Vail Valley locals qualify for finals in New Zealand
CARDRONA, New Zealand – Dylan Bidez, of Minturn, and Broc Waring, of Edwards, finished 25th and 26th, respectively, at the Burton New Zealand Open on Saturday.
Two-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, of West Dover, Vt., picked up the 2010-11 season where she left off in the 2009-10 season. Clark brought her best tricks down under to claim the women’s halfpipe competition. Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, known as IPod, took home the win with Olympian Louie Vito, of Sandy, Utah, in third on the men’s side.
Clark defended her title, throwing down a big run posting a score of 88.70. Clark laid down the gauntlet her first run with a huge frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 900, method air, frontside 720, and Cab 720 mute.
“Kelly Clark dominated with a perfect frontside 900, a backside 540 and a pair of flawless 720s,” said U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Coach Spencer Tamblyn.
Spain’s Queralt Castellet was the closest challenger with an 82.45 taking second followed by Japan’s Soko Yamaoka in third. U.S. Snowboarding’s Kaitlyn Farrington (Sun Valley, Idaho) just missed the podium in fourth.
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On the men’s side, Podladtchikov rallied from the pre-qualifiers to the top of the podium, laying down the hammer his second run to score 93.70. Japan’s Taku Hiraoka slid into second ahead of USA’s Vito in third.
“It was nice just to land a run, especially since I haven’t done any of those tricks since March,” said Vito. “Getting a third heading into the season feels alright, but not as good as a first would have.”
Vito had a strong second run unleashing his effortless looking double-corks. He started his second run off big with a frontside 1080 double-cork, Cab100 double-cork, double crippler, backside 900 and frontside corked 900 to post 88.04 on the scoreboard.
Four members of the U.S. Snowboarding Rookie crew, two men and two women, qualified for the finals, unloading trick after trick with halfpipe’s stars like Clark and Vito. Maddy Schaffrick (Steamboat Springs), Kelly Marren (Truckee, Calif.), Dylan Bidez (Minturn,) and Broc Waring (Edwards) were pushing it to the limits. The girls went after it with technical runs with 720s and 900s, while the guys took their game to a new level. Waring soared out the pipe while doing a Michaelchuk, wowing the crowd, while Bidez did a McTwist to add some flavor to his routine.-
“The rookies all rode amazing and were going huge, but just had a hard time landing full runs,” said Tamblyn. “It was a great day and although the crew did not achieve the kind of results they were looking for, it was a great first event for the Rookie Team as a group. We are gaining group chemistry and dynamic.”
The Burton New Zealand Open kicked off the Burton Global Open Series for the 2010-11 season. The next stop in the series is Switzerland for the Burton European Open followed by Canada for the Burton Canadian Open. The series will make its finals stop at Stratton Mountain, Vermont for the Burton U.S Open, where the BGOS men and women’s champion will be crowned.