Clifford, Butler and Hansen Win Wakeboard Nationals

Harley Clifford, Nicola Butler and Reed Hansen all won titles at the 2010 Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar, which were held at Sparks Marina outside Reno, Nevada, on July 14-18.

The Pro Men’s division highlighted the event. Defending national champ Adam Errington failed to advance past the semifinal round, leaving the national title up for grabs for Danny Harf, Rusty Malinoski, Harley Clifford, Phillip Soven and Bryan Hutton.

All five pros threw down impressive runs, but top seed Harley Clifford made the biggest impact on the water to take home his first-ever Nationals win. Former national champions Phillip Soven and Danny Harf rounded out the Pro Men’s division podium, respectively.

“It feels awesome to win Nationals — it’s my first one and I’m stoked,” Clifford says. “Winning today helps me out a lot in the King of Wake and I can’t wait for the next contest.”

With his Wakeboard Nationals win, Clifford now leads the King of Wake series with 460 points. Phillip Soven trails in second place with 425 points, while Rusty Malinoski rounds out the top three with 321 points. The Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Cahmpionships was the fifth stop in the eight-event King of Wake series.

In the Pro Women’s division, all eyes were on Emily Copeland Durham, as she made her first finals appearance in nearly two years. Copeland Durham had a fair finish in the six-woman final, taking fourth place, but it was former Queen of Wake Nicola Butler who took top honors at Wakeboard Nationals. Butler’s first-place finish today marks her first Wakeboard Nationals win. Two-time Wakeboard Nationals winner Amber Wing finished in second and Raimi Merritt took third.

“I was feeling pretty sore all weekend, but I pushed through it and made it to finals,” Butler says. “It was worth the pain to ride today and come out with a win.”

Butler now leads the Queen of Wake series with 290 points. Merritt moves up to second place with 245 points and Wing rounds out the top three with 240 points. The Air Nautique WWA Nationals was the third stop in the five-event Queen of Wake series.

Pro wakeskater Reed Hansen successfully defended his national title, taking down two former national champions in the process. Hansen’s first-place finish in the Pro Wakeksate division finals marks his third national title in four years. Grant Roberts and Stuart Shinn rounded out the podium, respectively.

“I love winning titles like this and having to defend them,” Hansen says. “It was a tough final for sure, but I’m stoked that I won and now it’s time to celebrate.”

Steel Lafferty took first place in the six-man final of the Jr. Pro Men's division with a score of 96.50, a nearly 12-point differential from the next closest competitor. Julian Cohen and Daniel Powers rounded out the Jr. Pro Men division podium, respectively. It was Lafferty's first national title in the Jr. Pro Men division.

In other action, Noah Flegel won the Boys division and Tori Koch won the Jr. Women division. Also in the Boys division, Paulie Koch took home the PCM Amateur Best Trick Award for his massive KGB. The award is a $250 cash prize.

Now that the Air Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by ROCKSTAR, has ended, the top tier riders from each of its 21 divisions will be invited to represent the United States at the WWA Wakeboard World Championships later this year in Orlando, Florida.

2010 Wakeboard Nationals Results:

Pro Men

1. Harley Clifford

2. Phillip Soven

3. Danny Harf

4. Rusty Malinoski

5. Bryan Hutton

Pro Women

1. Nicola Butler

2. Amber Wing

3. Raimi Merritt

4. Emily Copeland Durham

5. Melissa Marquardt

6. Meagan Ethell

Pro Wakeskate

1. Reed Hansen

2. Grant Roberts

3. Stuart Shinn

4. Brian Grubb

Jr. Pro Men

1. Steel Laffety

2. Julian Cohen

3. Daniel Powers

4. Freddie Wayne

5. John Jeffries

6. Nick Galotifore

Jr. Women

1. Tori Koch

2. Katelyn Fenner

3. Nataly Conner

4. Leah Gibney

Boys

1. Noah Flegel

2. Landon Kasey

3. Paulie Koch

4. Robby Holihan