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Champions At Burton NZ Open

Champions At Burton NZ Open

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand – August 5 2006 – For the second year in a row, US Olympian Mason Aguirre picked the winning title at last night’s invitational quarterpipe at the Burton NZ Open, while former US Open quarterpipe champion Kelly Clark also displayed her winning form to take away the title for the women.

Aguirre (18), and Clark (23), both of the United States, wowed an audience of about 2500 and impressed judges with their overall performances at Snow Park NZ. Aguirre, who won the same event at Snow Park NZ last year, beat 30 snowboarders in the men’s event with the best combination of different tricks. Clark beat 12 other women with her best combination of landed tricks.

Both winners praised the conditions of the impressive 9m quarterpipe, which was hand-shovelled during the final stages of its shaping: “It’s one of the best quarterpipes I’ve ever ridden. It has one of the best transitions to ride,” Clark said.

Aguirre said he enjoyed the night-time event. “It’s got the best vibe. It’s more of just a session of riding with your friends.”

Scott Lago (USA) earned best trick with his backside 1080 (three rotations), and Takahiro Ishihara got the biggest air – clearing about 6m above the quarterpipe – in the men’s event. In the women’s event, Elena Hight (USA) cleared 4.5m to get the biggest air award. Junko Asazuma (JPN) earned the award for best trick – a backside 540 (1.5 rotations).

Quarterpipe judge and pro snowboarder Dylan Butt said the event was amazing: “There was such a high standard of freestyle snowboarding. There were some of the biggest airs I have ever seen on a snowboard in New Zealand.”

Print-quality images are available through the official event website, www.opensnowboarding.com. The user name to access these is: nzopen06, and the password is: presspass. Please ensure that all images are credited to Burton NZ Open, as well as each individual photographer.

People can watch the finals live at www.snow.co.nz, and on Vodafone Live!

For more information on the Burton New Zealand Open Snowboarding Championships, visit www.opensnowboarding.com.

ends

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