Perisher Blue, Australia - The skies opened up for some beautiful blue bird conditions as riders pushed through an almost too-soft-to-handle Slopestyle course at the 2008 Swatch TTR 5Star Burton Australian Open Snowboarding Championships. A brutal Australian sun kept competitors on their toes, but with exemplary prowess on all fronts, US rider Jamie Anderson and Norwegian shredder Torstein Horgmo claimed the final Slopestyle Titles of the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Swatch TTR World Tour. However, entering the Northern Hemisphere season as Tour leaders of the Swatch TTR World Tour are Jamie Anderson and no other than Chas Guldemond (USA) who finished in 4th today.
During the early rounds of the semi-finals no one was able to tell who would break away, as most snowboarders seemed to keep things mellow, feeling out the course and scoping out the competition. Once finals commenced however, events changed dramatically.
In the Men’s field competition was fierce with many riders becoming frustrated with sloppy landings. The Slopestyle, however, was without a doubt Torstein Horgmo’s show. Breaking out a Switch BS 1260 alongside BS 7s and FS 9s, Horgmo was light years ahead of the pack. His first place finish took him up 14 spots to TTR World No. 6. Coming off an injury that kept him out of many competitions last season, Danny Davis proved he still had it, claiming second place in the Men’s Slopestyle ahead of fellow US rider Eric Willet who finished third.
07/08 Swatch TTR World Tour Champion Kevin Pearce was able to break into the Men’s Top 10 with a 5th place finish as Chas Guldemond, who chased Horgmo in Australia with his own BS 12 attempt, managed a 4th place finish to secure his position as current World No. 1. “I am stoked,” exclaimed Chas after the competition. “I had a good start to the season. Although I did not win every contest, but I was consistent. It’s a good feeling to have that consistent start.”
A 7th place finish was enough for Janne Korpi (FIN) to defend the World No. 2 spot against Charles Reid (CAN) and Luke Mitrani (USA). Although his current rank gives him a little head start into the Northern Hemisphere season, Korpi stays realistic, “To stay on top of the TTR world ranking means that I have to keep this form also at the 5 & 6Star events. I will need many podium finishes more. The season has barely started so it´s not time for cartwheels yet.”
Qualifying first in the semis, current World No. 1 Jamie Anderson continued her Slopestyle domination through all three run of the finals. While most riders failed to connect tricks and stick their landings, Anderson stomped her textbook Cab 5s, solid 3s and a sick FS 7 in her final run to cruise her way to the top of the podium. With her victory, Jamie extends her Tour lead that has her almost 300 points ahead of the two Aussie girls Lauren Staveley and Michaela Davis-Meehan now sitting in World No. 2 and 3 after their finishes in 8th and 9th position of the Slopestyle.
“I’m stoked!” said Jamie. “There’s less pressure going into the Northern Hemisphere now because I did the whole Southern Hemisphere and scored some good results. Let the good times roll!”
Two Canadian riders followed Anderson to the podium today. In second place was Raewyn Reid who stuck her smooth Boardslides and epic BS 5s. Kara Rennie finished right behind Reid in 3rd with solid 3s and rail combos, a result that moved her into TTR World No. 4. US riders Hannah Teter and Kimmy Fasani, who were favored to do well in the Slopestyle, finished 4th and 5th, with Teter laying down just one run in the finals. Both have moved up over 100 spots during the Burton Australian Open to break into the Women’s TTR Top 10.
The Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour takes a break for a couple months, but it will be back in full swing with the highly anticipated 6Star Air & Style Munich 08 for the men, closely followed by the 5Star Burton Canadian Open for both men and women in December. Visit www.go211.com for all the live replays of the 5Star Burton Australian Open Slopestyle and Halfpipe events and be sure to check out www.ttrworldtour.com for updated ranking lists, the latest action packed videos, behind the scenes blogs and news reports from the best freestyle contests on the planet.
Top 5 Slopestyle Men:
1. Horgmo Torstein
2. Davis Danny
3. Willett Eric
4. Guldemond Chas
5. Pearce Kevin
Top 3 Slopestyle Women:
1. Anderson Jamie
2. Reid Raewyn
3. Rennie Kara
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images