WANAKA, New Zealand (September 17, 2014) The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI kicked off on Monday, September 15th as 60 of the world's top snowboarders descended upon Oxbow Adventures Lodge in Wanaka, New Zealand for off-snow Kiwi activities and a team selection draft party. The good times continued on Tuesday at the MINI Off-Road challenge track in the heart of the Cardrona Valley.
First-up, overlooking the picturesque Clutha River in Central Otago, Oxbow hosted an array of classic outdoor activities only found down under. Riders enjoyed an ample dose of adrenaline at the base of the beautiful Pisa range, including jet sprint boating, knife throwing, heli tours and rides in a custom-built ATV. New for 2014, riders then made their way to the team selection draft party. To determine the teams, local Kiwi riders Rebecca 'Possum' Torr, Ben Comber, Christy Prior, Shelly Gotlieb, Stefi Luxton and Carlos Garcia-Knight were pre-selected as team captains and given a salary cap to select their rosters by fantasy draft. The remaining field of riders was auctioned off to the highest bidder in an attempt to assemble the strongest contingent across both the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines. Once the bidding closed, teams were locked in and all look equally worthy of a shot at the title. The team with the most points at the end of the week will walk away with $70,000 USD, or $7,000 to each rider. To add to the prize purse, first place finishers in both men's and women's halfpipe and slopestyle will take home $2,500 USD each. For the full list of teams, head here.
Next up, to give the teams an opportunity to gel and get to know one another better before they put their skills to the test on-hill, Tuesday's focus was the MINI Off-Road challenge. The teams were pitted against each other in a race to beat the clock. Given a pair of MINI Countryman Cooper S All4, and a quick run through of the course, riders were set loose on the muddy track which boasted challenging terrain. Driving precision and team communication was key, and highlights included the blindfold section where drivers were at the whim of their co-pilots instructions as they attempted to navigate their way through the course while avoiding penalties. Another tricky section of the race was the baton relay where riders had to transfer a Burton snowboard from one set of roof racks to the other. MINIs were flying, records were set and at the end of the day, Rebecca Torr's team stood on top with the fastest time of 15 minutes and 05 seconds.
With the off-snow team challenges wrapped, tomorrow the action heads up to Cardrona Alpine Resort, with sloplestyle finals on Thursday, September 18th and halfpipe finals on Friday, September 19th. For the most up-to-date rider list and highlights from the team competitions throughout the week, head here. For real-time event news, follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives.
The entire event will air on www.burton.com/HighFives, with slopestyle coverage starting at 8:00 PM (NZST) on September 19th, and halfpipe coverage starting at 8:00 PM (NZST) on September 20th. To optimize viewing times for fans around the world, the webcast will air delayed with multiple re-broadcasts based on time zones and include rider interviews and bios, as well as full replays for on-demand viewing at any time. Also be sure to check your local TV listings for the 2014 Burton High Fives highlight show, which is scheduled to air in the U.S. and around the globe later this fall.
For live Scoring/Competition Results: Live.eim-solutions.com/bhf2014
A big thanks to MINI for their support of the 2014 Burton High Fives event.
In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn and has dedicated his life to snowboarding ever since. Burton has played a pivotal role in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport by creating ground-breaking products, supporting a team of top snowboarders and pushing resorts to allow snowboarding. Today, Burton designs and manufactures industry-leading products for snowboarding and the snowboard lifestyle, including snowboards, boots, bindings, outerwear and layering as well as year-round apparel, packs/bags and accessories. Privately held and owned by Jake and his wife, Burton President Donna Carpenter, Burton's headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in Austria, Japan, Australia, California, Canada and China. For more information on Burton, head to www.burton.com and follow its line at facebook.com/burtonsnowboards and @burtonsnowboards on Instagram and Twitter.
MINI is involved in action sports around the world through cooperations 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.MINI.com.
About Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cardrona Alpine Resort, located between Wanaka and Queenstown, is a relaxed and family friendly ski area with world-class freestyle facilities. Cardrona has four terrain parks, two halfpipes, a gravity cross course and big air jump. It is home to Australasia's only World Cup 22-foot halfpipe and World Cup slopestyle course. Cardrona Alpine Resort is a wholly owned subsidiary of Real Journeys, Ltd.
About TTR Pro Snowboarding & World Snowboard Tour
TTR Pro Snowboarding is a non-profit organization that oversees a professional network of events and athletes. Our objective is to develop and showcase the sport of snowboarding through the World Snowboard Tour, while facilitating a fair and open competition environment that includes innovative judging and ranking systems. We encourage riders to develop from rookies into world-class athletes through a 6 Star level rating system; which will be replaced by a new 4-tiered structure from October 2014.
Under the new World Snowboard Tour 2.0, the 4-tiered structure will encompass Elite, International, National, and Regional event levels. Elite events will comprise the WST Pro Series (current working title). The Regional, National, and International levels of the WST 2.0 will make up the WST Qualifying Series (working title). TTR Pro Snowboarding owns the World Snowboard Tour, the TTR World Ranking System and the World Championships of Snowboarding. The World Snowboard Tour includes Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air events, and awards Championship titles in each discipline at the end of each season.