2013 Burton High Fives Day 1 & 2 re-cap

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

highfives-inpost Stale Sandbech drives a mean segway. Photo: 2013 Burton High Fives

Burton High Fives has officially begun, and after two days of MINI track driving challenges, team captains for the team aspect of the competition were chosen. The 12 leaders were then asked to select three more riders to round out their teams, before having to find their final rider— being one of the already determined top 12 riders in the world— using a Nokia Lumina 925 phone and GPS app to locate their hidden flag’s coordinates. The flags were hidden around the immense property, which made for a fun game of hide-and-go-seek for the teams. The teams were then cut loose to compete in crazy Kiwi-style games including digger driving, Segway racing/clay pigeon shooting, and sheep herding.

Team results from the off-snow shenanigans will be combined with those more traditional snowboarding events- slopestyle and halfpipe finals- this Thursday, September 12th and Friday, September 13th at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Given that the Burton High Fives is a 5star event on the World Snowboard Tour, this competition is a pivotal one for Olympic hopefuls on the road to Sochi.

highfives-inpost2 Sheep herding? Only in New Zealand

Check out the 2013 Burton High Fives press release below for more info:

WANAKA, New Zealand (September 9, 2013) The second annual Burton ‘High Fives’ presented by MINI snowboarding competition kicked off yesterday at the new Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand with the first off-hill challenge, the MINI Track Challenge. Sixty of the world’s top snowboarders tested their style and skills in different driving challenges, including Slalom in the MINI Countryman Cooper S ALL4, a slippery Skid Pan in the MINI Paceman Cooper S and a fun Go Kart session. Riders were also treated to a heart-stopping Hot Laps session with a professional driver in the MINI Paceman Cooper S. Standout riders of the day with the fastest times combined were Arthur Longo(FRA), Tyler Nicholson(CAN), Ben Ferguson(USA), Taylor Gold(USA), and Kiwi locals Shelly Gotlieb(NZL) and Rebecca “Possum” Torr.
Today the action shifted from the race track to the adventure-filled property at Oxbow Lodge overlooking the Clutha River in Central Otago, There the off-hill challenges continued as 12 team captains were announced, based on the fastest times from the MINI Track Challenge, as follows:

1. Shelly Gotlieb (NZL)

2. Rebecca Torr (NZL)

3. Steph Magiros (AUS)

4. Gretchen Blieler (USA)

5. Brooke Voight (CAN)

6. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA)

7. Tyler Nicholson (CAN)

8. Charles Reid (CAN)

9. Greg Bretz (USA)

10. Danny Davis (USA)

11. Torgeir Bergrem (NOR)

12. Johann Baisamy (FRA)

Each challenge had its moments; Stale Sandbech (NOR) showed style on the Segway and then proceeded to hit all five clay pigeons for Team Road Kill, but was edged out by Greg Bretz (USA) of the Pup’n’Suds team who not only nailed all five clay pigeons but was one second faster on the Segway. Benji Farrow (USA) topped the digger challenge for Team Road Kill, while the sheep seemed to come out the victors in the sheep herding challenge as they outwitted Team Kanne herders by swimming across a waterway to safety.

The teams were given Nokia Lumia 925’s in order to record their most epic moments throughout the day. The two best shots from each team have been posted online to Burton’s Facebook page at facebook.com/burtonsnowboards where fans can like and share their favorites.. The winning team will be announced at the end of the day on Wednesday, September 11th and will win $1000 plus additional points towards their overall team score.

The party continues through the week with a series of free events at the official High Fives lounge at Urban Grind in Wanaka from September 10th-13th. Après specials begin daily at 4pm with music starting at 8pm, so make sure to come out and mix it up with High Fives riders. On Friday, September 13th, don’t miss the official Burton High Fives After Party with two of New Zealand’s premier musical acts, Ahoribuzz and Bulletproof. The party kicks off at the Lake Wanaka Events Centre at 8pm and continues late night back at Urban Grind. Tickets for the after party can be purchased here.