Acworth, Ga. – The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink officially kicked off its 20th season today, as riders from around the world gathered at Dallas Landing Park in the greater Atlanta area of Acworth, Ga. for the first contest of the five-city circuit. The Acworth tour stop, which continues through Saturday, May 21, opened with qualifying rounds for the Pro Men’s division.

A total of 30 pro riders competed in six heats of five today, with only the top four in each group advancing on to tomorrow’s Round of 40. Among the 24 qualifiers, who will be joined tomorrow by the top-16 seeded riders, is rookie pro wakeboarder Steel Lafferty.

Lafferty, 18, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. won his qualifying heat today during his Pro Tour debut.

“There were butterflies today, for sure,” Lafferty commented on his debut. “It was my first Pro Tour stop, plus I had big guns, like JD [Webb] in my heat.”

Despite the “butterflies,” the rookie showed a veteran-like performance today, sticking tricks like a Toeside Backside 540 and Whirlybird 540 in his pro debut run.

Lafferty first made a name for himself on the 2010 Jr. Pro Tour, finishing third overall. Ironically, the rookie faced his Jr. Pro Tour victor, Nick Galotifore, today in the same qualifying heat, with Lafferty coming out on top this time.

“It was pretty ironic that we were in the same heat together today,” said Lafferty. “We battled it out all season long last year, with Nick always coming out ahead. But today was the start of a new season and it was my turn to come out on top.”

Lafferty will continue the contest tomorrow during the Pro Men’s division Round of 40, which is scheduled start at 11:30 a.m.

Friday’s festivities are free and open to the public, with the Jr. Pro Men’s division starting at 8 a.m. and the Pro Women’s division following them at 10 a.m.

The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink will wrap up in Acworth on Saturday, May 21, with the ticketed event beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the gate: $13 (adult); $5 (ages 6-12); free (ages 5 and under); or $7 (adult) if purchased online.

For more information on the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, please visit .

The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla., and has the support of the following sponsors: MasterCraft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Overton’s, Indmar, Peavey, Billabong, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, Oakley, Sayiwon’t, Epiphone and YOUR MOM.

About MasterCraft
MasterCraft is the exclusive towboat for the Pro Wakeboard Tour, as it has been since the tour’s wakeboarding events began in 1992.

About Rockstar Energy Drink
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 eighteen 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, Recovery Lemonade, Recovery Orange, Recovery Grape, Pink, and 2X. 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, Greece, Mexico, the Philippines and throughout the United Kingdom.  Go to or for athlete and event updates, videos, profiles, and product information.

About Indmar
Indmar is the world’s largest privately held manufacturer of gasoline powered inboard marine engines. Indmar Marine Engines have led the market on dependability, longevity, and performance for decades.

May 19 Results:

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #1
1  Nick Jones                     USA        73.33
2  Tony Carroll                  USA        68.33
3  Shane Bonifay               USA        63.33
4  Julian Cohen                   USA        51.67
5  Anthony Hollick            USA        38.33

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #2
1  Aaron Rathy                   CAN        80.00
2  Padiwat Jaemjan           THA        75.00
3  Corey Bradley               USA        68.33
4  Erik Ruck                         USA        60.00
5  Stephen Pierce               USA        50.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #3
1  Steel Lafferty                 USA        75.00
2  JD Webb                         USA        70.00
3  Sam Thomson                AUS        56.67
4  Terry Baily                      USA        38.33
5  Nick Galotifore               USA        30.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #4
1  Phillip Aslinger            USA        75.00
2  Jefferson Langley         USA        66.67
3  Scott Stweart                 USA        60.00
4  Jeff House                       USA        46.67
5  Zane Schwenk                USA        40.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #5
1  Jason Bannatyne           CAN        63.33
2  JB O’Neill                      USA        56.67
3  Danny Burnstein          USA        55.00
4  Joey Bradley                   USA        55.00
5  Ben Albright                   USA        43.33

Pro Men
Qualifying Round – Heat #6
1  Kirby Liesmann            USA        68.33
2  AJ Racinelli                   USA        63.33
3  Danny Thollander         USA        58.33
4  Dante Digangi                USA        46.67
5  Vinny Knapp                  USA        36.67