Xuetong Cai & Yuto Totsuka Win 2020 Burton U·S·Open Halfpipe Titles
The sun was out, the mood was celebratory, and the conditions were flawless for the Burton U·S·Open superpipe finals—the culmination of the week-long event. While the day’s competition took front and center, a special moment to honor Burton founder Jake Burton Carpenter whose recent passing weighed heavy on the event, momentarily stole the spotlight. During a pause in men’s pipe finals, a non-stop stream of riders representing 38 years of the Burton U·S·Open dropped into the halfpipe to honor Jake. At a single moment in time, the pipe held a field of riders including Ross Powers, Tricia Byrnes, Danny Kass, Gretchen Bleiler, the Mitrani brothers, Shaun White, Kelly Clark and the list goes on in the most fitting memorial to Jake, who Danny Davis remembered in a touching goodbye as the most influential snowboarder in the world.
Yuto Totsuka on his way to winning his first Burton U·S·Open halfpipe title.
With the unprecedented talent both in the competition and riding in honor of Jake, the biggest winners today were definitely the spectators gathered at Vail Mountain’s 22-foot halfpipe, who were treated to an incredible show as the field of ten men and six women competed in a progression-pushing best of three-run finals format.
In the men’s field, heavy one-upmanship was on display throughout the entire three-run finals making for a thrilling event from start to finish. It was Yuto Totsuka (JPN) who earned the winning score of 97.00 on his all-in second run. Totsuka came out spinning, drifting and absolutely defying gravity on his edge-of-the-seat landings in a run that featured a McTwist into an alley oop rodeo 540 stalefish grab in the modified minipipe, blasting into a frontside 1440 double cork Indy grab, a switch frontside 1260 double cork mute grab and finishing with a massive switch backside 1080 double cork mute grab on the final hit bringing the crowd to their feet. Totsuka’s win follows on his 2019 rookie third-place finish.
Jan Scherrer (SUI) took second place with a score of 95.16. His run included a switch McTwist into a Haakon flip and a Miller flip in the modified minipipe, into a switch frontside 1080 double cork mute grab, a frontside 1260 double cork frontside grab, into a frontside alley oop 900 nose grab that sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Defending champion Scotty James (AUS) earned third place with a score of 93.00 on his final run which included a massive switch backside double cork 1260.
Xuetong Cai pushed progression's pedal to the metal on the way to winning her first Burton U·S·Open title.
In the women’s field, longtime Burton U·S·Open competitor Xuetong Cai finally got the finish she’s been working so hard for the past six years. Cai’s win marks the first time a Chinese rider has won a Burton U·S·Open title in the 38 year history of the event. Cai has repeatedly appeared on the Burton U·S·Open podium, with a second place finish in 2016, third place in 2019 and three fourth place finishes going back to 2015. She earned the top podium position today with a score of 88.16. Cai started her run with an Indy grab followed by an alley oop in the modified minipipe, into the superpipe with a super stylish frontside 900 tuck knee grab, a backside 540 mute grab, to melon air to fakie.
Cai said, “This feels so unbelievable—this is the title I’ve always wanted. This event is for snowboarding. The setup is really good and I really enjoy riding here.”
Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) took second place with a score of 85.50 on her flowing final run that included a giant frontside 1080 into a switch frontside 720. Rookie Burton U·S·Open competitor Ruki Tomita (JPN) took third place with a score of 85.00 including a frontside 900 melon and back to back 720s.
The Toyota Rookie of the Year titles were also up for grabs at this Burton U·S·Open recognizing the best up-and-coming female and male riders. The men’s award went to first-time Burton U·S·Open slopestyle competitor Dusty Henricksen (USA) who earned second place riding in a t-shirt and stomping a backside 1800 quad cork mute grab. The women’s award went to fifteen-year-old Burton U·S·Open halfpipe competitor Mitsuki Ono (JPN) who earned fourth place in her inaugural Burton U·S·Open finals linking up back-to-back sevens and a huge frontside 900 tailgrab. The Toyota Rookie of the Year winners each receive a $5,000 prize, plus flights and accommodation to the 2021 Burton U·S·Open.
The Clif Best Line contest featured an opportunity for fans to vote on the best pro rider lines filmed at Vail during the 2020 Burton U·S·Open with voting taking place on social media. This year’s $10,000 award went to Vail local Ryan Wachendorfer who filmed an enviable trick line through the trees.
And finally, the esteemed Burton Riders’ Choice Award went to the best female and male rider as voted on by their fellow Burton U∙S∙Open competitors. This year’s winners were slopestyle competitor Hailey Langland (USA) and rookie Burton U·S·Open slopestyle competitor Dusty Henricksen (USA). Both riders take home $5,000 each.
The Burton U·S·Open party culminates tonight starting at 6:00pm MST with the Halfpipe Awards on the Solaris Concert Stage, followed by a fireworks salute with the Carpenter family at 7:45 pm MST, and the free Burton Concert Series featuring Big Wild and EVAN GIIA.
The night continues with the After Party at Dobson Ice Arena featuring 2019 Red Bull Music 3Style World Champion DJ J Espinosa, plus 2019 Artist To Watch 99 Neighbors and DJ Cre8 from 10:00pm – 1:00am MST. This event is free and open to the public ages 21 and over. Tickets are available at the Burton Pop-Up store and flagship stores in Vail Village and Lionshead.
Women’s Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 88.16
2. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), 85.50
3. Ruki Tomita (JPN), 85.00
4. Mitsuki Ono (JPN), 78.66
5. Maddie Mastro (USA), 40.16
6. Shaotong Wu (CHN), 31.66
Men’s Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Yuto Totsuka (JPN), 97.00
2. Jan Scherrer (SUI), 95.16
3. Scotty James (AUS), 93.00
4. Pat Burgener (SUI), 87.00
5. Joey Okesson (USA), 84.66
6. Jake Pates (USA), 82.00
7. Danny Davis (USA), 73.66
8. Shuichiro Shigeno (JPN), 70.66
9. Chase Blackwell (USA), 65.83
10. Rakai Tait (NZL), 36.66
For competition highlight videos and more from the world’s greatest snowboard event, check out Burton’s YouTube channel. Also follow #BurtonUSOpen and catch the competition including the halfpipe and slopestyle semi-finals and finals airing live and on demand on Red Bull TV and BurtonUSOpen.com.