U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson is officially undefeated in 2012 Burton Global Open Series competition after beating out Norwegian rider Kjersti Buaas and Finnish rider Enni Rukajärvi to top the women's slopestyle podium Friday morning at the 30th anniversary Burton U.S. Open at Stratton Mountain in Vermont.
She won the semifinals on Thursday, then dominated Friday's competition. Anderson led in finals after the first of three runs with a score of 85.25, then improved to 90.10 in her second run with a backside lipslide to fakie on the top rail section, a Cab 720 nosegrab and switch backside mute grab in the jumps, a tailslide to 270 out in the bottom jib section, and a 50-50 to backside 180 mute grab out off the final cannon rail.
"It feels great," Anderson said afterward, seemingly at a loss for words as she shared the podium with two riders who have previously won the U.S. Open. Like all of the riders in Vermont this weekend, Anderson went in with a nod to snowboarding history: "We're gonna send it like it's 1999!" she announced, prior to the event. She left the event making some history of her own: Anderson is now the most decorated female slopestyle rider in the history of the sport.
Anderson -- who also won the Burton European Open last week, the Burton Canadian Open in January, and the Burton New Zealand Open in August -- will collect the whole bag of beans this season on the Burton Global Open Series and the TTR World Snowboard Tour. Her perfect 2011-2012 BGOS score puts her well ahead of Rukajärvi and Buaas in the overall standings, and she finishes the 2011-2012 TTR World Tour ahead of Canadian rider Spencer O'Brien and Rukajärvi.
Anderson's other TTR wins this season included the 5Star Roxy Snow Pro in September, the 3Star 100 Percent Pure New Zealand Winter Games in August, and the 4Star Billabong Slope-Style in August. She took second place at the 6Star World Snowboarding Championships in February.
Buaas finished in second on Friday, bumping her score up in her second run with a 50-50, backside 360, frontside 720, backside wallride, and 50-50 to backside 180 off.
Rukajärvi's top run featured a five-oh, backside 540 indy grab, Cab 540, and 50-50 to backside 180 off; she won the Creative Use of Space award presented by event sponsor Mini for the Cab 5.
"It was fun today," Rukajärvi said after the competition. "I like to go big and the course was good ... Jamie has been riding so good all season and she always gets all the best tricks in her run. it's really hard to do that. Kjersti as well, everyone's riding so well."
Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant won the men's slopestyle finals on Friday at the 30th anniversary Burton U.S. Open, posting the day's only score in the 90s to beat out Norwegian rider Ulrik Badertscher and Belgian rider Seppe Smits in what has become snowboarding's longest-running and most prestigious event.
The win leaves Toutant atop the podium for the overall Burton Global Open Series, ahead of Smits and Badertscher, and also gives him the win in the overall TTR World Snowboard Tour slopestyle rankings for the season, ahead of American rider Chas Guldemond and Finnish rider Roope Tonteri.
Smits bumped from last place all the way to second place after dropping first in the third of three runs with a half Cab on to backside 360 out on the top rail, a backside 900 and Cab 1260 in the jumps, and a 180 to wallride to 180 out and frontside boardslide 450 out, slipping in just behind Badertscher. But the day belonged to Toutant, who had also been near the bottom of the pack -- in 16th place -- after falls in his first two runs, then posted a huge score of 92.00 in his third and final run to take a commanding lead over Badertscher, who had previously lead with 81.90.
"It was definitely tough: In my first two runs I couldn't put down the Cab 12," Toutant said, after the competition, noting that drastic changes in the weather over the course of the day made it difficult to adjust. "But I stomped my last run and finished first in the end, so it's actually a good day."
Toutant's winning run featured a hardway 270 backside lipslide to fakie in the top rail section, a Cab 1260 melon grab and frontside double cork 1080 mute in the jumps, a frontside wallride to 270 out, and a 50-50 to backside rodeo melon grab nosebone off the cannon in the jib section at the bottom of the course.
"I normally really like to drop last," Toutant said, but his 16th place position after run two left him dropping early in run three, when the order was shuffled based on current standings. That turned out to be a good thing: "I was freezing my ass off and I was kind of over it," Toutant said. "I was just waiting to drop and I got up there, I strapped my board, and I was like, 'alright, let's drop!'"
Nearly everybody was crashing on their biggest tricks in finals, leaving some surprise shakeups in the standings: Eric Willett in 6th place, Sage Kotsenburg in 11th, and Chas Guldemond in 13th are some glaring examples. The week's even bigger surprise? X Games Gold medalist Mark McMorris missing the cut for finals altogether.
"It was pretty harsh today and conditions weren't really easy," Smits said, happy to be on the podium in second place after several falls of his own. "I was having trouble landing my first couple of runs and I was having trouble in training as well, so in run three I just wanted to lay one down and have fun with it."