New Zealand Open 2009 Report

Cardrona in New Zealand hosted the Swatch TTR 5STar Burton New Zealand Open 2009, featuring a slopestyle and an halfpipe competition.


Pristine blue skies and tough snow conditions marked the completion of the first Slopestyle competition of the 09/10 Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour at today’s 5Star Burton New Zealand Open. US rider and former 07/08 Swatch TTR World Champion Jamie Anderson along with Canadian shredder Sebastien Toutant managed to blow by a dense field of seasoned pros to claim their Slopestyle titles, 850 ranking points and spots on top of the TTR leader boards going into tomorrow’s Halfpipe competition.

The semi-finals began early in the day with 16 women vying for 8 spots in the finals. New Zealand local Shelly Gotlieb set herself up well in the semis, qualifying first ahead of favourites such as Jamie Anderson, Sarka Pancochova (CZE) and Janna Weatherby (USA). Gotlieb certainly seemed the one to beat, however, once finals hit, Gotlieb couldn’t keep up with Anderson’s consistency and flow.

Jamie Anderson pressed hard on her first and seconds runs, her winning line including a Street Style Tailslide, 5on-To-Fakie on the box, Switch Backside 360, Cab 540 Melon, Frontside 360 Melon and a strong performance on the lower rails and boxes. Her win is an echo of her Southern hemisphere dominance in the 08/09 season and Jamie was definitely happy with her result, “It was fun! Beautiful day, we totally lucked out with the weather, the course was good, people were good, pretty much stoked! I always love coming to the southern hemisphere, definitely good to get a head start on the season. I’m going to do pipe tomorrow and see how everything goes.”

Second place went to Janna Weatherby who found it difficult to collect her tricks into one solid run until her final attempt. Gotlieb was still able to secure third place. Silvia Mittermüller (GER) who finished in 5th place moves into world no. 2 on the TTR rankings followed by Lisa Wiik (NOR) in world no. 3 and Sarka Pancochova in world no. 4.

In the men’s competition, Canadians Sebastian Toutant and Charles Reid made early claims of their intentions in New Zealand with strong semi-final runs, qualifying first and second, with Toutant still managing to save some heat for the finals.

As a massive 42 man contingent fell to just 16, finding the perfect speed for both the upper and lower rails and each successively larger kicker played an important role in determining the podium. Sebastian Toutant, who won his first Burton Global Open Series title in New Zealand, posted his best score with his first run that included a Backside 270 and 50/50 Backside 360 on the rails, a Backside Rodeo 540 Indy, Cab 900 Stale, Backside 1080 Doublecork Melon, and a massive performance on the lower rail section.

Torstein Horgmo of Norway who often places high in Southern Hemisphere events, had difficulties with his first two runs, but came closest to knocking down Toutant finishing second with his final run. US rider Eric Willet placed 3rd. Horgmo moves into world no. 3 on the Swatch TTR rankings followed by Tim Humphreys (USA) in world no. 4, and Charles Reid (CAN) in world no. 5.

With the Slopestyle format now complete, the Swatch TTR 5Star Burton New Zealand Open continues the action with tomorrow’s Halfpipe competition. Tomorrow’s contest guarantees some big ranking changes, possible new TTR Tour leaders and the first major Halfpipe event of 09/10.


The Swatch TTR 5Star Burton New Zealand Open came to a climactic close today with history making Halfpipe runs from one of the most heavy-hitting rider contingents the NZO has ever seen. US riders and former TTR World Champions Kelly Clark and Shaun White each bagged their first results and Halfpipe titles of the 09/10 season along with 850 TTR ranking points while fellow US pipe shred Mason Aguirre moved into the Tour Lead.

While many riders locked in two results in New Zealand by competing in both the Slopestyle and Halfpipe, White only claimed one TTR result, moving him into World No. 10. Luke Mitrani’s second place moved him into World No. 15, while Kokubo’s third place finish bumped him into the TTR Top 30. After struggling slightly in yesterday’s Slopestyle with a fourteenth place finish, Mason Aguirre managed to bag enough points with a fourth in the pipe to move into Tour Lead ahead of now World No. 2 Sebastien Toutant (CAN). Charles Reid, also from Canada, holds on to TTR World No. 3.

While the pipe remained a little softer than most prefer, the finals still hosted some incredibly progressive riding on all fronts. Japanese hero Kazuhiro Kokubo set the pace early on with a huge Mctwist off the first hit and massive spins in typical Japanese fashion. But as the riders continued to drop in, it quickly became apparent that double corks were the name of the game with a close battle opening up between Shaun White and Luke Mitrani for top spot on the podium.

Mitrani’s Double Cork 900 off the first hit of his first run in the finals raised the bar for the remaining competitors, with only Shaun White able to outdo him after laying down back-to-back Double Corks in his second and winning run that included a FS Lien Air, BS 900 Melon, FS 1080 Stalefish, Switch Double Cork 1080 Stalefish and FS Double Cork 900.

Similar to the top tier competition among the men, the women’s field saw a matchup build between Chinese rider Jiayu Liu and US pipe champion Kelly Clark. In 2008, Liu managed to beat out Clark in the New Zealand Pipe taking second place, but today in 2009 Clark put it all together to earn her first Title result of the season. Clark’s run included a FS Air, BS 5 Indy, FS 7 Tail, Cab 7 and a FS 5 Indy and she now sits as TTR World No. 7. Jiayu Liu now finds herself in the TTR Top 25 with a second place with Zhifeng Sun rounding out the NZO podium in third.

Despite only finishing eighth in today’s Halfpipe contest, Jamie Anderson (USA) maintains her TTR Tour lead with her win in yesterday’s Slopestyle event. Norwegian rider Lisa Wiik moved up into World No.2 with Silvia Mittermueller of Germany sitting comfortably in World No. 3.

With the Swatch TTR 5 Star Burton New Zealand Open complete, focus now switches over to the next Southern hemisphere event, the legendary 4Star Stylewars in Falls Creek, Australia taking place from August 24th to 28th, 2009. Head on over to to read the freshest news, full result lists, most detailed blogs, statistic-rich rankings and action packed video-highlights as the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour ventures into the 2009/2010 season.

Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch Ticket To Ride (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, innovation as guiding principles”. Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing into the most exposed 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 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 based on an average of their best six results of the season (5+1 system) is crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion. For more information visit

Author: mucca