Top boarders coming

Last updated 16:00 10/08/2012

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Sixty of the world’s top snowboarders are preparing to make their way to the first annual Burton "High Fives" snowboarding competition.

The  four-day invitational snowboarding event at Snow Park NZ in Wanaka, begins on August 15 and riders confirmed for the Burton High Fives include Mark McMorris (two-time X-Games gold medallist), Sebastien Toutant, Danny Davis, Roope Tonteri, Ryo Aono, Iouri Podladtchikov (World Snowboarding Championships gold medallist), Kelly Clark (Three-time Olympian), Enni Rukajarvi (X-Games gold medallist), Shelly Gotleib, Hannah Teter (Olympic gold medallist), QueralQueralt Castellet, and Southern Hemisphere riders Stef Zeestraten from New Zealand and Scott James from Australia.

The riders attending Burton High Fives will be in for a fun week in New Zealand as the new event brings Kiwi-inspired off-snow team challenges into the competition fold. Here’s how it works. During the first night at High Fives, event organizers will name 12 team captains.

The riders with the best rankings in the global world ranking list will get to be captains. Then, each team captain will select a team of five riders. From that point forward, every activity that a rider participates in will earn points for his or her team. So for example, if a rider wins the skeet shooting contest and then goes on to place third in the half-pipe finals, his/her team will earn points for these results.

The fun begins on August 15 with the off-snow team challenges, which include skeet shooting, knife throwing, an ATV off-road challenge, jet boat trials and the MINI Countryman Winter Driving Challenge.

The following day, the off-snow team challenges continue along with slopestyle and halfpipe practice. Then on Friday,  the slopestyle finals will go down, followed by the halfpipe finals taking place on Saturday, August 18.

The halfpipe and slopestyle competitions will each award a total cash purse of $35,000 as well as TTR points. In addition to cash prizes individual slopestyle and halfpipe results, there is also a $10,000 cash prize for the team with the most points from both the off-snow team challenges and the traditional halfpipe and slopestyle competitions.

The total prize purse of $80,000 makes it the largest in New Zealand snow sports history.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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