US Open Snowboarding Championship underway

Burton US Open 2009The best snowboarders in the world have been gathering at the Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont for the 27th Annual US Open Snowboarding World Championship. The qualifying action kicked earlier this week amid balmy temps and bluebird skies and continues tonight at 6:15 p.m. with an invitational quarterpipe competition followed by a free RJD2  concert at 8:00 p.m. in the USO Sponsor Village at the Sunbowl.

Top riders including  Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark,  Hannah Teter and Ellery Hollingsworth,  X-Games Gold Medalist Torah Bright, Asian Open winner Chanelle Sladics and TTR World Champion Jamie Anderson are all participating in the event. Hardly surprising as it is one of the first snowboarding events in the world to offer male and female competitors equal winnings.

The US Open is the last stop on the Burton Global Open Series and offers riders the chance to earn points towards a male and female championship title, each worth $100,000, currently the largest single payout in competitive snowboarding. 

This year’s Open features a different competition schedule than the past few years with all events and concerts taking place at the Sunbowl area of Stratton Mountain.   On the women’s side,  50 athletes vie for five spots in the semifinals, where they meet up with 16 invited riders.

Saturday, March 21st will feature men’s and women’s semi-final and final halfpipe competitions, an autograph session in the sponsor village, topped off with a Santigold concert immediately following the halfpipe awards presentation at 4:15 p.m. in the Sunbowl.

Sunday, March 22nd, will kick off with the junior jam halfpipe competition, followed by men’s and women’s slopestyle finals, after which three major titles will be awarded: the $100,000 Burton Global Open Series men’s and women’s title, the Volvo Most Valuable Rider Award and the Men’s Swatch TTR World Tour Champion award. 

A crowd in excess of 40,000 people are expected to attend the event which will without doubt have its fair share of thrills and spills. If you cannot make it to Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont you can watch all of the semi-finals and finals live on March 21 and 22 on, where webcasts and highlights of the competitions will also be available for on-demand viewing once the event concludes. NBC will show all the action on Sunday, March 29 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST.

Show up with 4 or more people in your car when you park at Stratton to be entered into the US Open carpool raffle. If your raffle number is chosen, you will be the lucky winner of Burton’s 2010 eco-friendly GMP products!

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