It was another beautiful ‘bluebird’ day at Snow Park, NZ, for the halfpipe finals. Women were up first in the pipe for the exciting one-hour jam session. Clark and second-place rider Queralt Castellet (ESP) took it to a whole new level in women’s pipe as they duked it out for the top spot run. In the end it was Clark’s incredible second run that took the win with 94.60, starting with a frontside 9, backside 5, front 7, cab 7 and stalefish.
Castellet’s third run was a stunning series of spins, opening with a front 5, back 9, front 9, back 5, and a frontside 10 to finish for 92.40 points.
Rounding out the podium with a score of 75.40 was USA’s Kaitlyn Farrington, whose solid run consisted of a backside 5, stale, crail, corked front 7, cab 7, and backside alley-oop 5.
“The girls rode really great today and Queralt and I were run for run throughout,“ said Clark. “But in the end I was really happy with my riding. It was so much fun to be putting down 9s and 10s in the summertime.”
The amazing week of competition started with a nontraditional approach for a snowboarding event as riders showed off some of their unknown talents in unique Kiwi-influenced, off-snow team challenges at Oxbow Adventures, taking place at Ferguson Lodge, and the MINI Countryman Winter Driving Challenge. Riders were grouped into 12 teams of five to compete in fun and rugged outdoor activities like skeet shooting, ATV racing, and knife throwing, to name a few.
Heading into the individual snowboarding events, team Low Fives, consisting of Roger Kleivdal, Farrington, Scotty Lago, Kyle Mack, and team captain Clark, had taken a commanding lead in the team challenges. The Bench Warmers were in second and went on to achieve solid results on snow, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the Low Fives team whose strong snowboarding scores raised them to the top.
The Low Fives gang took home the trophy and $10,000 to split among them.
“The Burton High Fives’ creative approach to a snowboarding event was a lot of fun to be a part of,” said Clark. “My strategy in team selection was to pick great riders with hidden talents like Lago with shooting and Farrington with driving. That then set us up to do what we do best, snowboarding.”
Prize money totaled $35,000 for the halfpipe, with an additional $10,000 going to the winning Low Fives team. The 2012 Burton High Fives has dished out a total prize purse of $80,000 - the largest to date in New Zealand snow sports history.
The webcast of the Burton High Fives can be viewed on demand at opensnowboarding.com. The 2012 Burton High Fives is the first event in the Burton Global Event Series and is a five-star event on the World Snowboard Tour.