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Who wants free stuff?

You would never know it was a tough financial year judging by the rain of product showering down on spectators this past weekend at the 2009 Wake the Lake event in Charlotte. Emcee Brad Holland tossed out product donated through Icy Waves Surf Shop of Charlotte; plus amazing prizes were donated by 1080, Helium, Indo Board, and Rip Curl for the riders.

It was a great weekend for everyone at Wake the Lake 2009.

Last Saturday proved that the wake scene is growing, not slowing.  The 2000 plus spectators at Vinnie’s Raw Bar watched and cheered in excitement as the 2009 Master Craft X-Star, still wrapped for Street Grind, pulled 70 riders all the way until dark.

Hands down, this year’s Wake the Lake event was owned by the Intermediate Division boasting 22 riders; six of them advanced to the finals on Sunday.  Rider Graham Knott, who has been outstanding all season, is looking to be the 2009 Series winner as he took first at Lake Norman with a Tantrum to Blind, Front Flip, Batwing and a Toe 5.

Jr. Women’s world champ Emylee Wright not only took a first in the Women’s Division, toping Nicole Steele and Niki Williams, but also advanced to the finals on Sunday as 2nd seed in the Intermediate Division. In the end though, Emylee missed out on clenching a top 3 standing by a narrow margin.

Icy Waves rider Stephen Pierce once again took first in Open, sealing his 2009 Atlas Wake Series title.  “He absolutely killed it once again,” says Rob Mendieta, Empire Wake President and founder of the Atlas Wake Series. “This guy just turned 18 and is going to be Pro next year. I have never seen anyone progress so fast.  Stephen has been a great asset and a pleasure to have on the tour this year. ”

Sitting in second for the Open division was Gordon Harrison, who landed his first ever whirly 5 in a contest; followed by Cameron Richardson in third.  “Unfortunately Gordon has had to live in the shadow of Stephen all season, but trust me, you will be seeing this guy’s name everywhere soon.  He is improving just as quickly, and is trying to burst through the scene right now.”

The Pro Division finished off the day with nothing but excitement.  Jeff Langley, Adam Fields and Austin Hair battled it out for the podium spots.  Austin took day one just ahead of Adam Fields. However, it once again was Adam taking it to the next level on the water that clenched him a solid win in the Championships on Sunday.

“The support coming from Charlotte is the best that Empire Wake has received across the country. MasterCraft of Charlotte has set new standards for us and for that reason we are moving the Atlas Wake Series Finals event to Charlotte in 2010.” says Mendieta.

Icy Waves, East Coast Board Riders, Indo Board, 1080, Boater’s Warehouse, and Wave Noize all showed up huge, to make this event bigger than past years.  We can’t thank our sponsors and riders enough for all of your on-going support of the sport, and the series.

Riverfest is the last stop for the AWS 2009 season.  Join us October 3rd in Wilmington NC for the Finals of the Atlas Wake Series and join Empire Wake as we end the 2009 tour with a bang! For all the details and results check out www.EmpireWake.com

By Altas Wake Series