Torah Bright put a definitive full stop on the end of Kelly Clark’s reign at the top of women’s halfpipe snowboarding by beating her in the Dew Tour finals over the weekend.
With Torah having largely kept out of competitive halfpipe riding since the last winter Olympics, Kelly Clark has utterly dominated the event. In the past few seasons she’s cleaned up at basically every major contest going, winning something ridiculous like 16 (we actually lost count there were so many!) consecutive titles.
Torah of course rocked up at a couple of FIS qualifiers last winter and earned herself enough points to compete in the u-ditch in Sochi, but since then has been taking it easy (relatively speaking) only riding a few contests, like last year’s X Games. On Saturday though, she came back with a vengeance. Despite having qualified down in 7th place, she put down a first run which earned a score of 95.40, making her virtually untouchable.
Clark’s first run, despite including a relatively clean 1080, wasn’t enough to take the top spot and when she washed out on her second, the title was Torah’s. Clark did have some consolation in the fact that, as the highest-finishing American, she took home the maximum number of US Olympic Team qualifying points.
Arielle Gold and Kaitlyn Farrington also put in strong performances, suggesting that the likes of Gretchen Bleiler will not be a shoe-in for one of the 4 US Olympic spots.
The other big story of the week in women’s pipe was the emergence of Chloe Kim, a 13-year-old American who absolutely charges down the pipe, taking each hit at Mach 10. In scenes reminiscent of Ayumu Hirano’s rise last year, Kim came from almost nowhere to take the third podium spot.
She’s apparently too young to make the US team for Sochi, but if she keeps riding like this, we’re sure this young Padawan will have an interesting year nonetheless.
dew tour women’s halfpipe 2013 Results
1st Torah Bright
2nd Kelly Clark
3rd Chloe Kim
4th Arielle Gold
5th Kaitlyn Farrington
6th Gretchen Bleiler