By James Sullivan
There’s no place like home for Kelly Clark. In front of hundreds of her neighbors, friends and family, all holding “Go Kelly” cheer signs, Kelly Clark went huge and walked away with a shiny new trophy that will no doubt be added to the memorabilia collection of her family’s West Dover restaurant. A two-time Olympic medalist, X Games champ, and all-around pipe-riding rockstar, Kelly used her home field advantage to hold off fellow Vermonter Hannah Teter via a frontside air, back 5, frontside 720, cab 360, a frontside 540, and a big backside air. “It was simple but it was clean and big,” said Clark. “And I think that’s what did it for me.”
Teter, who’s had cheer signs of her own compliments of her AMP energy-drink sponsor that read “Hannah’s On Fire”, brought the heat with a straight air into a frontside 5 to backside 5, followed by a frontside 7 and a cab 7. Ultimately, though, the amplitude just wasn’t there to match Clark's.
Rounding out the top three was 17-year-old sensation Ellery Hollingsworth, who came in with a backside air, back to back 7s, a frontside air and a backside 7. A native of Connecticut, Ellery was happy to do well in a contest closer to home, “It’s awesome, my mom and dad and everyone is here -- even my dog!" she said. "It’s really nice to have them here.”
The field of six women was missing some notables, including Torah Bright and Gretchen Bleiler, which opened up opportunities for upstarts Charmaine Ironside of Calgary, Canada, and US Snowboarding team member, Kaitlyn Farrington. Farrington had been seen landing legitimate 900s in practice the night before the Final, but was unable to stick them under this evening's bright lights. You can bet once she has it dialed, she’ll be a force to reckon with.
With her first win at a Winter Dew Tour-stop, Clark, propelled by the momentum of her second-place finish in Breckenridge, leads tour standings (that's 190 to Hannah Teter's 165) heading into the final stop at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Given her consistency and unwavering ability to push the level of women’s pipe-riding, it’s looking very possible that her family’s restaurant will become the future home to the first Women’s Superpipe Winter Dew Cup ever. We’ll see.