Tokyo, Japan – This past weekend, Canadian rider Darcy Sharpe took the win at the 5th annual Burton Rail Days presented by MINI in Tokyo. Burton kicked off winter with an action-packed weekend of progressive street snowboarding in front of a crowd of almost 6,000 at Roppongi Hills Arena in the heart of the city, with 17 of the world’s best street riders battling it out for the $27,000 prize purse.
The crowd began gathering early to enjoy giveaways, food, fun and athlete autograph sessions in the sponsor village. Spectators were also able to get an up-close look at the massive redesigned Burton Rail Days course complete with progressive urban elements including rails, ledges, walls, jumps and transitions created by Snow Park Technologies. Kids as young as three years old were invited to the free Riglet Park set-up in Roppongi Hills Arena to learn to snowboard on the specially designed mini park features.
As the sun set, the excitement began building with an exclusive live performance from the “Godfather of Japanese Hip-Hop” DJ Ta-Shi leading up to the main attraction – the Burton Rail Days snowboard competition.
The field of 17 riders kicked off the competition, battling it out under bright lights during the first round qualifying heats, with the top three riders from each of the two heats advancing to the exciting finals. The six riders in the finals included Ryusei Takahashi (JPN), Sebastien Toutant (CAN), Sean Ryan (USA), Zach Aller (CAN), Alex Andrews (USA) and Darcy Sharpe (CAN), who all had 20 minutes to impress the judges in a new jam format. The judges rewarded riders based on overall impression with an eye for creativity, technical difficulty, style and execution to determine the podium and a share of the $27,000 prize purse.
The riders came out swinging in front of the cheering crowd with a dazzling display of linked tricks down the flowy course as they put their strongest runs together for the judges. In the end, Sharpe clinched the win and $15,000. His final runs included a frontside boardslide 450 drop off, ally-oop wallride to lipslide 270 on the rainbow rail, as well as an impressive half Cab 50-50 transfer to lipslide 270. In second was Alex Andrews (USA) whose run highlights included a backside 270 lipslide, a 50-50 to frontboard transfer to fakie, and a boardslide 270 on the rainbow rail. Last year’s Burton Rail Days winner, Zach Aller (CAN), came back strong this year and took third place with tech tricks including a frontboard to boardslide transfer 270 out and a front blunt 270 transfer to 50-50. Finally, the Canadians swept the three best trick categories—Sebastien Toutant (CAN) took Best Air for his boardslide rodeo off the cannon rail, Aller took Best Wallride with a massive frontside invert and Best Rail went to Sharpe with a backside tailslide indy.
“I was just snowboarding pretty much, doing the best I could…that’s about all that was going through my mind,” Sharpe said.
2015 Burton Rail Days presented by MINI
Nov. 14, 2015
1. Darcy Sharpe (CAN) – $15,000
2. Alex Andrews, (USA) – $6,000
3. Zach Aller (CAN) – $3,000
Best Air Trick: Sebastien Toutant (CAN) – $1,000
Best Wall Trick: Zach Aller (CAN) – $1,000
Best Rail Trick: Darcy Sharpe (CAN) – $1,000