Orlando, Fla. - The top wake athletes on the planet took to the waters of the Orlando Watersports Complex in Orlando, Fla. today for the opening rounds of the 2009 Air Nautique Wake Games, presented by ROCKSTAR. The four-day-long pro-am wakeboard event kicked off today with qualifying rounds for several pro and amateur divisions, eliminating a majority of the competition in the process.
Only the creme of the crop survived the opening rounds, earning them an invitation to the Wake Games Team Draft and advancing onto their respective division's following round in the contest.
At the Wake Games Team Draft, ten preselected team captains will draft qualifying athletes to field a ten-person team. Athletes will contribute points toward a team score based on their final placement in their respective divisions. The team with the highest score will take home the team title and prize money.
Nearly 50 riders within ten heats hit the water today for the Pro Men's division qualifiers. Only the top-two riders in each heat advanced, sending a majority of the competition home. Canadian young gun, Olivier Derome posted the high score of the day with a 97.25 to advance along with the 19 other riders to the following round and invitations to the draft.
Raimi Merrit (Lantana, FL), Dallas Friday (Orlando, FL) and Nicola Butler (Bournemouth, England) led each of the three heats in the Pro Women's division today with Butler posting a perfect score. The three leaders plus six other riders from today's qualifiers will enter the draft and compete in semifinals on Saturday, April 25.
17 athletes fielded the four heats of the Pro Wakeskate division qualifiers today. Each heat featured at least four athletes and only the top-two from each heat advanced. Three-time Wake Games Pro Wakeskate champ Brian Grubb, who led his heat of five today, will be joined by seven other semifinalists in the draft. Pro Wakeskate semifinals will be held on Saturday.
The Pro Women's Wakeskate division took to the water today for their quarterfinals with only the top-three shredders in the five-woman heat advancing onto Saturday's finals. All three finalists will be drafted.
West-side rider Ricky Gonzales paced the Pro Veterans division today with Glen Fletcher and Gregg Necrason joining Gonzales in the finals on Sunday, April 26.
Ten young, talented shredders hit the water in two heats of five for the Amateur Wakeskate division qualifiers today. Only the top-two athletes from each heat advanced, setting up a four-man final for Matt Haydon, Aaron Perkins, Patrick Mulvaney and Forrest Risner on Saturday.
The Wake Games will continue tomorrow, April 24 with 14 amateur division competing before the Team Draft is held.
The Air Nautique Wake Games presented by ROCKSTAR is a four-day carnival of water-sports action. But not all of the action takes place on the water. On land, fans will experience tons great food and music, athlete autograph signings, chances to win freebies, and shopping at the most cutting-edge stores offering water-sports equipment including boats, wakeboards, wakeskates, sunglasses and the latest in wakeboarding and surfing fashions.
Tickets are available online at www.allisports.com, and at the gate: $10.00 (GA); $5.00 (ages 6-12); Free (ages 5 & under). The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all four days.
The Air Nautique Wake Games, presented by ROCKSTAR is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla. The Wake Games have the support of the following sponsors: Correct Craft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Fox, the U.S. Air Force, Central Florida Toyota, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Oakley, Reef, FUEL TV and Allisports.com.
The Air Nautique by Correct Craft is the exclusive tow boat of the Wake Games. Celebrating 84 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.
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 eleven amazing flavors: Original, Sugar Free, Zero Carb, Juiced Mango Orange Passion Fruit, Juiced Guava, Juiced Pomegranate, Tropical Punched, Punched Citrus, Roasted Mocha, Roasted Latte, and Roasted Light Vanilla. 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, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, and throughout the United Kingdom.
To catch all the high-flying, rail-sliding, water-sports action of the King of Wake series, tune in to FUEL TV - the official television partner of the King of Wake. WakeBoarding, published by Bonnier Corp., is the official magazine of the King of Wake series. Read about all things wakeboarding, with expert coverage of professional instruction, gear, boats and news.
King of Wake
Viewed as the world's elite pro wakeboarding circuit, the King of Wake series has attracted the sport's top athletes from throughout the globe. With more than $300,000 in prize money over the eight-event season, athletes compete during the course of the year to be named the "King of Wake" - an award based on points accumulated at each stop of the series. Events include the Wake Games, the WWA Wakeboard National Championships, the WWA Wakeboard 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.
Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports
Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, is a global business that encompasses national and international action sports tours and events, multimedia production, and a consumer facing lifestyle brand. The Alliance includes: the Dew Tour, Winter Dew Tour, China Invitational, Maloof Money Cup, AMA Motocross Championship, King of Wake series, and the Free Flow Tour; Alli Productions, which creates original content, produces and presents content with partners, and distributes Alli content through a variety of channels. Alli is owned by NBC Sports and MTV Networks and represents a network of athletes, fans, brands and properties. Its mission is to facilitate the momentous growth of action sports, through competition and lifestyle, for a new generation of fans and athletes. The Alli properties are home to more than 550,000 spectators each year and broadcasts more than 150 hours of original content in 100 countries and 280 million homes worldwide. More information can be found at