Orlando, FL - The last time Andrew Adkison took to the water in Orlando for a pro event, he had just won a world championship the previous fall. He was on top of the wakeboarding world and competing in his home town. It's deja vu all over again for Adkison as professional wakeboarding returns to the city that many consider the capital of the sport. But this time Adkison is hoping for much different results as the Air Nautique Wake Games debut April 26-29 at the Orlando Watersports Complex.
It's been more than two years since the top riders in the world competed in Orlando. Back in April of 2005, Adkison, coming off of his first world championship, was one of the favorites at the Orlando Pro Tour stop. Adkison finished a disappointing ninth in front of a hometown crowd, but the result was nothing compared to what he would endure later in the year — a broken back that wiped out his season.
Now completely healthy and coming off his second world title - won last fall in Fort Worth, Texas - Adkison hopes the second go-round in his hometown is much better than the original trip. He also has another thing going for him this time - he excels at the unique format of the Wake Games, and he won last year's inaugural event.
"When Andrew is at his best, he is one of the most unstoppable wake riders in the world. Even after a broken back, he still remains one of the deadliest competitors on the water," said Matt Hickman, editor of Wake Boarding magazine. "You can expect him to go for Wake Games win two. Andrew can pull toeside 900s, heelside 720s and many other technical moves consistently. If he can put together some nice hits on the rails, he has a great chance for a top finish at any contest. Also, watch out for his heelside nosegrab mobe 540 off the double-up."
Adkison is not the only top-tier wakeboarder from Orlando looking for that "home" water advantage at the Wake Games. The 2006 Pro Wakeboard Tour champion Danny Harf is another top star from the city. And Phillip Soven from Longwood won that tour stop in 2005 and hopes to do it again.
In addition to individual titles on the line in the professional and amateur ranks, the Air Nautique Wake Games presented by RGX Body Spray powered by Right Guard has a unique team aspect with a "draft" of riders taking place Friday evening. The top 10 riders in the King of Wake standings (already pre-selected as team captains) will each pick eight other riders to join their teams. They will choose one other pro rider, three amateurs, two wakeskaters and two women. Not only is each of the riders going for the win in their respective divisions; they are also adding points to a team score. The team with the best score after the finals on Sunday will take home a cash prize.
The Wake Games is also the first event in the 2007 King of Wake series. King of Wake is a season-long points chase with points on the line at the top 10 events on the men's professional circuit. Top riders dash to be number one in the world and collect a $25,000 bonus.
Correct Craft is the exclusive tow boat of the Wake Games. Nautique will be using a complete arsenal of their boats at the Wake Games. Riders will get to experience the awesome wakes behind the 210, 220 or 236, depending on what division they ride in. Celebrating more than 80 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a family-owned manufacturer of internationally acclaimed competition-caliber water-ski and wakeboard boats, as well as boats for recreational enjoyment. Correct Craft Inc. is known for superior-quality products, cutting-edge technology and innovative hull designs.
The official magazine of the Air Nautique Wake Games is Wake Boarding, the premier publication for the sport. Wake Games also has the support of the following sponsors: presenting sponsor RGX Body Spray powered by Right Guard, Rip It Energy Fuel, the U.S. Air Force, Verizon Wireless, Fox, g3, Hyperlite Wakeboards, CWB, Gator Boards, Ronix, Reef, Oakley, OWC, Wakeworld.com and Wakeboarder.com, Orlando City Beat, O-Rock 105.9, and Southeast Correct Craft.