Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and if you are in the watersports world, you know it is also time to tune into The Nautique Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament presented by GM Marine. An event steeped in tradition, receiving an invitation to compete at Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens can be the pinnacle of one’s athletic career. To win a Masters champion ring can cement one’s name in the history books.
The two wakeboarding athletes that came out on top had two very different experiences with the Masters over the years, however they each overcame very disruptive injuries and surgeries to put themselves on top.
Meagan Ethell captured her 7th Masters title marking one of her most memorable victories. A successful shoulder surgery, rehabilitation and a year’s worth of work paid off when she reminded the wakeboard world that the Queen is not ready to give up her throne. Fending off the up-and-coming competitors is not getting any easier as Mary Morgan Howell, Eugenia de Armas, and Jamie Lopina improve their level of riding with each event.
On the men’s side, one of most likable riders in the sport came through with his first Masters win. Italian Massi Piffaretti combined his unique approach to the sport with his technical proficiency and landed a run full of rewinds, 900’s and mobe 5’s. Piffaretti has only received the invite to compete at Callaway Gardens a handful of times, but capitalized on his new approach to contests this year.
“My crew and I all have the tricks to take the win. It is all about who has it on the day” said Piffaretti. It was his day for the win and his day of reckoning as he had his first boat contest win since his 2 and a half year battling a serious injury. “With all of my time off I really focused on the mental side of competing. I used to be such a head case in contests, but I realized it is all about the love of the sport and focused on why we are all out here.”
Full results of the 63rd Nautique Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament presented by GM Marine here: Nautique Masters 2023: Course Records Broken!