Burton US Open 2013: Jamie Nicholls gets fifth, Mark McMorris and Spencer O’Brien take top spots

Mark McMorris with 45 big ones and the World Snowboard Tour slopestyle title firmly in his sights / Photo: Blotto

What a week it’s been for British competitive snowboarding. On Tuesday, news trickled through to us that Billy Morgan had stomped the bejesus out of his first ever backside triple cork 1440 – and the video footage that dropped the following day confirmed exactly that. It’s a trick that if Billy can consistently incorporate into his slopestyle runs, will see him at the very top of the discipline.

The mid to tail end of this week has all been about Jamie Nicholls and the Burton US Open. 2013 marks the first year that the prestigious event has been based in its new home of Vail, Colorado, after 30 years at Stratton, Vermont. The event is one of the very biggest in the competitive snowboarding calendar and over the years, entire careers have been launched after solid performances on its courses.

It was dumping. Chas Guldemond pondering the best way to persuade speed to be his very best buddy / Photo: Jeff Patterson

But even though Colorado is known for its sunny skies, Mother Nature is not one to make promises and the weather conditions at yesterday’s slopestyle finals were proper challenging. It had snowed a foot overnight and didn’t let up throughout the day and many riders, despite tucking at the earliest possible opportunity, simply couldn’t find enough speed to clear the first kicker.

After the first runs, only a handful of riders (including our Jamie) had actually made it to the bottom of the course, with Mark McMorris stomping a run that stuck in the top spot for the duration of the competition. His run consisted of a Mini wallride to gap to lipslide, gap to backside lipslide, double backflip indy, frontside 1080 double cork mute grab, and backside 1080 double cork mute grab.

Torstein Horgmo was the only dude mad a enough to send a triple cork on a slopestyle powder day / Photo: Jeff Patterson

Top qualifier Torstein Horgmo seemed to be having no problems with the speed and put down a massive first run that included a switch backside 270 on, switch front blunt 270, switch backside 540, frontside 1080 double cork and backside 1080 double cork which was ultimately good enough for second place. Torstein was also the only competitor to stomp a triple cork on the day but had fluffed the rail section earlier in the run bringing its score down.

Chas ‘The Buzzard’ Guldemond with his wings outstretched mid flight and his squark of stokedness on the tip of his, erm… beak? / Photo: Jeff Patterson

Chas Guldemond was also clearing the jumps with ease and stomped a huuge cab 270 in a run that was good enough for third.

Mark McMorris is pretty handy on rails too – not a patch on Jamie though ;) / Photo: Jeff Patterson

Jamie’s second run was the one that all came together perfectly with a cab 270 on, 270 off, front lip on the wallride, gap backside 270 on the down flat down, gap to lipslide, frontside 720, backside 1260 and cab 1080 which saw him in fifth place.

After the men’s comp wrapped up, the snow continued to fall and sadly, the decision was made to call off the women’s slopestyle finals, with the results from the semi finals sticking and smiley Canadian Spencer O’Brien walking away with the tidy $45,000.

Fookin’ result!

By making into yesterday’s slopestyle finals, Jamie Nicholls has achieved something that no British male has done before. Jenny Jones won the event back in 2007 and remains the only other Brit to have seen a comparable level of success at the coveted event. And to finish up in 5th place sandwiched between Air & Style winning Japanese prodigy Yuki Kadono and the machine that is Peetu Piiroinen, with only Chas Guldemond, Torstein Horgmo and Mark McMorris above him, truly speaks volumes at how much talent we have in our British Freestyle snowboard team.

Nicholls, you hero.


The men’s podium. / Photo: Blotto


1st – Mark McMorris

2nd – Torstein Horgmo

3rd – Chas Guldemond

4th – Peetu Piiroinen

5th – Jamie Nicholls

The women’s podium. / Photo: Blotto

1st – Spencer O’Brien

2nd – Jamie Anderson

3rd – Brooke Voigt

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