Burton Canadian Open Snowboarding Championships Underway

Photo courtesy of Jordan Wagner

Photo courtesy of Jordan Wagner

CALGARY, AB (February 2, 2010) – The first day of the second annual Burton Canadian Open 2010 Snowboarding Championships kicked off this morning under partly cloudy skies at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. A field of 55 men, whom would be whittled to a mere 10 by the end of the day, were registered and raring to go as they took to the 22' superpipe.

The majority of the field was made of Canadians like Tanner Davidson, Brendan Davis and Anthony Wolf, in addition to local Calgarians Mitch Crowshaw, Craig Moore and Pierce Mimura. A strong international contingent came out to ride, consisting of athletes from 12 countries including Belgium, Great Britain, France, Australia, Switzerland and Japan.

Heats one and two dropped alternately in a best of three run qualification round. The highest scoring run of the day was landed by Johann Baisamy (FRA) on his second run which started off with a frontside inverted 720, followed by a Haakon flip, a nose and tail double grab, into a backside 900, followed by an alley-oop rodeo, ending with a stylish slasher. Ben Watts out of Bend, Oregon placed first in his heat with a run that started with a big backside 900 melon, followed by a frontside 900 stalefish, into a frontside 720 Indy, finishing with a Cab 720 tailgrab.

The top five finishers in each heat move on to Saturday's semifinals where they will face Olympic riders like Justin Lamoureux (CAN), Manuel Pietropoli (ITA), Christian Haller (SUI), Jeff Batchelor (CAN) and Antti Autti (FIN), in addition to world-class riders Charles Reid (CAN), Markus Malin (FIN), Dustin Craven (CAN), Janne Korpi (FIN) and Stale Sandbech (NOR).

As the day wore on and the clouds rolled in, the women took to the pipe, a field of 31 women was vying for only five spots in Saturday's semifinal competition where they would compete against Olympians Palmer Taylor (CAN), Linn Haug (NOR), Cilka Sader (SLO), Julianne Bray (NZE) and Sarah Conrad (CAN). The French domination continued with Sophie Rodriguez taking the top spot for the ladies with a lofty tailgrab, followed by a backside 540 mute, air to fakie tailgrab, into a Cab 360 lien, into a frontside 720, finishing with a difficult switch frontside air. In addition to Rodriguez, Kiwis Kendall Brown and Paula Mitchell, Calgarian Lauren Shanahan and Naho Mizuki of Japan will be moving on to Saturday's semifinals.

The Burton Canadian Open action continues tomorrow with men's slopestyle prequals. An overall male and female Burton Global Open Series Champion will be crowned at the final event, the US Open Snowboarding Championships held in Stratton, Vermont. The top three men and women will take home equal prize money, with first place winning $50,000, second place $30,000 and third place taking home $20,000.

The Burton Global Open Series is also part of the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Snowboard Tour (TTR), the largest group of independent freestyle snowboard events in the world. TTR ranks riders based on their results at participating competitions and crowns a TTR World Champion at the US Open. For more information on the Swatch TTR World Tour, visit www.ttrworldtour .com