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Soven, Butler Win Ft. Worth Pro Wakeboard Tour

June 13, 2010

Fans packed the shores of Lake Moser at Texas MasterCraft to catch the final rounds of action at the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour stop in Fort Worth. Riders spent the day battling it out behind the MasterCraft X-Star for wins in the Jr. Pro Men, Pro Men and Pro Women’s divisions.

The Pro Men kicked off the final day of action with their quarterfinal round, where 20 riders hit the water in five heats of four. The quarterfinals cut the competition in half, only advancing the top two riders from each heat onto the semifinals.

The semifinals quickly narrowed down the field of riders to setup the six-man final, but not without a massive upset in the process. Aussie phenom and top-seeded rider, Harley Clifford failed to advance past the semifinals, placing fourth in his five-man heat.

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The finals pinned Austin Hair, Bryan Hutton, Rusty Malinoski, Phillip Soven, Danny Harf and Olivier Derome against each other in the final round of action. All eyes were on the new top seed, Rusty Malinoski to see if he duplicate his 2007 Fort Worth winning-run, but fell short to two-time Pro Tour titlist Phillip Soven.

Soven’s Backside 720 off the double up helped push the Florida native to the top of the contest podium, with Malinoski and four-time X Games gold medalist Danny Harf rounding out the top three, respectively.

With the second stop of the 2010 season in the books, Soven and Malinoski are now tied at 180 points in the Pro Tour standings, with Soven taking the tie-breaker due to his win today. Harley Clifford now sits in third place with 160 points.

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Soven’s younger brother, Bob, lost to Phillip in their shared quarterfinal heat today, but beat him out in the Rockstar Energy Drink Big-Air Challenge. Bob Soven’s massive Indy Backside 180 off the kicker earned him $1,000 for the winning trick. Texan Tom Fooshee and Phillip Soven rounded out the top three in the Challenge, respectively.

As top-seeded rider Dallas Friday sat out of the Pro Women’s finals today, due to injury, all eyes were on the water to see which female standout would emerge victorious in the five-woman final.

Both former Rookie of the Year Raimi Merritt and former Australian Pro Tour champ Hayley Smith appeared to have the edge in the contest, but 2008 Queen of Wake Nicola Butler proved to be unstoppable in Fort Worth, taking her third straight win in the Lone Star State. Merritt and Smith rounded out the contest podium, respectively.

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In the Jr. Pro Men’s division, riders hit the water in two heats of five for their semifinal round. Only the top two riders from each heat advanced, sending Steel Lafferty, Kyle Evans, Nick Galotifore and Daniel Powers to the four-man final.

All four rippers threw down some series runs, but current Tour leader Nick Galotifore continued to impress the judges to win his second consecutive Pro Tour stop of the season. Lafferty and Evans rounded out the Jr. Pro Men’s podium, respectively.

Following Fort Worth, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour will head to Elizabethtown, KY, on June 18 & 19, for the third stop of 2010 season. Additional venues for the Pro Tour include Colorado Springs, CO; Knoxville, TN and Acworth, GA.

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To catch all the high-flying, rail-sliding, water-sports action of the Fort Worth Pro Tour stop on television, tune in to FUEL TV on Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. EST.

Ft. Worth Pro Wakeboard Tour Final Results

Pro Men Finals

1. Phillip Soven 81.67

2. Rusty Malinoski 73.33

3. Danny Harf 67.50

4. Olivier Derome 63.33

5. Bryan Hutton 58.33

6. Austin Hair 43.33

Pro Women Finals

1. Nicola Butler 83.33

2. Raimi Merritt 61.67

3. Hayley Smith 60.00

4. Anna Hajek 36.67

5. Amber Wing 10.00

6. Dallas Friday DNC

Jr. Pro Men Finals

1. Nick Galotifore 89.75

2. Steel Lafferty 88.75

3. Kyle Evans 85.50

4. Daniel Powers 76.00

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