Sebastien Toutant and Jamie Anderson Win Billabong Big Air In New Zealand
Antti Autti Nails Nixon Quarter Pipe Throw Down
Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant has claimed both the Open Men’s and Junior Men’s divisions of the 3-star Swatch TTR Billabong Big Air event at Snow Park in Wanaka, New Zealand.
2007 Swatch TTR champion Jamie Anderson (USA) also joined Toutant on the winners list after dominating the Open Women’s division to retain her number one spot on the current tour ratings.
After early qualifying rounds were postponed on day one of the Billabong Snow Stock festival, light winds and intermittent cloud set the scene for the second day, allowing organizers to complete the Billabong Big Air and the Nixon Quarter Pipe Throw Down.
Toutant lead from his first run in the 24 man final of the blue ribbon Big Air event, before blowing the crowd away on his second attempt at the Big Air kicker with a perfectly stomped late corked backside 1080. The trick was one of the only 1080’s nailed during the whole event and rewarded the 15-year-old with a score of 26.50 out of 30.00.
“It’s cool to win a contest in another country,” he said. “I have won a couple of contests at home in Canada, but to come to New Zealand and win is great, I’m really stoked about that.”
“I like to compete with the older guys because it makes me ride better,” he said. “I think that they push me to try better and bigger tricks. It was really good to land that 1080 in competition as well, I have been practicing it a lot.”
It was an all international podium in the Open Men’s with 2007 Billabong Slopestyle NZ champion Eric Willett (USA) claiming second on 22.80 and Christophe Reynolds (BEL) slotting into third position on 22.00. Australian rider Robbie Walker rode into fourth with a clean switch back 9 while Kiwi Stef Zeestraten was the highest placed local, finishing in fifth position.
Toutant’s form carried through to the Junior Men’s final where he claimed his second victory ahead of Panasonic Night Fight Rail Jam winner Wes Walsh (USA). Australian rider Jye Kearny finished third.
Anderson never looked in doubt of securing her third consecutive win of the Swatch TTR season at the Billabong Big Air. Fresh from claiming both Slopestyle and Halfpipe honours at the Burton New Zealand Open at the same terrain park two weeks ago, the 17-year-old nailed a clean backside 5 to score 22.40 on her second run. Spencer O’Brien (CAN) finished second on 13.50 and Kiwi rider Shelly Gotleib took third place on 12.60.
“The Big Air was good this morning, but it really slowed down this afternoon,” said Anderson. “I love New Zealand, it’s always good to come down here to compete and hang out with all my friends here. I won it here last year at the Billabong event, so it’s good to go back to back.”
The Nixon Quarter Pipe Throw Down was held after the Big Air final with Antti Autti (FIN) nailing a 1080 to win best trick in the open men’s and James Hamilton (NZE) winning highest air. Julien Bray won best trick and highest air in the Open Women’s, Scott James (AUS) won highest air and best trick in the Junior Men’s, Stef Luxton won best trick in the Junior Women and Leah Pihama won highest air in the Junior Women.