‘Swatch’ out for Finch | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Swatch’ out for Finch

Truckee snowboarder Andy Finch combined stylish tricks with sheer amplitude to earn first place in the O’Neill Evolution superpipe competition Friday in Davos, Switzerland.

Finch followed up with a sixth-place finish in the quarterpipe Saturday to move into the Swatch Ticket to Ride World No. 1 position – 20 points ahead of World No. 2 Torstein Horgmo of Norway.

Chas Guldemond, also of Truckee, moved into fourth overall in the Ticket to Ride standings after placing 26th in the halfpipe and 21st in quarterpipe.

Now in its sixth year, the 10-month Swatch Ticket to Ride Snowboard Tour is a culmination of independent freestyle events acting under one common tour flag.

The events are rated on an accreditation level ranging from TTR One-Star to Six-Star, with the O’Neill Evolution serving as one of the six most competitive TTR Six-Star events – which also includes the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship.

South Shore’s Jamie Anderson and Elena Hight are both ranked in the top 10 of the women’s standings. Anderson is third behind American Kelly Clark and Great Britain’s Jenny Jones on the strength of her slopestyle victory in the Australian Open in August and her runner-up performance in slopestyle last month in the Roxy Chicken Jam in Austria.

Hight, who is ranked 10th, has a pair of fourth-place halfpipe finishes and a seventh in slopestyle to her credit this season.

Finch blew away the competition Friday, winning by almost 30 points. And he did it in familiar fashion, soaring higher than any rider with a frontside air to a backside rodeo 5 to a frontside 10, to a McTwist and last, an alley-oop.

Although Guldemond did not make it through to the halfpipe finals, he still stomped a solid run to the cheers of an enormous, energetic crowd.

Risto Mattila of Finland had a clean run in the final to earn second, while Janne Korpi, also of Finland, took the third spot. Another Finn, Antti Autti – last year’s O’Neill Evolution winner, as well as the winner of the Vans Cup superpipe finals at Northstar-at-Tahoe last March – came in seventh.

Fresh off his superpipe win the night before, Finch pulled off the sixth-place finish in quarterpipe despite pulling out of the competition after hitting the coping on a backside rodeo attempt.

Norwegian Kim Rune Hansen won, followed by Peetu Piiroinen of Finland in third.

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