Shaun White & Elena Hight win 2012 Burton US Open halfpipe
With blue bird skies overhead an enthusiastic crowd was in attendence for what some might say was the perfect setting for a contest. And what better contest then the 30th Annual US Open Snowboarding Halfpipe competition.
During the women’s final crowd favorite Kelly Clark, who was going for her sixth US Open Halfpipe Title, faced fierce competition as all the girls were trying to unseat her. Kelly held first place for a short period, but was unable to regain her position after Elena Hight went bigger then all the women and stomped her run. Ellery Hollingsworth came in a close third with one of the most stylish Michalchuk’s seen all week. On the downside, potential contender Hannah Teter was sidelined when she took a hard fall during her first run. Hitting the deck of the pipe and falling to her back on the flat bottom. She was taken down in the sled by ski patrol and was unable to take her following runs.
Excitement from the crowd, which had been increasing in numbers throughout the morning, was high when the men’s finals started. Shaun White, the first rider to drop, set the bar high stomping his run and setting the score that everyone would be trying to beat for the rest of the day. In his final run Louie Vito came extremely close landing four double corks and scoring less then one point below Shaun. While no riders were to overcome Shaun’s score after the first run, second and third place shifted multiple times throughout the contest, ending with Louie Vito in second and Benji Farrow in third.
For the 30th year the crowd wasn’t disappointed as some of the best riders in the world put on a show leaving everyone wanting to see more.
Words & photos: Ben Girardi