Minneapolis, Minn. – The top wakeboarding talent in the United States gathered today on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis to kick off the 22nd annual Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. The five-day event, which concludes on Sunday, July 31, opened with semifinal rounds for 11 of its 23 divisions, as riders from around the country began their quest to claim the 2011 national title.

While today’s opening rounds saw several national titlists return to the water to begin defending their class crowns, three new faces turned out to compete in the competition’s newest category – Adaptive Standboarding.

Adaptive Standboarding is a division at the Nautique WWA Nationals, open to wake athletes with limb loss and limb difference.

“We’re all pretty stoked that they added Adaptive Standboarding to this event,” said competitor Mike Schultz. “It’s all about having fun, and at the end of the day, if I can say I’m the national champion, that’s even better.”

Schultz, 29, of Pillager, Minn. may be competing for his first national title for wakeboarding this week, but “Monster Mike” is no stranger to competition. In fact, since Dec. 16, 2008, when his left leg was amputated above the knee, Schultz has won three X Games gold medals for Adaptive Snocross and Adaptive Super-X, plus several other titles and trophies.

“Action sports are fun, they’re fast and I love doing them,” said Schultz.

The 2009 ISOC True Grit Award winner took second place in his semifinal heat today behind Billy Tonis. But Schultz will look to bounce back in tomorrow’s finals to claim the Adaptive Standboarding division’s first-ever national title.

The Adaptive Standboarding division will host its finals tomorrow, July 28 at 10 a.m.

The Nautique WWA Nationals will start tomorrow at 8 a.m. and wrap up at 4 p.m.

The 2011 Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is free to the public during all five days of competition. For those who cannot attend the event in person, just “like” the King of Wake’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kingofwake) to watch all the live streaming footage.

The 2011 Nautique WWA Nationals will also air on the VERSUS television network at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

For more information on the Nautique WWA Nationals, visit www.kingofwake.com .

The Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink 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, Oakley, Sayiwon’t and YOUR MOM magazine.

About Nautique
The Nautique by Correct Craft is the exclusive tow boat of the WWA Nationals. Celebrating 86 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.

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 www.rockstar69.com or www.facebook.com/rockstar for athlete and event updates, videos, profiles, and product information.

About WWA
The WWA Wakeboard World Championships is the solely owned property of the World Wakeboard Association (WWA). The WWA also owns and operates the WWA Wakeboard Nationals, WWA Wakeboard World Series, WWA Wake Park World Series, WWA Wake Park Triple Crown and WWA Wake Park Nationals. With 27 affiliate countries worldwide, the WWA is the global leader in the sport of wake. The 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 its events, check out www.thewwa.com .

About King of Wake
The King of Wake is the world’s elite pro wakeboarding series, attracting the sport’s top athletes from across 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 2011 series consists of the Wake Games, the WWA National Championships, the WWA 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.

Wednesday, July 27 – Day 1 of 5 Results:

Amateur Women Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Brooke Grassman         58.33
2    Leah Gibney                  51.67
3    Abby Delgoffe               45.00
4    Brittany Jennings              36.67

Girls Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Taylor McCullough       70.00
2    Sofia Dinatale               56.67
3    Shelby King                   31.67
4    Catherine Hair                 20.00
5    Marla Fay                       11.67

Adaptive Standing Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Billy Tonis                     60.00
2    Mike Schultz                 45.00
3    Mike Krohn                  30.00

Amateur Wakeskate Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Michael Roeder            73.33
2    Jim Branton                   61.67
3    Craig Buss                     60.00
4    Austin Polterock           50.00
5    Daniel Prody                   38.33
6    Nathan Champaeau         18.33

Masters Women Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Joy Manning                    70.00

Veteran Women Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Allison Blaha                 61.67
2    Kat Laird                       43.33
3    Susan Sheehan              25.00
4    Paula Fay                       25.00

Men’s I Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Taylor Kress                 75.00
2    John Zdeblick                63.33
3    Tom Pazerunas                55.00
4    Scott Morgan                  31.67

Men’s I Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #2
1    Will Green                     68.33
2    Tyler Heinz                    58.33
3    Corbin Blanton                48.33
4    Michael Dever                 36.67

Men’s II Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Brad Gearhart               73.33
2    Rob Corum                    65.00
3    Chad Warren                 50.00
4    Nick Cankar                   31.67
5    Nick Link                        21.67

Masters Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Mike Vanpatten            76.67
2    Tim Nilsen                     70.00
3    Steve Jones                   57.33
4    Kevin Michael              55.00
5    Brent Anderson               48.33
7    Christopher Full               41.67

Veterans Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Billy Garcia                   86.67
2    Mark Norwell               81.67
3    Matthew Vermillion      73.33
4    Richard Blanchard           63.33
5    Michael Fay                    33.33

Jr. Men Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Jordan Gensler             78.33
2    Tim Burnier                   71.67
3    Taylor Ingram                  48.33
4    Jackie Sly                        43.33
5    Tyler Cockrum                36.67

Jr. Men Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #2
1    Noah Flegel                   75.00
2    David Foreman             58.33
3    Jake Eller                        50.00
4    Jonathan Abendroth         40.00

Jr. Men Division
Semifinal Round – Heat #3
1    Justin Lee                      66.67
2    Nick Vaccari                 61.67
3    Dylan Branch                   45.00
4    Eddie Meyes                   32.67