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    May 2002

    Riders From Down Under Dominate Burton 2007 New Zealand Open Halfpipe Finals

    LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (August 14, 2007)

    The Burton Global Open Series announced Mitch Brown (NZE) and Torah Bright (AUS) as men’s and women’s halfpipe champions in the fifth annual Burton NZ Open at Snow Park NZ on Sunday, August 13.

    Brown is the first New Zealander to take the prestigious halfpipe title in the history of the competition. He was the highest scoring rider in the semifinals when his combination of tricks, from top to bottom, was the most technical run of the semis. His final run put him into first place and featured a frontside 900, followed by backside 540, frontside 1080, Haakon flip, frontside air backside 900 to an Allyoop inverted 540. His winning score was 93.25, putting him clearly ahead of second place winner, Scotty Lago (USA) with 88.0. Lago had the highest amplitude of the day, getting monster height out of the pipe. But his run was not as technical as Brown’s, although he did take out best men’s trick. Ryo Aono (JPN) took third with another huge and technical run.

    “Mitch was on fire, right from training in the morning,” said Ste’en Webster, assistant head judge. “His qualifying runs were a bit of an eye-opener for the rest of the field. It’s great to see Kiwi success at this competition.”

    Torah Bright was in top form to take not only the women’s halfpipe title but also best trick with a switch backside 540, which was the last hit of her winning run. The run featured a backside five, air to fakie, Cab 720, frontside 540, backside 360 finishing with the switch backside 540. The entire run was extremely well executed with every hit featuring a grab. Last year’s women’s halfpipe winner, Kelly Clark, got second despite getting the highest amplitude in the girls’ field. In the end, it was Bright’s technical elements that dominated Clark’s amplitude. Manuela Pesko (SUI) took third with a good spin combination of three’s, five’s and sevens.

    On Friday, August 10, the slopestyle finals were cut short by high winds. As a result, final placings were decided from the two semifinal runs with Mason Aguirre (USA) taking out the men’s title and $5,000 prize money. His winning run included a boardslide followed by a tailslide 270 off the high bar into a backside 7, followed by a frontside 9, finishing with a frontside boardslide. In the women’s event, Jenny Jones (GBR) won first place with a tailslide on the C Box, followed by a 50:50 180 out on the high bar followed by a backside three, followed by front side three and 50:50 on the final rail. Her execution through the entire run was faultless, also earning her $5,000 in prize money.

    On Sunday, August 12 the 2007 Burton NZ Open finished with a twilight invitational quarterpipe jam with riders letting loose on Snow Park NZ’s massive quarterpipe. In a line-up that included the who’s who of snowboarding, Peter Line, Kelly Clark, Juliane Bray and Scotty Lago, amongst others, were boosting out of the pipe, getting upside down and going huge. Scotty Lago took out best trick with a massive McTwist while Kelly Clark nailed the best girls’ trick.

    With the New Zealand Open finished, it’s on to the Garnier Fructis Australian Open, taking place from August 21-25 at Perisher Blue in Australia. Currently, Scotty Lago (USA) and Torah Bright (AUS) are in the lead for the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series Championship title.

    For more information on the Burton Global Open Series, visit

    About the Burton Global Open Series

    The Burton Global Open Series events are the pinnacle snowboarding events of the season. Founded by Jake Burton, the Opens have grown from grassroots events to global spectacles attracting tens of thousands of spectators and riders from around the world. Since the beginning, the Opens have been driven by riders, for riders evolving with snowboarding and riders’ needs over the years. With events held in Canada, Europe, Japan, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, the Opens set the standard for snowboarding events around the globe. For more information, visit

    The Burton Global Open Series is part of the Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour, the largest group of independent freestyle snowboard events in the world. TTR ranks riders based on their results at participating competitions and crowns a TTR World Champion at the US Open. For more information, visit

    source: Mia Troy
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