08.17.12 / Burton ‘High Fives’ Day Three – Slopestyle Finals
WANAKA, New Zealand (August 17, 2012) The first annual Burton ‘High Fives’ snowboarding competition, presented by MINI, continued today at Snow Park NZ in Wanaka with the exciting Slopestyle Finals. Taking first place and walking away $USD $10,000 richer each, were Burton riders Mikkel Bang (NOR) and Enni Rukajarvi (FIN).
60 of the top snowboarders in the world have experienced a snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand this week as the Burton High Fives combined traditional snowboarding events with unique off-snow team challenges. The first two days of the event saw the riders taking part in a variety of Kiwi-influenced challenges including skeet shooting, knife throwing and jet boat racing, just to name a few. The athletes also took to the driving track for the MINI Countryman Winter Driving Challenge where the fastest teams got the advantage of selecting the order for halfpipe and slopestyle. With the first two days of off-snow team challenges now completed, the action today shifted back to Snow Park NZ and the world-class slopestyle course.
Under sunny skies, the women were first up in the slopestyle finals. The Burton High Fives’ jam format allowed each rider to get four runs, which lead to an exciting competition for the women. Burton’s Enni Rukajarvi’s (FIN) impressive third run scored her an 83.80 with an indy air, boardslide, frontside 3 indy, back 5, cab 5, and stale. Local New Zealand rider Christy Prior felt right at home nailing second place in her final run with 78.20. Her solid run consisted of an ollie, backside lipslide, front 3 tailtap, front rodeo 7, back 3, and backside air. Ty Walker (USA) came in third in her final run with 77.00. She locked in the final podium spot with a run that included a 50/50, lipslide, front 3 tailtap, frontside 3, back 7, and a method.
Burton rider Mikkel Bang (NOR) was the clear standout throughout the men’s competition as he took the lead right off the bat with his first run score of 91.00 – only to top it on his second run with 95.40 points. Mikkel’s winning run started out with a switch backside 1, front 270, back 5, switch back 12, front 10 double, and a backside rodeo 5 stale over the final hip jump. Head Judge, Mel Simmons, commented, “Mikkel’s run had everything, it was tech, it had the spins, and it was totally stomped. It was the complete package”.
For the rest of the men’s field it was a matter of catch up, and it all came down to their final runs as top riders leap-frogged each other for the remaining podium spots. Sebastien Toutant (CAN) busted into second place with 94.00 points, courtesy of a back 3, frontblunt sameways 270, front 3 tail, back 10 double, front 10 double, and double back rodeo to finish. Taking third place with 92.00 points was Stale Sandbech (NOR), his run started with a 50/50 front 1 close out, hardways 270, cab 5, front 10, back 14, and alley oop.
Prize money today totalled US $35,000, with the same amount on the table again for tomorrow’s halfpipe finals. While competing for individual results in slopestyle, riders were also representing 12 teams selected earlier in the week for the off-snow challenges. Points from those challenges will be combined with points from today’s slopestyle and tomorrow’s halfpipe rankings, and the top team will walk away with an additional US $10,000 to split between them. The total prize purse of US $80,000 is the largest to date in New Zealand snow sports history.
The Burton High Fives will wrap up tomorrow with the halfpipe finals so be sure to check the live webcast on www.opensnowboarding.com starting at 10:15am New Zealand standard time. At the conclusion of the Halfpipe prize giving, the High Fives Sunset Sessions will take place at the Woolshed at Snow Park NZ from 3-6pm, featuring Dudstown Soundsystem. The entertainment continues with the High Fives Closing Party later in the evening at Opium Bar in Wanaka, also featuring Dudstown Soundsystem.
The 2012 Burton High Fives is the first event in the Burton Global Event Series and is a 5star event on the TTR World Tour. A special thanks to High Five partners MINI, Nokia, Red Bull, Snow Park NZ, Jagermeister, Juice TV, Skinny Mobile, The Edge, Stoke Lager, and Mighty Campervans.
High Fives VNR:
Press are welcome to download footage from the Burton High Fives here:
Full event information, including the Burton High Fives format and schedule can be found via www.opensnowboarding.com
Local NZ/AUS Media Contact:
027 443 6533
MINI Media Contact:
BMW Group New Zealand
+64 21 504 494
Global Media Contact:
Melody Ann Pfeiffer
+1 415 297 9590
About Burton High Fives
The Burton High Fives, presented by MINI is an invite-only global snowboarding competition that combines traditional halfpipe and slopestyle events with off-snow team challenges to create a fun summertime snowboarding event in New Zealand. The Jam format of the snow events, combined with team challenges that are distinctly Kiwi in flavor, brings 60 top riders together to Snow Park NZ for a truly unique four-day event. Taking the place of the former New Zealand Open, the 2012 Burton High Fives is the first event in the Burton Global Event Series and is a 5star event on the TTR World Tour. Thanks to our High Fives sponsors including MINI, Nokia and Red Bull. For more information, head to www.opensnowboarding.com
MINI is involved in action sports around the world through cooperation’s and sponsoring activities. As a partner of trend-conscious sports, MINI supports young and creative sportspeople and, in so doing, promotes the development of their sport. MINI has been the official presenting partner for the Burton Global Event Series since 2011. For more information, visit www.MINIspace.com
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit www.nokia.com/global/
About TTR Pro Snowboarding
TTR Pro Snowboarding is a new breed of sports governing body made up of a professional network of events, athletes, nations and industry partners. TTR has been built upon the sport’s core values and unique culture with the goal of making snowboarding the most recognized progressive sport in the world. The overall objective is to uphold the progression of snowboarding by providing fair and open competition environments, including innovative judging and ranking systems, that allow for athletes to develop from rookies into world-class athletes. A non-profit organization, TTR Pro Snowboarding owns and operates the World Snowboard Tour, the TTR World Ranking System and the World Championships of Snowboarding. At the end of each World Snowboard Tour competitive season, TTR Pro Snowboarding awards World Snowboard Tour Champion titles in each of the following categories: Overall, Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air.
About Snow Park NZ
Snow Park NZ, a boutique mountain resort, has been open for business since 2002 and is situated conveniently between the New Zealand resort towns of Queenstown and Wanaka along the Cardrona Valley. Renowned for its awe inspiring world-class terrain park, Snow Park NZ also presents a wide range of experiences for anyone with a sense of adventure, be it on snow or off. Pay us a visit, enjoy an afternoon with the family, have your first skiing or boarding lesson in our dedicated learners area or bring a group up for night skiing. All are nicely complimented with the vibrant restaurant and on-snow accommodation facilities. Day or night, Snow Park NZ will captivate you with its unique combination of activities and laid back atmosphere, and will have you coming back for more… Snow Park NZ - www.snowparknz.com