Wing and LaRiche Repeat at Air Nautique Nationals, Soven and Shinn Capture First-Ever National Title
Kenosha, Wis. - Today marked the fifth and final day of the 2008 Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, where seven national titles were claimed.
In the Pro Men's Division, five riders battled it out on the water for the national title. Last year's winner Rusty Malinoski looked to have a repeat performance in the finals, but Phillip Soven threw down a near perfect run, posting 98 points to take the top spot in the finals and ride away with his first-ever national title. Malinoski finished in second place followed by Andrew Adkison in third.
"I have won a lot of contests and awards throughout my career, but never a national title, said Soven. "This trophy means a lot, it's a dream come true to finally win it."
Trevor Hansen may not have made it to the finals, but the Florida native did manage to ride away with some extra cash, thanks to Rockstar Energy Drink. Hansen was named the winner of the Rockstar Energy Drink Best Trick Award, a $1,000 cash bonus for landing the most impressive trick of the contest, a backside 7 of the Air Force Kicker.
The Pro Women's Division took to the water today in six-woman final for the national title. Last year’s winner, Amber Wing was looking to have repeat performance in the finals, but proved to be shaky in the previous two rounds, making the top-seeded rider and Queen of Wake Rookie of the Year frontrunner Raimi Merritt the top contender.
But Wing didn't let the seeding or the five other finalists, including Merritt and five-time national champ Dallas Friday, stand in her way, as Wing threw down an impressive run, taking the top spot in finals and claimed her second consecutive win at the Nationals.
In the Pro Wakeskate Division, four of the biggest names in the sport hit the water for their finals, where current national champ Reed Hansen of Groveland, Fla. looked to defend his title against two-time national champion Brian Grubb, 2008 Pro-Am wakeskate winner Stuart Shinn and 2005 Pro Wakeskate Tour titlist Brandon Thomas.
All four shredders threw down some stellar runs, despite rugged riding conditions, but in the end underdog and Bradenton, Fla. native Stuart Shinn pulled off the upset to take home the 2008 national title, his first of his career. Today's win also marks Shinn's second consecutive win at a King of Wake contest.
The Jr. Men's Division battled it out on the water today in a six-man final for the national title. All eyes were on reigning national champ Jimmy LaRiche of Boca Raton, Fla., as the defending titlist posted perfect scores in the previous two rounds and looked remain flawless throughout the contest with a watertight run in today's finals.
But windy weather and choppy water conditions caused the Florida native to go down early, costing him points toward his perfect run, but not the title, as his score of 89.50 was high enough to take the top spot in the finals, earning LaRiche his second consecutive national title.
LaRiche's success did not end with today's big win, as the now two-time national champ was named the winner of the PCM Amateur Best Trick Award, a $500 bonus for landing the most impressive trick of the contest by an amateur rider, a Cab 9 off of the double-up.
Danni Petraitis of Redding, Calif. captured the national title in the Jr. Women's Division, after claiming the top spot in today's finals. Petraitis and the top-11 riders in the division will now head to the World Championships.
The youngest group of riders out on the water today, the Jr. Boys Division, vied for the national title in a four-man final with Joe Martella of Seguin, Tex. taking the top spot in the finals. Martella along with the top-eight riders in the division will represent the U.S. at the Worlds.
In the Boys Division, six riders, ages 10-13, battled it out on the water for the top spot in the finals with Kyle Evans of Orlando, Fla. claiming the division's national title. Evans and the top-10 riders in the division will now head to the World Championships.
To catch all the wakeboarding action from home, tune in to FUEL TV. For exact air dates, visit www.KingofWake.com.
FUEL TV is a 24/7 action-sports lifestyle network for wakeboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX and freestyle motocross. A unit of Fox Cable Networks, FUEL TV was launched July 1, 2003, and is seen in 25 million U.S. homes. To subscribe to FUEL TV, call 877-4-FUEL-TV. For program times and other information, visit www.fuel.tv.
The Air Nautique by Correct Craft is the exclusive tow boat of the WWA Nationals. 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.
Rockstar is the world's most powerful energy drink. Developed to improve the recovery time of those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles, Rockstar Energy Drink is available in 10 flavors -- Original, Sugar Free, Juiced, Zero Carb, Guava, Pomegranate, Punched, Roasted Mocha, Roasted Vanilla Light and Roasted Latte -- at convenience stores and retail grocery outlets across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom.
WakeBoarding, published by Bonnier Corp., is the official magazine of the Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. WakeBoarding is the definitive source on all things wakeboarding, with expert coverage of professional instruction, gear, boats and the latest news.
The Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla. The WWA Nationals have the support of the following sponsors: Correct Craft, Rockstar Energy Drink, PCM, Fox, Mona Vie, the U.S. Air Force, Hyperlite, CWB, Gator Boards, Ronix, Oakley, Reef, Cire, wakeworld.com, wakeboarder.com and theliquidcircus.com.