Clifford, Butler and Hansen Win at Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard Nationals
Sparks, Nev. – Fans lined the shores of Sparks Marina today to catch the final rounds of action at the Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR. Throughout the day riders in six different divisions hit the water to compete for national titles and invitations to represent the United States at the Wakeboard World Championships later this year.
The Pro Men’s division highlighted the event, with its five-man final. Defending titlist, Adam Errington, failed to advance past the semifinal round today, leaving the national title up for grabs for Danny Harf, Rusty Malinoski, Harley Clifford, Phillip Soven and Bryan Hutton.
All five pros threw down impressive runs, but top seed Harley Clifford made the biggest impact on the water to take home his first-ever Nationals win. Former national champions Phillip Soven and Danny Harf rounded out the Pro Men’s division podium, respectively.
“It feels awesome to win Nationals, it’s my first one and I’m stoked,” said Clifford. “Winning today helps me out a lot in the King of Wake and I can’t wait for the next contest.”
With today’s win Clifford now leads the King of Wake series with 460 points. Phillip Soven trails in second place with 425 points, while Rusty Malinoski rounds out the top three with 321 points. The Air Nautique WWA Nationals was the fifth stop in the eight-event King of Wake series.
In the Pro Women’s division, all eyes were on Emily Copeland Durham, as she made her first finals appearance in nearly two years. Copeland Durham had a fair finish in the six-woman final, taking fourth place, but it was former Queen of Wake Nicola Butler who took top honors at the Air Nautique WWA Nationals. Butler’s first-place finish today marks her first Nationals win. Two-time Nationals winner Amber Wing finished in second place, with Raimi Merritt taking third.
“I was feeling pretty sore all weekend, but I pushed through it and made it to finals,” said Butler. “It was worth the pain to ride today and come out with a win.”
Butler now leads the Queen of Wake series with 290 points. Merritt moves up to second place with 245 points and Wing rounds out the top three with 240 points. The Air Nautique WWA Nationals was the third stop in the five-event Queen of Wake series.
Pro wakeskater Reed Hansen successfully defended his national title today, taking down two former national champions in the process. Hansen’s first-place finish in the Pro Wakeksate division finals today marks his third national title in four years. Grant Roberts and Stuart Shinn rounded out the podium, respectively.
“I love winning titles like this and having to defend them,” said Hansen. “It was a tough final for sure, but I’m stoked that I won and now it’s time to celebrate.”
The Jr. Pro Men’s division hit the water today for their six-man final with Steel Lafferty taking first place with a score of 96.50, a near 12-point differential from the next closest competitor. Julian Cohen and Daniel Powers rounded out the Jr. Pro Men division podium, respectively. Today’s win marks Lafferty’s first national title in the Jr. Pro Men division.
The Boys and Jr. Women divisions also wrapped up their riding today with Noah Flegel and Tori Koch claiming their respective division’s national title.
Also in the Boys division, Paulie Koch took home the PCM Amateur Best Trick Award for his massive KGB. The Award is a $250 cash prize.
Now that the Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR has ended, the top tier riders from each of the 21 divisions will be invited to represent the United States at the WWA Wakeboard World Champions later this year in Orlando, Fla.
For more information on the Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR, visit www.allisports.com.
The Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla., and has the support of the following sponsors: Correct Craft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Overton’s, Peavey, MonaVie, FOX, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, PCM Marine Engines, WakeBoarding magazine, FUEL TV and Allisports.com.
About Air Nautique
The Air Nautique by Correct Craft is the exclusive tow boat of the WWA Nationals. Celebrating 85 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft Inc. is the producer of the Nautique line of boats. The manufacturer of Nautique is known for delivering superior quality product, cutting-edge technology and exceptional service experiences.
ROCKSTAR is the world’s most powerful energy drink. Enhanced with the potent herbal blend of Guarana, Ginkgo, Ginseng and Milk Thistle, ROCKSTAR is formulated to provide an incredible energy boost for those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles – from athletes to rock stars. ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK is available in thirteen amazing flavors: Original, Sugar Free, Zero Carb, Juiced Mango Orange Passion Fruit, Juiced Guava, Juiced Pomegranate, Tropical Punched, Punched Citrus, Roasted Mocha, Roasted Latte, Roasted Light Vanilla, Cola, and Recovery. ROCKSTAR ENERGY SHOTS are available in Wild Berry and Tropical Punch flavors. ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK is available at convenience and grocery retail outlets across the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and throughout the United Kingdom.
The World Wakeboard Association (WWA) is a rider formed organization dedicated to promoting and growing wake sports worldwide. It is the leading source for riders, event organizers, and competitive standards. For more information on the WWA and events, check out www.thewwa.com
About FUEL TV
FUEL TV is the action sports lifestyle network for skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, and wakeboarding. Through its original and commissioned series and specials, short-form content, films, and prestigious event coverage, the channel features action sports athletes, emerging musicians, celebrities, and breaking news. FUEL TV was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in more than 30 million U.S. homes. FUEL TV has networks in Australia (FUEL TV Australia) and Portugal (FUEL TV Portugal) and its content is viewed in more than 50 countries around the world.
About King of Wake
The King of Wake is the world’s elite pro wakeboarding series, attracting the sport’s top athletes from throughout the globe. Over the course of a season, athletes compete for the ultimate wakeboarding crown in a series points race of eight events throughout the United States to see who rules the wake. The 2010 series consists of the Wake Games, the WWA Wakeboard National Championships, the WWA Wakeboard World Championships and all five stops on the Pro Wakeboard Tour. The King of Wake is organized by World Sports & Marketing – the leading wake-events producer since 1988.