STRATTON MOUNTAIN, Vermont — For the 27th year overall and the 25th consecutive at Stratton Mountain, the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships rolled into southern Vermont as the sixth and final stop on the Burton Global Open Series Tour. The longest running and arguably most prestigious of all snowboarding competitions, the 2009 Open once again displayed why it is no flash in the pan. And while bluebird skies, warm temps, soft spring-like snow, and live performances from Santigold and RJD2 didn’t hurt, the event was once again carried on the shoulders of the elite riders who showed up to throw down. Riders like The Danny Kass, Shaun White (who showed up but did not compete due to injury suffered earlier in the week), Torah Bright, and Kelly Clark were some of the most recognizable, yet local riders like Stratton Mountain School senior Ellery Hollingsworth and long time Stratton grom turned phenom Luke Mitrani, were not to be overshadowed coming up huge all weekend long. In total 61 Vermonters turned out to compete in the various events and divisions, showing the world that the Green Mountain state means business. Some highlights from the weekend include:
- New Hampshire native Scotty Lago and Kjiersti Oestgaard Buaas (NOR) win the Quarterpipe competition under the lights.
- Olympian Danny Kass (USA) wins his 5th U.S Open Men’s Halfpipe competition, placing him first all time on the list ahead of Shaun White. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) finishes in second place followed by Luke Mitrani (USA).
- Torah Bright (AUS) wins the Women’s Halfpipe, tying Kelly Clark (USA) for the most U.S. Open Halfpipe victories. Kelly Clark takes second place followed by Ellery Hollingsworth (USA) in third.
- Luke Mitrani wins the Amp Energy Best Trick pulling a crowd pleasing switch double back flip.
- Santigold tears up her live set Saturday afternoon after the Halfpipe Finals.
- Chas Guldemond (USA) wins Men’s Slopestyle Finals.
- Kjersti Buass wins Women’s Slopestyle Finals capping off a weekend that put her on top of the podium twice.
- Scotty Lago and Kjersti Buass drive away in new Volvo XC60′s after winning the Volvo Most Valuable Riders awards.
- 13 year old Arielle Gold wins girls Junior Jam Halfpipe competition
- Tanner Barrett wins boys Junior Jam with a massive Frontside 900 tail grab to McTwist Mute
- Chas Guldemond and Jamie Anderson (USA) win overall Burton Global Open Series and the $100,000 purse.
U.S. Open highlights will be shown on NBC next Sunday, March 29 from 1-2:30 p.m.