Getting to watch this action from the judge’s seat in the boat was a very cool experience. Personally having ridden in unique and special events throughout my career, there was a whole vibe around this event that says, “something here is different”. The riders agreed, this is the chance to show the world how dope wakeboarding can be. Here are some photos and the press release from Red Bull-
Red Bull Wake Open – Day One
Riders Go Big And Stylish For The Boat Event
Blue skies and calm waters set the stage to kick off the Red Bull Wake Open on Thursday, starting with the Boat event towed by a Malibu Wakesetter MXZ. Red Bull chose a scenic mining location north of Tampa, Florida with fresh, blue/green water and white sand beaches.
A new format was implemented, which gave riders two passes, and their best five-trick pass would be scored. With plenty of room to land five tricks comfortably, this format encouraged style, individualism and huge airs into the flats. One requirement changed this event in a big way; riders had to include one trick consisting of a 360 or less. We saw lots of stylish straight airs, backside 180’s and boned out 3’s, all way into the flats.
Arriving straight from Australia, just in time for the event, Harley Clifford was adapting well to the new format, starting out his finals run with a massive stalefish backside 360. “Yeah, the format was sick and it was cool to see everyone’s different airs. Rusty was doing that rad melon to indy backside 180, and just everyone was mixing it up.”
Adam Errington also launched the biggest airs of the day, boosting a nose/indy backside 180, and a crazy heelside 360 rewind. All the riding was captured with the best high-speed action cameras in the world and the footage will air LIVE on NBC as part of the Red Bull Signature Series on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. EST.
The four-man final consisted of Harley, Rusty, Adam and Raphael Derome. Taking third, Raphael was really pumped considering this was a huge score to add to his odds of winning the coveted overall title with Big Air and Park events remaining. Rusty looked really strong all day and had an unfortunate crash on his huge stale roll to blind. That may have been the deal breaker that landed Rusty in second behind Harley Clifford’s five-trick banger pass and double up. Be sure to watch NBC on Saturday to see his epic run!
Harley was super pumped on the Boat event and has a great perspective on the remaining events, “This really pumped me up to try and do well in Big Air and Park, which is an environment I don’t normally compete in, but it’s going to be really fun.”
1. Harley Clifford (AUS)
2. Rusty Malinoski (CAN)
3. Raphael Derome (CAN)
4. Adam Errington (SCT)
For more information, visit www.redbullusa.com/wakeopen and follow @redbullTPA for real-time updates. All the action is open to the public from 4-8 p.m. with the Big Air competition at the Tampa Convention Center.
Tampa Convention Center
333 South Franklin Street
Big Air: Fri., July 13 (4:00pm-8:00pm)
Park: Sat., July 14 (12:00pm-3:00pm)