Nippon Open Day Two

Another Day of crappy weather hasn’t slowed the pace of this event. Day two of competition at the Nippon Open was hard fought in the melting, rain-beaten halfpipe. But as of now, the temps have dropped and she’s setting up nicely.

Tomorrow’s severe semi-final cut should be another brutal show. Today women got the goods early, running through their qualifiers (so many qualifiers…) in the early morning.

Olympic Gold medalist Kelly Clark ended up second, between the Swiss duo of Fabienne Reuteler and Manuela Pesko, who punished the pipe to round out the top three. Nicola Thost, Kjersti Oestgaard, and Stine Brun kjeldaas were looking solid as well. For the women, the final tally in this Japanese pipe will be the sum of stamina and power through the flat-bottom slop. Good luck there.

The men fought it out too. The Japanese locals were putting the hammer down, and definitely getting served. But then again, so was everyone else—but good to see these guys upping the ante on their home turf. Daniel Franck showed up early in the day, adjusted quickly to the conditions and qualified in third. New Zealand’s Dylan Butt rode his ass off and came in blazing for tomorrow’s semi. Poland’s Marek Sasiadek was another rider drawing cheers from the thin, but hardy crowd. Gian Simmen, Trevor Andrew, and Vincenz Loups also are high on the list for tomorrow’s action.

Dinner should bring more strange soup and stringy barely-edible delights. Most likely loads of sake for the German boardercrossers and many a funny massage will be performed tonight in this sleepy ski village.Stay tuned to see who gets the money on Sunday. Konitchiwa.