The guests of honour at the Burton European Open’s 10th birthday party competed on Wednesday in halfpipe semi-finals in Laax, Switzerland up on Crap Sogn Gion.
2008 BEO halfpipe champions Kevin Pearce (USA) and Kelly Clark (USA) qualified first in today’s semi-finals, demonstrating their determination to hold on to their BEO titles. Shaun White came in just a few points behind Kevin in the semi-finals, showing that he was going to put up a strong fight for the BEO halfpipe title.
The men dropped in first, with 42 riders competing for 16 spots in Friday’s halfpipe finals. An eclectic field of men’s riders ranged from kids as young as 14 who competed in the BEO junior jam to classic pipe riders like 32-year-old Gian Simmen (SUI).
In heat one, Shaun White (USA) earned the top qualifying spot with a run that was loaded with classic Shaun style, including a frontside 540 stalefish, backside 540 mute, a frontside 1080, a Cab 10 tailgrab to a frontside 720 ending with a Haakon flip.
Reigning BEO halfpipe champion Kevin Pearce competed in heat two with an impressive run that surpassed Shaun’s score, kicking things off with a huge frontside air, McTwist Japan air, frontside 720 tailgrab, Cab 1080, Frontside 900 ending with a huge Indy.
Top halfpipe riders Danny Davis (USA), Mason Aguirre (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Markku Koski (FIN), Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) and ‘oldie but goldie’ Gian Simmen (SUI) also made it into the finals.
The sun came out for the ladies’ halfpipe semi-finals, and just like Kevin, reigning BEO halfpipe champion Kelly showed her dominance with her first run, scoring nearly 10 points ahead of the rest of the competitors with a super impressive run. With huge amplitude and smooth style, Kelly easily took the top spot in semi-finals with a frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 540, method, frontside 720.
Women’s halfpipe legend Nicola Thost (GER) was a surprise guest at the BEO birthday party and showed that after six years off from competitive snowboarding, she still has what it takes to qualify for halfpipe finals.
All qualified riders will take to the halfpipe one last time on Friday to battle it out for a BEO title. Tomorrow, watch the slopestyle semi-finals and finals as they go down with LIVE webcasts on Go211.com during the following times:
Slopestyle Semi-Finals and Finals on Go211.com : Thursday, January 15
Morning Show 9:30 – 10:00 (CET)
Slopestyle Semi-finals: Men 10:00 – 11:15 (CET)
Slopestyle Semi-finals: Women 11:45 – 12:30 (CET)
Slopestyle Finals 13:00 – 14:45 (CET)
End Show 14:45 – 15:45 (CET)
Replay of entire webcast 17:00 (CET)
Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results: Heat 1
1 White, Shaun (USA) BURTON 91.83
2 Haller, Christian (SUI) BURTON 89.33
3 Malin, Markus (FIN) THIRTY TWO 84.17
4 Piiroinen, Peetu (FIN) BURTON 77.67
5 Crepel, Mathieu (FRA) QUIKSILVER 72.83
6 Davis, Danny (USA) BURTON 72.17
7 Stewart, Ben (NZL) ONEILL 70.50
8 Hast, Miikka (FIN) PROTEST 68.83
Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results: Heat 2
1 Pearce, Kevin (USA) BURTON 95.00
2 Schmidt, Christophe (GER) HEAD 80.67
3 Podladtchikov, Iouri (SUI) VOLCOM 77.50
4 Burgener, Patrick (SUI) NITRO 76.50
5 Kleivdal, Roger (NOR) SWEET 73.83
6 Aguirre, Mason (USA) BURTON 73.00
7 Koski, Markku (FIN) THIRTY TWO 72.50
8 Simmen, Gian (SUI) O’NEILL 70.50
Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results
1 Clark, Kelly (USA) BURTON 91.17
2 Haug, Linn (NOR) BURTON 82.33
3 Sadar, Cilka (SLO) BURTON 79.50
4 Thost, Nicola (GER) BURTON 74.67
5 Pancochova, Sarka (CZE) BERN UNLIMITED 72.50
6 Ligocka, Paulina (POL) ROXY 68.50
7 Wiik, Lisa (NOR) ROXY 68.33
8 Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti (NOR) ROXY 66.67
For more information on the Burton European Open, head to www.opensnowboarding.com