CALGARY, AB (February 4, 2011) – For the first time ever, the Canadian Open halfpipe finals took place under the lights at WinSport Canada’s Canada Olympic Park with record crowds turning out to cheer on their favorite riders. This year the pipe was claimed by Kelly Clark (USA) just off of an X Games gold and Burton European Open first place finish, and Kohei Kudo (JPN) for the men who made his way through qualifiers at the beginning of the week to take first place tonight and his first major win of the season. Both Kelly Clark and Kohei Kudo had tough competition but their skills paid off in the end, earning them valuable points towards the BGOS and TTR Titles and $7,500 cash each.

Kelly is celebrating her first time at the Canadian Open with another podium to add to her already impressive list. “I am really happy with my results. The pipe was the best it’s been all week, and I was so happy to nail my first run in finals.  I’ve also had a lot of fun and that’s what it’s all about.”

The women started off under strong winds, but the expert field with Kelly Clark and 5 other riders including the top three podium finishers from the 2010 event were ready. Kelly took a large lead with her first run which consisted of a frontside mute, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 indy, Cab 720 mute and ending with a frontside 540 indy. Cilka Sadar from Slovenia’s second run won her second place with a backside 540 mute, frontside 540 backside grab, method, frontside 720 to a Cab 720.

Kohei is also no stranger to the BGOS events but this is his first time to the podium and he was surprised at his great finish. “This is my first time to CANO and I am very glad to win. I had a lot of fun!”

Although the wind died down for second runs, Kohei’s first run kept him in first place and the battle was for second.  Kohei claimed it with his first run of a backside 540 mute, frontside 1080, Haaken flip, frontside 900 to a backside 900. Scotty James from Australia took second place with an alley-oop backside rodeo, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 indy, and Haaken flip to frontside 900 tail.  Swiss rider Christian Haller took third place to take over the current SWATCH TTR Tour World Rankings.

Tomorrow is the last day of the 3rd annual Canadian Open with women’s and men’s slopestyle finals. Top slopestyle riders Jamie Anderson (USA), Silvia Mittermuller (GER), Zak Stone (CAN), and Eric Beauchemin (USA) will definitely put on a good show in Saturday’s finals.   The action starts at 11:00 am (Mountain Time) and runs until 1:30 pm (Mountain Time).

If you can’t make it to Calgary, watch the slopestyle finals live on and starting at 10:30 am (Mountain Time).

New this year at the Canadian Open, car manufacturer MINI is onsite as the presenting sponsor of the Burton Global Open Series (BGOS). Along with a variety of other onsite activities like MINI test drives, MINI is providing athlete and VIP shuttle services at the Canadian Open in the new MINI Countryman. In addition, MINI created a new rider’s award that’s in line with the carmaker’s ‘Creative Use of Space’ philosophy. The Creative Use of Space Award is worth a total of $50,000 and will be shared by the best male and female rider who have shown creativity and progression throughout the BGOS series. Everyone is encouraged to vote for the rider that embodies the Creative Use of Space Award at under the Burton tab.

2011 CANO Women’s Halfpipe Final Results
1. Kelly Clark (USA) BURTON $7,500
2. Cilka Sadar (SLO) BURTON $3,000
3. Mercedes Nicoll (CAN) DRAKE $1,500

2011 CANO Men’s Halfpipe Final Results
1. Kohei Kudo (JPN) BONFIRE $7,500
2. Scotty James (AUS) RED BULL $3,000
3. Christian Haller (SUI) BURTON $1,500

Burton would like to thank MINI, Metacafe Sports, Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour, Paul Mitchell, Samsung, Contour, Snowboard Canada Magazine, Kokanee, WinSport Canada, Tourism Calgary, Travel Alberta and the Calgary Hotel Association for their support of the Canadian Open.