Top International Riders and Olympic Hopefuls to Compete at the 2009 Burton New Zealand Open

Burlington, VT (July 15, 2009) – Top riders from around the world are lining up to compete at the Burton New Zealand Open (NZO), taking place from August 11-15, 2009 at Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand. The first stop on the 2009/2010 Burton Global Open Series and a Swatch TTR 5Star event, the New Zealand Open will include slopestyle and halfpipe competitions, offering riders the chance to earn a piece of the NZ$50,000 prize purse and gain valuable points towards Burton Global Open Series championship titles and
the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Tour championship titles.

Planning to compete is last year¹s BGOS men¹s champion Chas Guldemond (USA), who also finished second on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour. He will be joined by fellow U.S. riders Danny Davis, Tim Humpreys, Luke Mitrani, Jack Mitrani and Mason Aguirre.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is the home to the only 22¹ halfpipe in New Zealand, which is the same size pipe that will be featured at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Canadian Olympic hopefuls like Justin Lamoureux, Charles Reid and Sebastien Toutant will undoubtedly be fine-tuning their runs for Vancouver.

Last year¹s Asian contingent was exceptionally strong at the NZO, and this year looks to be no different with confirmed riders like last year¹s halfpipe winner Kazuhiro Kokubo and second place finisher Daisuke Murakami, who also took home prizes for highest air in the quarterpipe and best trick
in the halfpipe. Japanese Olympic hopefuls Ryo Aono, Keito Kumazaki, Takaharu Nakai will also be competing, in addition to Chinese National Team rider and future Olympian Xiaoye Zeng.

The women¹s field is equally strong with competitors such as Olympic gold medalist and Swatch TTR World Tour Champion Kelly Clark (USA) kicking off her season in New Zealand alongside last year¹s BGOS champion and NZO halfpipe and slopestyle winner Jamie Anderson (USA). Lisa Wiik (NOR), who took second place in both BGOS and TTR rankings and won last year¹s European Open slopestyle competition will also be there, riding alongside European contenders like Cheryl Maas (NED), Sina Candrian (SUI), Silvia Mittermueller
(GER) and Sarka Pancochova (CZE). Chinese National Team riders Jiayu Liu and Zhifeng Su in addition to Japanese riders Shiho Nakashima, Soko Yamaoka and Naho Mizuki, will round out the global competition on the women¹s side.

The international riders will face fierce competition from New Zealand¹s homegrown talent like Wanaka¹s own Mitchell Brown, James Hamilton (Auckland) and Stef Zeestraten (Wanaka) and Kendall Brown (Mt Maunganui) and Shelly Gotlieb (Ohakune) will be jockeying for positions on the women¹s podium.

Competition gets underway on Wednesday, August 12 with the men¹s and women¹s slopestyle qualifiers. Thursday, August 13 will see men¹s halfpipe prequalification and qualification rounds, followed by women¹s halfpipe qualifications. All eyes will be on the slopestyle course on Friday for men¹s and women¹s slopestyle semifinals and finals. Men¹s and women¹s halfpipe semifinal and final competitions will take place on Saturday, August 15.

The Open is just as exciting off-snow with action every night, including free parties, rider signings and the Gravis Open Sessions, featuring two live concerts showcasing some of the biggest names in Kiwi music. For more information visit

Burton would like to thank Cardrona Alpine Resort,, Speight¹s Summit Golden Lager, Juice TV, The Edge FM, Anon Optics, High Cascade Snowboard Camp, Nature Valley,, Joe¹s Garage, SolRX, McKenna, Smirnoff Ice Double Black and Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour for their
support of the New Zealand Open.

If you can¹t make it to New Zealand, watch the semi-finals and finals live on, where webcasts and highlights of the competitions will also be available for on-demand viewing once the event is over.

About the Burton Global Open Series
The Burton Global Open Series events are the pinnacle snowboarding events of
the season. Founded by Jake Burton, the Opens have grown from grassroots
events to global spectacles attracting tens of thousands of spectators and
riders from around the world. Since the beginning, the Opens have been
driven by riders, for riders evolving with snowboarding and riders¹ needs
over the years. With events held in New Zealand, Europe, Canada, Japan and
the United States, the Opens set the standard for snowboarding events around
the globe. For more information, visit

About the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch TTR
World Snowboard Tour is a non-profit, rider-driven organization with the
mission to create the highest quality competitive snowboard environment in
the world, using authenticity, accessibility and innovation as guiding
principles. Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing
into the most respected snowboard tour worldwide featuring global grass root
and key independent freestyle snowboarding events over a ten-month period
from Southern to Northern Hemisphere locations. Events are rated via a
1-through-6Star system, with points allocated accordingly, a 6Star event
holds the highest (1000 Swatch TTR points). Any rider participating in these
events, from up-and-coming to professional talent, earns ranking points and
a position on the Swatch TTR World Ranking List. The top male and female
rider at the end of the season are crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour

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About Cardrona Alpine Resort
CARDRONA is located in the Crown Range between Queenstown (57kms/60mins) and
Wanaka (34kms/35mins) in the South Island of New Zealand. With consistently
good weather and reliable snow conditions Cardrona offers superb terrain
suited to all ability levels. Cardrona is renowned for its wide open,
undulating terrain that is perfect for beginners and intermediates, whilst
the Arcadia and Tulips chutes offer extra challenge for more advanced
riders. Cardrona is home to New Zealand¹s premier terrain parks, with up to
four half pipes, a gravity cross and a range of beginner freestyle features.
For more information, visit

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