Young gun snowboarder Valentino Guseli from Narooma continues to impress on the world junior snowboard circuit.
The 12-year-old talented snowboarder is in Vail, Colorado in the United States this week competing in the Burton US Open Junior Jam.
His second place was good enough for him to qualify to the Burton US Open halfpipe and he now competes against the world’s best in the semi finals at 6am Australian time tomorrow morning, Friday, March 9.
“I've seen this kid around quite a bit and I do know he likes to send it. – I’ve definitely seen him around – he’s everywhere,” the commentators said during his second run to qualify.
You can watch Valentino compete tomorrow at this live link: http://events.burton.com/burton-us-open/live-webcast/
Valentino attends Narooma High School when not travelling the world competing in snowboard events.
Previous coverage: Valentino Guseli of Narooma on top of the snowboarding world
Valentino spent a few weeks in Switzerland training for this current trip to the USA where he iscompeting in the first major snowboard event to follow the Olympic Games in South Korea.
Holding down the fort back home in Narooma is mum Kristen, who said a lot of people had asked why Valentino wasn’t at the Olympics.
At age 12 he has to wait till he is 14 before he can begin the qualification processes for the Olympics and his current focus is competing in the world snowboard circuit and attaining professional status.
When not snowboarding, Valentino was home over the summer where he enjoyed the surf and competed with the Dalmeny Boardriders.
Back on the snow, the US Open Junior Jam is a halfpipe, invitation-only competition with 16 boys and eight girls aged 14 and under.
The format for the competition is two runs, best run counts, then top six get a final run to battle out the podium.
Then the best junior riders qualify for selection into the men’s semi final and compete against the best 32 men in the world in half pipe.
Given the small field and the number of up-and-coming rippers worldwide, the team at Burton Snowboards can’t invite every kid in the world.
The selectors work off regional results, current form and recommendations from a select ream of international coaches, team managers and industry professionals.
UPDATE: Valentino competed in the men’s semi final on Friday morning and despite a crash on his second run, he finished 22nd out of the 30 competitors.
“It was awesome,” his mother Kristen said. “It was a brilliant experience for him.”