The 2009/2010 Swatch TTR World Tour is officially underway with the first major event of the Southern Hemisphere leg will take place next week. The 5Star Burton New Zealand Open kicks off at Cardrona Alpine Resort on Tuesday, August 11th 2009 where riders will be greeted with a 22-foot pipe and a world-class slopestyle course giving competitors two opportunities to lock in a 2009/2010 Swatch TTR Ranking result.The Burton New Zealand Open has served as the major TTR Tour kick-off event for the past four years and is a perfect opportunity for riders to get a jumpstart heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter. With 850 Swatch TTR Ranking points and a $50,000 prize purse up for the taking, riders from around the globe will be looking to secure a piece. 2008/2009 Swatch TTR World Champion, Peetu Piroinen, recently confirmed his attendance at the event and will be defending his World No. 1 position from the likes of World No. 2 Chas Guldemond (USA), World No. 3 Antti Autti (FIN) and World No. 6 Charles Reid (CAN). The tight-knight Frends crew, all of which are ranked in the Top 30 on the TTR Tour, will also be upping the ante at this years New Zealand Open with Danny Davis, Luke Mitrani, Jack Mitrani and Mason Aguirre all slated to make an appearance. The womens side of the competition field is stacked with some heavy Swatch TTR Tour competitors including 2008/2009 TTR World Champion and current World No. 1 Kelly Clark (USA) who will definitely be a standout in the 22-foot pipe. Current World No. 3, Jamie Anderson (USA), is back at the New Zealand Open looking to clinch her second-consecutive Slopestyle title. Norwegian rider and current World No. 2, Lisa Wiik, turned some heads last season on the tour and is sure to be a force at the event. European Top 10 TTR riders, Silvia Mittermueller (GER) and Sarka Pancochova (CZE) are all due to be present in New Zealand making for some strong competition. The Burton New Zealand halfpipe finals will take place on Friday, August 14th and slopestyle finals on Saturday, August 15th 2009. All semi-finals and finals action will be broadcasted on Go211.com via webcast. And, be sure to check ttrworldtour.com for videos from the event and the latest standings on the Swatch TTR Tour.After the Burton New Zealand Open wraps up, the Southern Hemisphere leg of the Swatch TTR will continue in Australia with the 4Star Stylewars and the 3Star Boost Mobile Sno Sho. The Tour will return to New Zealand for the 3Star Billabong BroDown before turning to the Northern Hemisphere, which is only a short time away.