pre-qualifiers and qualifiers taking place under perfect blue skies at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
A field of 65 men and 18 women battled it out for just 16 and 5 spots, respectively, to join invited riders in the semi-finals, which will take place on Friday, August 13th. The custom built course was in pristine condition with the first feature offering a choice between a down-flat-down round bar or a round down bar, the second feature was a choice between an up box or a gap to flat box, followed by three jumps measuring in at 45-feet, 55-feet, and 75-feet, then finishing with a quarterpipe to goalpost / hip.
Leading in the men's competition was Benjamin Farrow (USA) with a second run score of 89.67 points which he earned with a frontside blunt 270 out, tailslide 270 out, switch backside rodeo 540, frontside 720 double grab, backside 720 melon ending with a tail tap on the goal post feature. Jamie Nicholls (GBR) was only a fraction behind with 89.33 points, also on his second run, which started with halfcab-to-50/50, 180-to-switch 50/50 180 out, Cab 900, frontside 720 mute, and backside 1080 late cork. Rounding out the top three was Sam Hulbert (USA) with a score of 87.67 points. Others riding strong and advancing to semi-finals included Robbie Walker (AUS), Arthur Longo (USA), and Adrian Krainer (AUT). James Hamilton finished in 13th and was the only New Zealander to advance.
Women took to the course later in the afternoon with New Zealander Rebecca Torr coming out on top. Her score of 76.33 was earned with a run that consisted of a backside 50/50, 50/50 frontside 180 out, halfcab, backside 360 stalefish, straight air, and a handplant on the final feature. Second place went to Rana Okada (JPN) with 74.17 and Danielle Adams (USA) came in third with 73.67 points. The other two women to make the cut and advance to semi-finals were Megan Whiteside and Ty Walker (both USA) in 4th and 5th respectively.
In addition to the Slopestyle qualifier round, riders were able to practice in the 22-foot halfpipe in preparation for tomorrow's halfpipe pre-qualifier and qualifier rounds.
The Burton New Zealand Open marks the first stop on the prestigious Burton Global Open Series and is also a 5Star event on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour. Full details and updates are available via www.opensnowboarding.com and semi-finals and finals of the event will be webcast live on www.go211.com