Oklahoma City, Okla. - Fans packed the shorelines of the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City today to witness the final rounds of the 2008 Rockstar Energy Drink WWA Wakeboard World Championships, presented by Supra.
As expected, the defending world champ Phillip Soven, 19, of Longwood, Fla. reached the Pro Men's division finals today and as the top-seeded rider. But the pressure of retaining his title got the best of Soven, as the Florida native posted a score of 82.00, landing him in third-place.
Taking the top spot in the six-man final and claiming the 2008 world title was Rusty Malinoski, 24, of Humboldt, Sask., who became the first Canadian rider to win the world title since Jeremy Kovak claimed it in 1997. Fellow Canadian rider Aaron Rathy of Nanaimo, B.C. finished the contest in second-place.
Although JD Webb did not make it to the finals today, the 2004 Rookie of the Year did manage to ride away with some extra cash, thanks to Rockstar Energy Drink. Webb 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 switch frontside 270 to backlip nosepress on the Billabong Rooftop.
With the defending women's world champ Amber Wing, 25, of Sydney, Australia out of the contest with a knee injury, all eyes were on three-time world champ Dallas Friday, 22, of Orlando, Fla., as she seemed likely winner. But British standout, Nicola Butler, 16, of Bournemouth, England threw down an impressive run to take the top spot in the finals to claim her first-ever world title. Butler stands as the only UK native to win a wakeboard world title. Friday finished in second-place and California's Melissa Marquardt took third.
The top four shredders in the world battled it out on the water today in the Pro Wakeskate division finals. Former world champ Brian Grubb, current U.S. national champ Stuart Shinn and two-time Canadian national champ James Balzer all looked to leave the defending world titlist Reed Hansen in their wake and claim the '08 world title for themselves.
But Hansen was unbeatable on the water today, as the defending champ retained his title, beating his next closest competitor, Grubb, by nearly 20 points. With today's win, Hansen becomes the first pro wakeskater ever to win consecutive world titles.
2008 has proven to be Jimmy LaRiche's year, as the Boca Raton, Fla. native won the '08 Wake Games title, '08 Pro Tour title, the '08 U.S. national title, and now the '08 world title, after taking the top spot in today’s Jr. Men's division finals.
LaRiche faced off in a six-man final for the world title, beating out Canada's Raphael Derome and Aussie Harley Clifford, who finished second and third-place, respectively.
Anna Hejak took the top spot in the Jr. Women's division four-woman final. Holland Finely finished in second-place and Megan Blaschka placed third in the finals.
In the Boys division, six young rippers, ages 10-13, faced off in the finals for the division's world title. Michael Dowdy threw down an impressive run to claim the division's world title with Jess Polley and Cooper Swink rounding out the podium, respectively.
The youngest riders out on the water today, ages nine and under, faced off in a three-man final in the Jr. Boys division. Ben Watts took the top spot in the finals to claim the world title. Joe Martella and Ian Rabon finished in second and third, respectively.
To catch all the wakeboarding action from home, tune in to FUEL TV on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. EST.
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.
Supra is the official tow boat of the WWA Wakeboard World Championships. Celebrating nearly 30 years of excellence in the marine industry, Supra pioneered rider-friendly boats that feature innovative hull designs, adjustable wakes and versatile seating with sleek and sexy styling. Supra kicks up the fattest wakes with a line of 10 tournament-quality Launch Series boats, each with the attitude and ability to help you find more altitude than ever before.
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 World Championships. WakeBoarding is the definitive source on all things wakeboarding, with expert coverage of professional instruction, gear, boats and the latest news.
The WWA Wakeboard World Championships is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla. The Championships has the support of the following: Rockstar Energy Drink, Supra boats, Indmar, the U.S. Air Force, Reef, Mona Vie, Hyperlite Wakeboards, CWB Wakeboards, Ronix Wakeboards, Gator Boards, Oakley, World Wakeboard Association, Cire, Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, theliquidcircus.com, wakeboarder.com and wakeworld.com.