The 2011 Burton US Open Slopestyle contest saw two new champions climb to the top rung of the podium for the first time on Friday, as Eric Willet and Enni Rukajarvi claimed the men's and women's titles. The youngsters managed both road with impressive maturity to put down their runs in weather conditions which were - not to put too fine a point on it - a crock of shite. I mean look at these photos ffs!!
Despite barely being able to see his hand in front of his face, Willet managed to land a run that included a cab underflip 900, a tailslide to 450 out, a front 9 and a switch backside 10 double cork to clinch the victory. His silly-tech combos managed to push the Canadian Mark McMorris (yes, him of "world's first backside triple cork" fame) into second, while Chas Guldemond took third.
Meanwhile, in the women's finals, Enni's combo of two clean 5s and a 3 narrowly beat Jamie Anderson's best run, despite the fact that Jamie landed a switch backside 5 off the first kicker! In fairness, one or two of Jamie's landings looked a little sketchy, whereas Enni, who's used to Finland's icy kickers, went big and landed cleanly. A stylish, if not totally clean, run from Norwegian Silje Norendaal put her in third. Further down the leaderboard, but no less impressive, was the performance of India Stephenson, an American-born Brit who's recently claimed a place on the GB Freestyle Team. She finished 14th overall after coming through qualifying, missing out on a spot in the finals by a few places. We're looking forward to seeing her back next year.
Keep your eyes peeled for the video highlights of the Burton US Open 2011 dropping soon.
BURTON US OPEN 2011
1. Enni Rukajärvi (FIN)
2. Jamie Anderson (USA)
3. Silje Norendal (NOR)
1. Eric Willett (USA)
2. Mark McMorris (CAN)
3. Chas Guldemond (USA)