Burton New Zealand Open 2011 – Kelly Clark and Ryo Aono take halfpipe gold!

Photos: Pablo Azocar

Kelly's trophy cabinet is now its own sovreign state, with a stronger economy than Greece.

After Friday’s glorious slopestyle event, the weather was once again ‘sweet as’ at Cardrona on Saturday for the 2011 Burton New Zealand Open halfpipe finals. The world’s best had descended on Aotearoa in search of cash and precious TTR ranking points, and the stage was set for another classic.

Kelly Clark added to what must be one of the most successful years of any athlete ever: having already won the European Open, Canadian Open, U.S. Open and both X-Games in 2011, she took another gold in NZ without even having to pull out her 1080. In the end the podium was identical to that of X-Games Europe, with Hannah Teter and Queralt Castellet finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Always a bridesmaid.... Louie gets yet another silver at the NZO

Kelly may not have needed hers, but there were tens aplenty in the mens’ contest. Japan’s Ryo Aono threw them back-to-back on his first two hits and only got steezier from there. The guy’s a relative unknown, but he bested last year’s champ Iouri Podladtchikov, who had to settle for 3rd. Louie Vito sepearated them with his second successive NZ Open silver.

Familiar faces on the womens' podium

It’s all quiet on the TTR front for the forseeable future, but the action returns in December at the 2011 Beijing Air & Style. In the meantime, check back here for video highlights of the NZO.

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