Wanaka, New Zealand (September 18, 2014) — The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI continued today with slopestyle finals at Wanaka’s Cardrona Alpine Resort. Olympian and two-time Burton High Fives winner Jamie Anderson (USA) and Emil Ulsletten (NOR) walked away with the titles, and $2,500 USD each.
Over the last four days, sixty of the world’s top snowboarders have experienced a snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand, competing in world-class snowboarding events and classic kiwi-inspired off-snow team activities. On Monday, riders were treated to an adrenaline-filled afternoon of activities at the Oxbow Adventure lodge, followed by a fantasy draft team selection auction where it was announced the team with the most points at the end of the week will walk away with $70,000 USD, or $7,000 to each rider. Teams had a blast on Tuesday at the MINI Off-Road challenge where they had the opportunity to bond while driving MINI Countryman Cooper S All4 vehicles around a muddy, off-road course. Today, after a morning practice session for both men and women, the Burton High Fives slopestyle finals got under way with the best of two runs format, which allowed for an exciting competition in spite of the windy conditions.
While strong winds threatened to deter riders during both the men’s and women’s competitions, athletes charged through the course regardless of the weather. In combination with the unique course, fans witnessed incredible snowboarding all day long. Competitors were faced with navigating through back-to-back wall ride MINI features followed by a unique urban inspired street rail setup that left ample room for creativity. A fourth feature consisted of a cannon rail next to a giant cable reel, which was placed right before three perfectly shaped jumps that wrapped up the course created by the Cardrona Parks NZ shape crew.
Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson set the bar high for the women right from her first run where she linked a frontside wallride to a backside nose slide into a backside tailslide, 50-50 backside 180 out off the cannon rail into a cab 540, frontside 360 and a huge back side 540 to finish with a 94.00. Taking second place was Burton rider Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) who scored an 87.80 on her run that included a highly technical cab 270 boardslide to regular through the tricky rail section. New Zealand local and team captain Christy Prior (NZL) rounded out the podium with a run that showcased her signature front side Rodeo 540 and earned her an 86.80.
For the men, Emil Ulsletten (NOR) set the tone on his first drop with a run that included the perfect mix of style, technicality and variety to give him the win with an 88.40. Emil started off with a 50-50 to board