The 08/09 season of the Swatch TTR Tour will go down in history as the most progressive, thrill inducing snowboard championship yet. In what was a fiercely fought showdown, Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) climbed up to overtake the No.1 World Ranking from Chas Guldemond (USA) and Kelly Clark (USA) who reached the top at the last 6Star event of the Tour. Both raised the crown in the end, but it was not without a series of challenges from the likes of Kevin Pearce (USA), Shaun White (USA), Kjersti Oestgaard-Buaas (NOR) and Jamie Anderson (USA).
Prior to the later months of the season, riders were competing in the “Southern Hemisphere” leg of the Tour. The events which transpired Downunder were to shape the rest of the season and it is only a matter of months before it all kicks off again. With 2009/2010 being the Olympic year, the Southern Hemisphere events will be more important than ever as riders scramble get some practice in while earning crucial points before the busy competition times in February.
Also in 08/09, the Southern Hemisphere events played a pivotal role as it gave numerous riders the chance to gain a solid grounding of ranking points to dominate throughout the season. Both Chas Guldemond (USA) and Jamie Anderson (USA) held onto the World No.1 rankings for 22 and 41 weeks respectively.
The new season will be kicked off by the Thedbo Freeride Series, a series of amateur events starting in June and going into August. New for the 09/10 season, Burton has decided to combine to the Burton Australian and NZ Open events into one premier “Southern Hemisphere” spectacular. The Burton New Zealand Open from 11th – 15th August 2009 will offer two chances to gain 5Star ranking points and surely attract many international riders to go head to head with the trans Tasman rivals.
Again on the Swatch TTR Tour Calendar from 24th – 28th August 2009 is one of Downunder’s most spectacular event, the 4Star Stylewars presented by Oakley, in Falls Creek/ Australia. Stylewars has since its inauguration been a mix of spectacular snowboard action and lifestyle with live concerts, film premieres and a rail session and is always attracting some of the biggest riders on the TTR Tour such as Chas Guldemond (USA), Torstein Horgmo (NOR) or Charles Reid (CAN).
One of the last events of the SH winter will be the Boost Mobile Sno Sho, an innovative tournament with two parts. Starting off with the crowd favourite, ‘longest rail’ slide and progressing to the Swatch TTR part of the event, the Big Air and Jam Rail competition.
Apart from the above mentioned, the TTR still awaits the confirmation of more events in the Southern Hemisphere. But on thing is for sure - more than ever, the Southern Hemisphere winter will play a defining role in the 2009/2010 Swatch TTR World Tour Season. Progression will be pushed and riders will be out looking to grab early season points to bolster their Title hopes. Tune into to www.ttrworldtour.com in July and August for the 2009/2010 kick off.
Top 10 rankings as of June 1st, 2009 based on the season-end bonus point system:
1 Piiroinen, Peetu FIN 2 Guldemond, Chas USA 3 Autti, Antti FIN 4 Pearce, Kevin USA 5 Mattila, Risto FIN 6 Reid, Charles CAN 7 White, Shaun USA 8 Malin, Markus FIN 9 Toutant, Sebastien CAN 10 Aguirre, Mason USA
1 Clark, Kelly USA 2 Wiik, Lisa NOR 3 Anderson, Jamie USA 4 Maas, Cheryl NED 5 Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti NOR 6 Mittermueller, Silvia GER 7 Candrian, Sina SUI 8 Pancochova, Sarka CZE 9 Sladics, Chanelle USA 10 Hollingsworth, Ellery USA