The 2011 Burton New Zealand Open (BNZO) started off on a high note with the men’s and women’s Slopetyle pre-qualifiers and qualifiers taking place under perfectly bluebird skies at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
A field of 56 men and 25 women battled it out for just 10 and 5 spots, respectively, to join invited riders in the semi-finals, which will take place on Thursday, August 11th. The course, custom-built and in in pristine condition, started with the Burton bonk tank, then moved into two rail features- a flat down box and a down flat down rail. Following that was the custom-made MINI Creative Use of Space feature, a cannon rail to gap jump. Finishing up the course was the double jump line measuring in at 45-feet and 55-feet.
Leading in the men’s competition was Tim Humphreys (USA) with a second run score of 89.17 points which he earned with a Cab Millerflip, Cab Gap 50-50, 50-50 Backside 360, Frontside 900 and Cab 900. Tyler Flanagan (USA) was close behind with 88.17 points, on his first run which started with Cab 540, Gap Indy Lipside , 50-50 180 out, Backside 900 and Backside 1080. Rounding out the top three was Stale Sandbech (NOR) with a score of 87.00 points. Others riding strong and advancing to semi-finals included Aleksander Ostreng (NOR), Morton Kleivdal (NOR) and Ben Ferguson (USA).
Next up were the women who took to the course later in the afternoon. Miyabi Onitsuka (JAP) came out on top with an impressive second run of 89.00 points that began with a 360 Tap and moved into a Noslide, 50-50, Melon and Frontside 720. Right behind her was Charlotte Van Gils (NED) with a score of 87.83 on her first run of the day that included a Tap, 50-50, Backside 360 and Indy. Rounding out the top five and advancing to the semifinals are Urska Pribosic (SLO), Tomoko Kikuchi (JAP) and New Zealand’s own Stefi Luxton.
Moving over to the Halfpipe, riders were able to get in some good practice today in Cardrona’s 22-foot super-pipe to prepare for tomorrow’s men’s and women’s pre-qualifier and qualifier rounds.
The 2011 BNZO marks the first stop on the prestigious Burton Global Open Series and is also a 5Star event on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour. Full details and updates are available via www.opensnowboarding.com and semi-finals and finals of the event will be webcast live on www.redbull.tv and www.opensnowboarding.com.