World’s Top Wakeboarders Open 2013 Season at Nautique Wake Games in Orlando
More than 200 Professionals and Amateurs Will Open New Season at Orlando Watersports Complex April 25-28
Orlando, Fla. — Following up one of the most progressive King of Wake seasons in the sport’s history, the long-awaited kickoff to wakeboarding’s elite series will open its 2013 campaign with the Nautique Wake Games presented by Rockstar Energy Drink on April 25-28 at Orlando Watersports Complex. Attracting a global field of more than 200 athletes competing among 24 professional and amateur divisions, the event is one of the largest and most prestigious wakeboarding events in the world.
All eyes will be on Aussie teen phenom Harley Clifford at Wake Games as he sets out to defend his 2012 King of Wake title in the Men’s Pro division. To claim another season-long title Clifford will have to overcome a talented pool of veteran and up-and-coming pro riders that are frothing to make a run at wakeboarding’s ultimate crown. Orlando-native Phillip Soven, a three-time King of Wake champion, is a favorite to re-claim Clifford’s title while renewing the sport’s most competitive rivalry. Wake Games also marks the highly-anticipated return of Soven’s younger brother and Nautique team rider Bob Soven, who missed most of last year’s King of Wake Tour due to injury. Bob finished third at last year’s Wake Games and figures to be another obstacle for Clifford to overcome if he hopes to defend his title. Team Nautique will also see the first King of Wake pro performance from its highly-touted rookie rider Mike Dowdy, who is fresh off an Overton’s Junior Pro Men’s 2012 title and will be looking to make a big splash at Wake Games.
A slew of professional female riders will also be in Orlando to open up the 2013 Queen of Wake season. Among the favorites competing for Wake Games gold are Orlando-locals Dallas Friday and Team Nautique rider Raimi Merritt.
“Last year Nautique introduced its new Super Air Nautique G23 at this event and it set the tone for the most progressive Wake Games ever,” said Chris Bischoff, competition director at World Sports & Marketing. “The world’s best riders will be launching off the 2013 G23 this year and I think we might just see some never-landed- in-competition before tricks pulled.”
As an added element to this one-of-a-kind pro-am event, 10 preselected pro riders will serve as team captains and host a live draft on Friday, April 26, consisting of the 90 remaining athletes who advanced past the initial qualifying rounds. The captains will form teams from the 24 professional and amateur divisions. Over the course of the final two days of competition, the athletes will compete in their respective divisions, which are separated by age, sex and skill level, while contributing points toward a team score based on their individual placement in that division. The team with the highest collective score will win the overall title. All 24 divisions will crown an individual winner as well.
In addition to the high-flying wakeboarding action, the world’s top wakeskaters will also be battling it out at Wake Games for bragging rights at one of the most important events of the year for their discipline. The competition draws some of the sport’s biggest names including Brian Grubb and Nautique team skater Brandon Thomas.
The Nautique Wake Games is stop number one on the eight-event King of Wake Series. Online adult tickets are available for $7 (46% off the gate price) and include an exclusive Overton’s discount code for online buyers only. Gate prices are: $13 (adult); $5 (ages 6-12); free (ages 5 and under). For information on the Nautique Wake Games, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, visit www.kingofwake.com.