Elizabethtown, Ky. - The top pro wakeboarders from throughout the globe hit the waters of Freeman Lake Park today for the final rounds of action at the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour stop in Elizabethtown, Ky. Riders competed through a series of elimination rounds today, vying for a huge cash purse and points toward the tour standings.
The pros were first off the dock this morning for their quarterfinal round, where 20 riders battled it out on the water in five heats of four for spot in the semifinals. The competition was soon cut in half, as only the top two riders from each heat advanced, setting up the ten-man semifinal.
In the semifinals, all ten pros were looking to make an impact on the water to earn one of four spots in the final round. Riders didn't hold anything back in the semis, especially rookie phenom Harley Clifford, who laid down an impressive run featuring 17 different tricks. With that run, Clifford won his heat to advance on to the finals, along with defending Pro Tour champ Phillip Soven, current Pro Tour points-leader Aaron Rathy and former Australian Pro Tour champ Dean Smith.
All four finalists went for broke to win the contest, including Aaron Rathy, who attempted a 1080, but was unable to stick the landing. Rathy's run earned him a third-place finish, with Phillip Soven taking the win and young gun Harley Clifford finishing in second.
"I'm happy with the way I rode today and it feels really good to come out with a win after not being on the podium for a while," said Soven. "A win is always a good way to go in the next the stop, so now I'm really looking forward to Reno."
Although Dean Smith finished the finals in fourth place, he didn't ride away empty handed, as former Australian Pro Tour champ claimed the ROCKSTAR Best Trick Award for his Nose Grab Crow 540 off of the U.S. Air Force kicker. The Award is a $1,000 cash prize.
With the Elizabethtown tour stop in the books, rookie Harley Clifford now takes the lead in the standings over the previous points-leader Aaron Rathy, who now sits in second.
In the Jr. Pro Men division, ten amateur rippers battled it out on the water today in the semifinal round, competing in two heats of five for a spot in the finals. Only the top two riders from each heat advanced past the semifinal round, sending Steel Lafferty, Bob Soven, Daniel Powers and Aussie Mitch Langfield to the Jr. Pro Men finals.
All four finalists threw down some serious runs in last round of action, but ultimately top-seed Bob Soven came out on top, with Langfield and Powers rounding out the contest podium, respectively. Today's win marks Soven's fourth of the season, increasing his chances of sweeping the five-stop tour, when it wraps-up in Sparks/Reno, Nev. in August. Should Soven win in Nevada, he will become the first rider in the Jr. Pro Men division ever to sweep the tour.
"I'm stoked, I just took my fourth straight win of the season and I couldn't be happier with the way I rode today," said Soven. "It's cool that my brother and I both won and hopefully we can do it again in Reno."
Following Elizabethtown, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour will now head to Sparks/Reno, Nev., August 14-16, for the fifth and final stop of the season. Additional venues for the 2009 Pro Tour, includes Fort Worth, Tex., Pleasant Prairie, Wis. and Knoxville, Tenn.
For results, standings, photos, videos, athlete bios and more, please visit www.AlliSports.com.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla. The Pro Tour has the support of the following sponsors: MasterCraft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Mona Vie, the U.S. Air Force, Indmar, Billabong, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Gator Boards, Oakley, Ride the Wake, FUEL TV and Allisports.com.
MasterCraft is the exclusive tow boat for the Pro Wakeboard Tour, as it has been since the tour's wakeboarding events began in 1992. Indmar Marine engines will provide the power for MasterCraft's X Series line of competition tow boats.
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, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, 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 www.AlliSports.com.