All photos: Nick Hamilton
Kelly Clark picked up her seventh US Open pipe win today but that didn't give her everything she was looking for. To check her full list off she would have had to land a Cab 1080 in her run, which has yet to be done in women's competition. Given the three run format her plan was to put down a solid first run and then use the other two runs to try to add in the Cab 10, which she has landed during practice sessions. But after getting a little loose going into a frontside 900 on her first run she decided last second to dial it back to a front five. She landed the line she originally wanted on her second run, putting her firmly in first, but that only gave her one more chance to get the Cab 10.
Instead of taking a straight-air victory lap on her final run she started with a monster frontside 1080 and wanted to end with the Cab 10 but ran out of pipe. "It didn't seem like it was in the cards, it didn't seem very safe there at the end," Kelly said. "So I backed out last minute." She added that it won't be long until she lands the competition Cab 10, it's "just taking steps to get there."
Kelly Clark’s winning run
Joining Kelly on the podium in the third spot was 14-year-old Chloe Kim. Kelly has helped bring up Chloe since she first saw her ride at a Roxy Chicken Jam in Mammoth when Chloe was just 10. After that contest Kelly called the Burton Women's team manager at the time, Susie Floros, and told her she had an up-and-commer that they needed to put on the team.
Well, Chloe is no longer an up-and-comer—she's arrived. Chloe put down one of the most original runs of the day, which included a switch method on her first hit and switch frontside air on last hit. "I had that run for a little bit but I hadn't done it at a contest before and my coach thought that it would be a good idea to pull it at the US Open," Chloe said. When asked if the inspiration to do a switch method came from Danny Davis she that she had been practicing switch runs since last summer in New Zealand but that, "it could be a Danny thing as well, because that was like the best switch method I've ever seen, like 'Oh yeah I kind of want to do that too.'"
Chloe has rode in the Open three times already but today was the first time she got a podium. She also became the World Snowboard Tour Overall Champion as she competed in several slopestyle events this year. Following the announcement about Chloe, Kelly Clark was named the World Snowboard Tour Pipe Champion.
With a rider like Kelly to help mentor Chloe there's little we'll seeing more of her for years to come.
Chloe Kim’s third place run
Spain's Queralt Castellet rode away with a second place victory today after placing 11th at the Sochi Olympics. Queralt was absolutely sending it at Sochi but couldn't put down a clean run. At the US Open she landed the run she was truly capable of. "It's been a tough season," Queralt said. "Coming here it was more than taking a bad feeling out of Sochi for doing good, it was more doing something that I could just enjoy and close the season with a fun contest. Knowing how it was last year I expected that it was going to be a similar pipe so I knew I could have fun."
Queralt Castellet’s second place run
Overall the level of riding was extremely high for the women with almost all of them throwing nines in their runs and continuing to push women's pipe riding.
2014 Burton US Open Women's Pipe Final Results
1. Kelly Clark — 89.33
2. Queralt Castellet — 85.73
3. Chloe Kim — 83.95
4. Hannah Teter — 71.285. Rana Okada — 67.15
6. Sophie Rodriguez — 59.80