Tezuka Wows at WWA World Championships Opener

Tezuka Wows at WWA World Championships Opener

Indianapolis, Ind. – The top wakeboarders from throughout the globe hit the waters of The Precedent today in northern Indianapolis to kick off the 18th annual Rockstar Energy Drink WWA Wakeboard World Championships, presented by Supra. The invitation-only pro-am event, which runs through Sunday, Aug. 21, opened with preliminary rounds for 14 of the 23 skill-level divisions competing over the course of the four-day competition.

Among the 110 amateur riders who competed in today’s opening rounds was 17-year-old Japanese native Shota Tezuka, who continued to show why he is one of the best riders in the world and why he can soon be called a world champion.

During today’s Jr. Pro Men division quarterfinals, Tezuka won his four-man heat after landing several big tricks, including a Toe-side 720, a Heel-side 720 and a Front Mobe.

“I was super nervous this morning, but it was a good nervous,” said Tezuka. “I had Tony Iacconi in front of me and Michael behind me in my heat. I knew they would kill it, so that really pushed me to ride better.”

That motivation paid off for Tezuka, as his run earned a perfect score of 100 points and advanced him to the Jr. Pro Men’s division semifinals, which is scheduled for tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.

Tezuka’s run today was indicative of his overall performance in his first year on the U.S. amateur wakeboarding circuit, where he has finished in third place or better at five of six events, including two wins in those contests.

The breakout star in the Jr. Pro Men’s division grew up in Gotenba, Japan, located on the southeastern flank of Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka. Tezuka started wakeboarding eight years ago with his family and eventually started training with a coach.

“My dad and my coach taught me a lot, but now my tricks are too hard for them,” said Tezuka. “I started to watch wakeboard DVD’s and practiced the tricks I saw on a trampoline.”

Once Tezuka mastered a few technical tricks, he convinced his family to let him compete in the U.S. amateur series this year to see how he would measure up against the competition in the States.

“I wanted to ride the whole tour this year to see how I would do,” said Tezuka. “My parents were really supportive and before I knew it, I was riding in contests here.”

Tezuka did not do well at his first event, but quickly bounced back and won the following contest to become the first Japanese born rider to win a Jr. Pro Tour stop. Since then, Tezuka has earned spots on the podium of every contest and hopes to win the 2011 WWA Worlds this weekend.

“It would be awesome to win Worlds,” said Tezuka. “But I don’t want to get ahead of myself because there are a lot of good riders here.”

The Jr. Pro Men world title will be decided on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m.

The WWA Worlds will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Precedent. The Precedent is located at 9229 Delegates Row Indianapolis, IN 46240.

The 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink WWA Wakeboard World Championships, presented by Supra is free to the public during its first two days of competition, but switches to a ticketed event beginning Saturday, Aug. 20. Tickets are available at the gate: $13 (adult); $5 (ages 6-12); free (ages 5 and under).

In addition to all the action on the water — on land, the WWA Worlds features great food and music; pro athlete autograph signings; chances to win freebies; and shopping at the most cutting-edge stores for water-sports equipment including boats, wakeboards, wakeskates, sunglasses and the latest in wakeboarding and surfing fashions.

For those who cannot attend the event in person, just “like” the King of Wake’s Facebook page (www.livestrean.com/kingofwake) to watch all the live streaming footage.

The 2011 WWA Worlds will also air on the VERSUS television network at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 – DAY 1 RESULTS:

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #1

1. Dylan Prideaux    AUS    91.75

2. Gordon Harrison    USA    85.00

3. Kyler Green    USA    85.00

4. Robbie McMillin    CAN    62.50

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #2

1. Kyle Evans    USA    94.75

2. Paulie Koch    USA    89.75

3. Parker Siegele    USA    78.50

4. Keenan Allen    USA    77.00

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #3

1. Joshua Twelker    USA    95.75

2. Pierce Homsey    USA    92.00

3. Gunner Daft    USA    75.75

4. Gus Shuler    USA    66.00

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #4

1. Shota Tezuka    JPN    100.00

2. Tony Iacconi    AUS    87.00

3. Michael Dowdy    USA    83.00

4. Joey Buss    USA    70.00

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #5

1. Freddie Wayne    USA    100.00

2. Robby Holihan    USA    90.00

3. Jacob Valdez    USA    DQ

Jr. Pro Men – Quarterfinal #6

1. Daniel Powers    USA    100.00

2. Gunnar Shuler    USA    87.75

3. Morgan Pedersen    USA    82.25

Jr. Men – Semifinal #1

1. Dylan Branch    USA    61.67

2. Tyler Cockrum    USA    50.00

3. Tim Burnier    USA    41.67

4. Hector Miguel Morales    MEX    31.67

Jr. Men – Semifinal #2

1. Christian Primrose    CAN    63.33

2. Noah Flegel    USA    61.67

3. Jonathan Abendroth    USA    43.33

4. Caden Welch    USA    36.67

Jr. Men – Semifinal #3

1. Justin Lee    USA    58.33

2. Justin Gratzfeld    CAN    55.00

3. Yangsu Kim    ROK    41.67

4. Jordan Gensler    USA    DQ

Jr. Boys Beginner – Semifinal #1

1. Kevin Duffy    USA    75.00

2. Thomas Herman    USA    65.00

3. Peyton Bristow    USA    53.33

4. Ryan O’Toole    USA    43.33

5. Kai Stidham    USA    30.00

Jr. Boys – Semifinal #1

1. Kade Kasey    USA    58.33

2. Hunter Henderson    USA    51.67

3. Tyler Worrall    USA    43.33

4. Benjamin Brown    USA    36.67

5. Helden Hein    USA    23.33

Boys – Semifinal #1

1. Mitch Kappler    USA    65.00

2. Merrett Fay    USA    45.00

3. James Loisel    USA    38.33

4. Ben Watts    USA    28.33

Boys – Semifinal #2

1. Arnie Watkins    USA    80.00

2. Mac Schramm    USA    68.33

3. Tyler Higham    USA    56.67

4. Jamie McCauley    USA    46.67

Boys – Semifinal #3

1. Cory Teunissen    AUS    83.33

2. Zachary Brown    USA    66.67

3. Landon Kasey    USA    63.33

4. Jeongwook Kim    ROK    58.33

5. Jorge Alberto Perez    MEX    40.00

Boys Beginner – Semifinal #1

1. Mitch Allen    USA    56.67

2. Bryson Hancock    USA    45.00

3. Zach McCauley    USA    43.33

4. Andy Birch    USA    36.00

5. Michael Buss    USA    26.67

Jr. Women – Semifinal #1

1. Tori Koch    USA    63.33

2. Rachel Orgill    USA    53.33

3. Delanie Parker    USA    33.33

4. Mallorie Henry    USA    15.00

Jr. Women – Semifinal #2

1. Gianna Dinatale    USA    66.67

2. Hannah Green    USA    40.00

3. Roxy Toussaint    USA    30.00

5. Katelyn Fenner    USA    21.67

Girls – Semifinal #1

1. Shelby King    USA    66.67

2. Larisa Morales    MEX    58.33

3. Sofia Dinatale    USA    40.00

4. Marla Fay    USA    26.67

Girls – Semifinal #2

1. Taylor McCullough    USA    88.33

2. Regina Arce    MEX    58.33

3. Catherine Hair    USA    50.00

4. Tanisha Iaconni    AUS    40.00

Amateur Wakeskate – Semifinal #1

1. Yukimasa Kimura    JPN    56.67

2. Jim Branton    USA    45.00

3. Austin Polterock    USA    40.00

4. Craig Buss    USA    30.00

5. Nathan Champeau    USA    20.00

Veterans – Semifinal #1

1. Tim Toussaint    AUS    43.33

2. Arturo Arce    MEX    33.33

3. Francois Morin    CAN    28.33

Veterans – Semifinal #2

1. Matt Vermillion    USA    65.00

2. Billy Garcia    USA    58.33

3. Michael Fay    USA    36.67

Men’s II – Semifinal #1

1. Chad Warren    USA    55.00

2. Shayne Dalton    USA    41.67

3. Ryan Daley    AUS    36.67

4. Corey Turnball    USA    35.00

Men’s II – Semifinal #2

1. Nick Cankar    USA    58.33

2. Nick Link    USA    56.67

3. Yu Kabazawa    JPN    48.33

4. Rob Corum    USA    40.00

Masters Women – Semifinal #1

1. Joy Manning    USA    55.00

2. Mariana Martins    USA    38.33

3. Yuriko Ishiyama    JPN    28.33

Veteran Women – Semifinal #1

1. Allison Blaha    USA    78.33

2. Kat Laird    USA    66.67

3. Susan Sheehan    USA    48.33

4. Paula Fay    USA    30.00

Amateur Women – Semifinal #1

1. Brooke Grassman    USA    68.33

2. Carolina Rodriguez    MEX    46.67

3. Anna Bielen    AUS    35.00

Amateur Women – Semifinal #2

1. Abby Delgoffe    USA    70.00

2. Leah Gibney    USA    53.33

3. Jessy Devine    USA    33.33