The TTR events in New Zealand have been blessed with pretty amazing weather over the past few seasons and Friday’s Burton High Fives pipe finals continued the trend with stunning bluebird skies. Following the slopestyle finals last week, some of the world’s best halfpipe riders descended on Snow Park NZ in a bid to win valuable World Snowboard Tour ranking points and of course, cash money.
Defending TTR women’s halfpipe champion Kelly Clark added another gold to her bulging medal cabinet – and all without having to bust out her 1080. Spanish rider Queralt Castellet was hot on her heels though, stomping a run that included back-to-back 9’s and a frontside 10. Kaitlyn Farrington rounded out the podium in third place.
On the men’s side of things, the Japanese young guns were the ones to beat, with 13 year old (yes, we know, 13 for peat’s sake!) Ayumu Hirano taking the win with a massive front 10, cab 10, front double combo. We first caught wind of Ayumu when he wowed commentators and spectators alike with some enormous hits at last year's Burton US Open. Seems like he's learnt a fair few tricks since then - at least enough to beat some of the world's best adults! The kid's going to be huge, mark our words. Last year’s Burton NZ Open winner, Ryo Aono came in second while Greg Bretz prevented a Japanese clean sweep by nudging Kohei Kudo off the podium for third place.
No video highlights as of yet but opensnowboarding.com have got both the slopestyle and halpipe contests available to watch on demand.
BURTON HIGH FIVES 2012 HALFPIPE RESULTS
1. Ayumu Hirano (JPN) 2. Ryo Aono (JPN) 3. Greg Bretz (USA)
1. Kelly Clark (USA) 2. Queralt Castallet (ESP) 3. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA)