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Upsets Lead to Exciting Finals in Colorado Springs

June 12, 2011
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Upsets Lead to Exciting Final Matchup:

Soven, Wing, Powers Win Colorado Springs Pro Tour Stop

Colorado Springs, Colo. – As the wind died down and the sun came out, so did the fans, as a packed shoreline looked on to watch the world’s best wakeboarders compete in the finals rounds of action at the third stop of the five-city MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. The sport’s top pros spent their last day in Colorado Springs, Colo., battling it out on the waters of Memorial Park’s Prospect Lake for wins in the Pro Men, Pro Women and Jr. Pro Men’s division.

Over the course of two preliminary rounds, the Pro Men’s division narrowed the field of 20 quarterfinalists down to six final riders, but not without of series of upsets. The surprising outcomes ultimately led to a six-man final that literally hasn’t been seen in years.

While the Pro Men’s finals saw its share of usual suspects, it also featured Shaun Murray and Chad Sharpe, who made their first finals appearance on the Pro Tour since 2003 and 2007, respectively.

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“To be in the same final heat with guys like Phillip Soven and Harley is just crazy,” said the 35-year-old Murray. “Most of the guys I used ride with are now gone, so I feel blessed to still be riding at a high level and being a positive influence in the sport.”

Both Murray and Sharpe laid down solid runs to finish fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the six-man heat. However, Harley Clifford and Phillip Soven, the top two seeds in the contest, pushed the limits of the sport to remain in contention for the top spot.

Clifford appeared to be the frontrunner in the finals after landing a Front Mobe 540, but Soven’s Switch Toeside 900 and Whirly Dick helped the defending Pro Tour titlist win his second straight Pro Tour stop of the season.

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“This was an awesome final; riding against guys like Murray, who I looked up to growing up, and Chad , who just has so much style,” said Soven. “The finals are so exhausting, so I knew I wanted to take the win on my first run, so I landed the Whirly Dick right out of the gate, and got it going, so I’m pretty happy.”

With today’s win Soven paces the division in the Pro Tour standings with 290 points. Clifford trails close behind with 280 points and Bob Soven rounds out the top three with 215 points.

In addition to making the finals, Chad Sharpe was named the winner of the Rockstar Energy Drink Big-Air Kicker contest. Sharpe won the $1,000 cash prize after landing a massive Indy Glide.

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In the Pro Women’s finals, the crowd could not be louder, as Denver native Emily Copeland Durham hit the waters of her home state. The former X Games gold medalist was poised to win, landing an Off-Axis 540, Roll to Blind and a Tootsie Roll in her final run, but ultimately fell short top seed Amber Wing.

“There were about 150 people that I knew who were cheering for me today, so I really felt the love here,” said Copeland Durham. “I may not have won, but I’m still so excited to be able to podium in my home state.”

The 27-year-old Coloradan finished in second place today, with Wing and Melissa Marquardt taking first and third place, respectively.

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With her second-place finish in Colorado Springs, Copeland Durham moves to fourth place overall in the Queen of Wake standings, with Wing remaining at the top of the points list.

In the Jr. Pro Men’s division, defending Colorado Springs tour stop winner Daniel Powers returned to the finals today to face off against Kyle Evans, Freddie Wayne and current division points-leader Shota Tezuka.

Despite an impressive run by top-seeded Tezuka, which included a 1080 attempt off the double up, Powers pulled off the upset to repeat at the home of his first-ever Jr. Pro Tour stop win.

“To win two years in a row in Colorado Springs is just unreal,” said Powers. “Shota and the other guys really pushed me to step up my riding in the finals, and I’m stoked to get my second win on tour this season.”

Powers, 17, of Orlando, Fla. entered Colorado Springs coming off a tour stop win last week in Fort Worth, Tex. With today’s win, Powers sits in second place overall in the standings, with Tezuka remaining in the lead.

With Colorado Springs wrapped up, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink will now head to the greater Seattle area of Monroe, Wash., on July 8 & 9. Additional 2011 Pro Tour venues include Acworth, Ga., Fort Worth, Tex., and Knoxville, Tenn.

For more photos from today, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prowakeboardtour.

June 11 – Final Results:

Pro Men

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Phillip Soven    USA    90.00

2    Harley Clifford    AUS    85.00

3    Bob Soven    USA    75.00

4    Shaun Murray    USA    60.00

5    Chad Sharpe    CAN    50.00

6    Adam Errington    USA    45.00

Pro Women

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Amber Wing    AUS    81.67

2    Emily Durham    USA    75.00

3    Melissa Marquardt    USA    71.67

4    Tarah Mikacich    USA    61.67

5    Raimi Merritt    USA    51.67

6    Nicola Butler    GBR    43.33

Jr. Pro Men

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Daniel Powers    USA    97.00

2    Shota Tezuka    JPN    89.25

3    Kyle Evans    USA    79.25

4    Freddie Wayne    USA    74.50

Pro Men

Semifinal Round– Heat #1

1    Harley Clifford    AUS    81.67

2    Bob Soven    USA    75.00

3    Adam Errington    USA    70.00

4    Dean Smith    AUS    51.67

5    Steel Lafferty    USA    50.00

Pro Men

Semifinal Round– Heat #2

1    Phillip Soven    USA    80.00

2    Shaun Murray    USA    63.33

3    Chad Sharpe    CAN    60.00

4    Tony Carroll    USA    54.00

5    Jason Bannatyne    CAN    51.67

Jr. Pro Men

Semifinal Round – Heat #1

1    Kyle Evans    USA    95.75

2    Daniel Powers    USA    91.50

3    Joshua Twelker    USA    78.75

4    Dylan Prideaux    AUS    70.50

5    Robby Holihan    USA    63.50

Jr. Pro Men

Semifinal Round – Heat #2

1    Shota Tezuka    JPN    93.75

2    Freddie Wayne    USA    84.50

3    Gunnar Shuler    USA    77.25

4    Marc Kroon    NED    74.50

5    Gordon Harrison    USA    70.00

Pro Men

Quarterfinal Round– Heat #1

1    Shaun Murray    USA    60.00

2    Steel Lafferty    USA    55.00

3    Jimmy LaRiche    USA    50.00

4    Olivier Derome    CAN    41.67

Pro Men

Quarterfinal Round– Heat #2

1    Adam Errington    USA    71.67

2    Bob Soven    USA    70.00

3    Padiwat Jaemjan    THA    63.33

4    Danny Burnstein    USA    53.33

Pro Men

Quarterfinal Round– Heat #3

1    Tony Carroll    USA    73.33

2    Jason Bannatyne    CAN    60.00

3    Rusty Malinoski    CAN    55.00

4    Austin Hair    USA    50.00

Pro Men

Quarterfinal Round– Heat #4

1    Harley Clifford    AUS    75.00

2    Dean Smith    AUS    66.67

3    Aaron Rathy    CAN    61.67

4    JD Webb    USA    51.67

Pro Men

Quarterfinal Round– Heat #5

1    Phillip Soven    USA    78.33

2    Chad Sharpe    CAN    70.00

3    AJ Racinelli    USA    63.33

4    Sam Thomson    AUS    50.00

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