Thu, Mar 15 2012 1:45 am
Action in the halfpipe final: Photo Credit: Transworld Business
The 30th anniversary of the 2012 Burton US Open presented by MINI wrapped up last weekend at Stratton Mountain, with more than $100,000 in prizes and a pair of MINI Countryman vehicles awarded to the top competitors. Fresh snow and sunny skies brought out the crowds for the halfpipe competition on Saturday.The beauty of the Open is that it’s an event anyone can win at—and it always has been. While men’s halfpipe winner Shaun White was in and out, coming to the event for just over a 24-hour period and leaving after the awards ceremony in a private helicopter, there was also local rider 20-year-old Benji Farrow (from Okemo, Vermont) who grabbed third and was in the finals for the first time after competing at the Open for six years.
“To do it here in my home state, close to my home town when it turned 30 years old was a nice redemption,” he said, commenting that for the last two years he had been nipping at everyone’s heels.
Women’s halfpipe winner Elena Hight (USA), who knocked out longtime champion Kelly Clarke’s 16-competition winning streak, was in shock about her win, but attributed it to a new trick she’s been working on: the alley oop backside rodeo along with back-to-back 900s.
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