Rookies Impress at Nautique Wake Games Qualifiers

Some of the top professional wakeboarders in the world gathered at the Orlando Watersports Complex in Orlando, Fla. today to qualify into the 2011 Nautique Wake Games, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. The grueling Pro Men’s division qualifier pinned 40 riders against each other, with only the top two pros from each of the 10 heats advancing on to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Among the 20 pros that qualified today were a pair of rookie riders, debuting in their first pro contest. Steel Lafferty, 18, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and 19-year-old New York native Nick Galotifore not only qualified, but won their respective heats today.

“I really wasn’t expecting too much out of this contest, but obviously it feels great to win my heat today,” said Galotifore. “To come into the pro division and ride against a guy, like Shaun Murray and happen to beat him is awesome. I’ve looked up to him for so long and it’s just cool be competing with guys like him.”

Heading into their rookie season, high expectations were placed on Galotifore and Lafferty, as the duo finished in first and third place, respectively, on the 2010 Jr. Pro Wakeboard Tour.

“It’s usually a difficult transition going from amateur to pro, especially during your rookie season,” said Chief Judge Chris Bischoff. “But these guys killed it today and we’ll just have to see what happens in the contest over the next few days.”

The Nautique Wake Games, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink will continue through Sunday, May 1. Tomorrow’s free event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday will remain a ticketed event. Tickets are available at the gate: $13 (adult); $5 (ages 6-12); free (ages 5 and under); or $7 (adult) if purchased online.

April 28 – Day1 Results:

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #1

1 Jeff Weatherall NZL 65.00

2 Aaron Rathy CAN 56.67

3 Phillip Aslinger USA 46.67

4 Sean O’Brien USA 33.33

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #2

1 Adam Fields USA 66.33

2 Chad Sharpe CAN 61.67

3 Erik Ruck USA 55.00

4 Shane Bonifay USA 45.00

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #3

1 Steel Lafferty USA 68.33

2 Danny Thollander USA 58.33

3 Jefferson Langley USA 51.67

4 Tony Carroll USA 33.33

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #4

1 Sam Thomson AUS 66.67

2 Jeff House USA 56.67

3 Kyle Alberts USA 51.67

4 Shawn Watson USA 46.67

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #5

1 Danny Burnstein USA 56.67

2 Alexander Brown USA 45.00

3 Matt Dettman USA 30.00

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #6

1 Nick Jones USA 73.33

2 Scott Stewart USA 65.00

3 Kyle Rattray CAN 58.33

4 Robert Sichel USA 43.33

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #7

1 Nick Galotifore USA 63.33

2 Shaun Murray USA 56.67

3 Kirby Liesmann USA 46.67

4 Padiwat Jaemjan THA 35.00

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #8

1 Adam Errington USA 68.33

2 Ben Greenwood USA 65.00

3 Julian Cohen USA 51.67

4 Sam Carne ENG 38.33

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #9

1 Dean Smith AUS 70.00

2 Jason Bannatyne CAN 56.67

3 Danta Digangi USA 45.00

4 Jeff McKee USA 36.67

Pro Men

Qualifying Round – Heat #10

1 Andrew Adkison USA 78.33

2 Jimmy Trask USA 70.00

3 Nitkita Martyanov RUS 55.00

4 Andrew Shearer USA 43.33

5 Clayton Underwood USA 36.67

Pro Women

Qualifying Round – Heat #1

1 Ann Hajek USA 65.00

2 Barrett Perlman USA 58.33

3 Hayley Smith AUS 45.00

4 Miku Asai JPN 43.33

Pro Women

Qualifying Round – Heat #2

1 Raimi Merritt USA 70.00

2 Meagan Ethell USA 66.67

3 Tarah Mikacich USA 56.67

4 Alexa Score USA 41.67

Pro Women

Qualifying Round – Heat #3

1 Amber Wing AUS 68.33

2 Emily Durham USA 60.00

3 Emylee Wright USA 41.67

Pro Women

Qualifying Round – Heat #4

1 Nicola Butler ENG 75.00

2 Melissa Marquardt USA 66.67

3 Corrie Dyer USA 43.33

Pro Wakeskate

Qualifying Round – Heat #1

1 Brian Grubb USA 81.67

2 Matt Hayden USA 58.33

3 Oliver Moore ENG 53.33

4 Danny Hampson USA 50.00

5 Stuart Shinn USA 35.00

6 Ben Ray USA 33.33

Pro Wakeskate

Qualifying Round – Heat #2

1 Reed Hansen USA 80.00

2 Brandon Thomas USA 70.00

3 Grant Roberts ENG 53.33

4 Forrest Risner USA 40.00

5 George Daniels USA 30.00

Women’s Wakeskate

Qualifying Round – Heat #1

1 Jen GilanFarr USA 63.33

2 Kristine Gagnier USA 66.67

3 Krista Burns USA 30.00

Amateur Wakeskate

Qualifying Round – Heat #1

1 Jeren Nilson USA 70.00

2 Jim Branton USA 65.67

3 Craig Buss USA 62.00

4 Ronaldo Mascarenhas BRA 57.00

5 Cristobal Mendez USA 54.00

6 Austin Polterock USA 46.33

7 Nathan Champaeu USA 40.00