Harley Clifford Wins the Nautique Wake Open
Harley Clifford Wins the Nautique Wake Open Presented by Rockstar Energy and the Opening Round of the WWA Wakeboard World Series
Lake Alfred, Fla. (April 19, 2015) – The Wakeboard World Series kicked off Saturday with the Nautique Wake Open presented by Rockstar Energy at BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas. Following two days of amateur divisions and pro qualifying as the second stop of the Nautique Wake Series, the riders stepped it up for the final rounds with six amateur division champions taking home titles including Nic Rapa winning the Jr. Pro Men’s division. In the Pro divisions Danny Hampson won the Pro Wakeskate final and Nautique team rider Meagan Ethell won the first ever WWA Wakeboard World Series Pro Women’s division. In the Pro Men, it was Harley Clifford who put together the most consistent and progressive run as he won his semifinal heat and advanced to take the final heat win with a 89.00 score. The Wake Open wrapped up with the Rockstar Energy Big Air Kicker final with Josh Twelker taking the win.
The top six riders in the WWA World Rankings were seeded into the semifinal round on Saturday, which put Clifford in the water for the first time of the weekend. He put together a solid run to score a 87.67, giving him the first seat for the finals. The final round format gives each rider two runs, in which their best run counts. The Australian crashed in his first run, which meant he needed a flawless second attempt to get on the podium. With two 900s, he stuck a clean run to claim the Nautique Wake Open title.
“I was pretty nervous going into today,” said Clifford. “But the day couldn’t have gone any better. All day the guys were sending it, which made for a stacked final. I was a little bit shaken up after a big crash in my first run, but I knew what I needed to do in my last run and couldn’t be happier with the result.”
The Pro Women made their debut with the WWA Wakeboard World Series behind the Billabong Super Air Nautique G23. Nautique’s Ethell won her semifinal heat on Friday and carried that momentum into Saturday’s final round. Nervous about her run, she made a last minute decision to switch her last trick to a different backside 360, only to stick both her roll and her backflip backside 360 as her Wild Card trick.
“This weekend was one to remember,” said Ethell. “Having Pro Women now part of the Wakeboard World Series has helped further women’s wakeboarding and Nautique did a great job to include all the amateur women divisions as well. I really had to stay focused to nail all my tricks and landing my Wild Card was a bonus. I originally had my Wild Card trick, the Moby Dick, in my run but I switched it for a KGB at the last second.”
Before the pros took to the water behind the custom Billabong Super Air Nautique G23, the amateur finals wrapped up behind the award-winning Super Air Nautique G21 and G23. Hollie Waldrop dominated the Girls 13 and under division, Tyler Worrall won the Boys (10-13), Kevco Michael took the Masters (30-39) title, Jack Guenther won the Men’s 1 final, and Mexico’s Jorge Alberto Perez Gordillo won Junior Men (14-18).
“The core of Nautique Boats has always been family boaters,” said Nautique President Greg Meloon. “The Nautique Wake Series incorporates amateur riders on the same stage as the pros to provide a clear path of progression in the sport. The Super Air Nautique G-Series has proven to be the best wake for riders of all levels and allowed them to deliver their best performance on the water.”
Capping off the Nautique Wake Open was the Rockstar Energy Big Air Kicker Final with Nautique Rockstar Energy rider Josh Twelker taking the win. After missing the cut on Friday in the Pro Men division, Twelker got his redemption by sending over the Rockstar Unit Parktech kicker.
Nautique Wake Open
Pro Men Final
Pro Women Final
Rockstar Big Air Kicker Final
Jr. Pro Men
Junior Men (14-18)
Men’s 1 (19-24)
Girls (13 and under)
About Nautique Boat Company
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About the WWA
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Donoso