Harley Wins PWT in KNX: Crowned King of Wake!

The top professional wakeboarders from throughout the world hit the waters of Volunteer Landing this past weekend in downtown Knoxville to compete in the fifth and final stop of the 2011 MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour. This year, the Pro Tour finale also doubled as the final contest in the eight-event King of Wake and Queen of Wake series, which meant twice as much was on the line for riders in Knoxville.

The Pro Men's division highlighted the event, with Aussie phenom Harley Clifford and top seed Phillip Soven battling it out, as the top two contenders for both the Pro Tour title and the King of Wake crown.

Soven, 22, of the Longwood, Fla. entered today's contest with a 45-point lead over Clifford in the Pro Tour standings and quickly secured the 2011 Pro Tour title after winning his semifinal heat.

"Coming into today, I knew I had the Pro Tour title all wrapped up," said Soven. "But I still wanted to make it into finals to win the last Pro Tour stop."

While Soven had a considerable lead in the Pro Tour standings, the defending King of Wake champion was only ahead of Clifford by a mere 10 points in the King of Wake series and needed a win today to keep his crown. However, Soven failed to top the podium.

In the finals, Soven launched an arsenal of technical and big-air tricks, including a massive Whirly 720, Crow Mobe 540 and a Toe-side 900. But Clifford's Blind Pete Rose, Front Mobe 540 and a Toe-side 900 helped him beat Soven 85.00 to 80.00 to win his first-ever King of Wake crown.

"There was so much pressure today in the finals with Phil [Soven] and I 10 points apart," said Clifford. "But I was able to stand up my pass and come out ahead of him. I'm so pumped to win the King of Wake; it's something I wanted to do for the last three years."

Harley Clifford, Soven and Rusty Malinoski round out the top three, respectively, in the King of Wake series.

Watch this: Harley's Pro Wakeboard Tour - Winning Run

The Pro Women's division hosted its last round of action in the Queen of Wake series, as six finalists battled it out for the final win of the season. Top seed Amber Wing failed to advance to the finals, which left many fans wondering who would come out on top in Knoxville.

After taking down Wing in the semifinals, all eyes were on 13-year-old standout Taylor McCullough to see if the Illinois native could duplicate her run to win her first-ever Pro Tour contest.

But it was four-time World Cup titlist Raimi Merritt, who came out swinging with big tricks, like an S Bend, Tootsie Roll and two 540 variations to post the winning score of 78.33.

Today's win marks Merritt's first-ever Pro Tour stop victory.

"It feels awesome to win," said Merritt. I've been on Tour for three years and to finally win a stop is amazing. I've just been working on my consistency and to see it pay off, especially at the last stop of the year, gives me a lot of confidence heading into next season."

Melissa Marquardt and Nicola Butler rounded out the Knoxville podium, respectively.

Despite missing the Pro Women finals, Aussie Amber Wing finished first place overall in the 2011 series to claim her first-ever Queen of Wake crown.

"I'm super stocked to win Queen of Wake," said Wing. "It's been a long, tough season and to see all the hard work pay off is really awesome."

In Jr. Pro Men' s division, young gun Mike Dowdy made his Pro Tour finals debut today against Kyle Evans, Daniel Powers and current points leader Shota Tezuka.

While Dowdy turned heads after landing a Moby Dick 540 in his first-ever Pro Tour final run, all eyes however, remained on Daniel Powers to see if the 17-year-old Orlando, Fla. native would stretch his winning-streak to four consecutive Pro Tour stop victories.

All four Jr. Pro Men finalists threw down impressive runs, but Power's Heel-side 540 off the double up lifted the 2011 Masters champion to his fourth straight Pro Tour stop victory.

Shota Tezuka and Mike Dowdy rounded out the podium, respectively.

Despite finishing in second place in Knoxville, Tezuka edged out Powers by seven points in the overall standings to capture his first-ever Jr. Pro Tour title.

I can't believe I won the Tour," said Tezuka. "When I first started the season, I never expected to win. Now that the season is over, I'm going back home to celebrate and start training for the pro division next year."

Tezuka is the first Japanese born rider to win the Jr. Pro Tour title.

The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour stop in Knoxville will air on the VERSUS television network on Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Sunday, August 28 Results:


Pro Men
Final Round - Heat #1

1 Harley Clifford AUS 85.00
2 Phillip Soven USA 80.00
3 Rusty Malinoski CAN 75.00
4 Dean Smith AUS 65.00
5 Jimmy LaRiche USA 55.00
6 Adam Errington USA 85.00

Pro Women
Final Round - Heat #1

1 Raimi Merritt USA 78.33
2 Melissa Marquardt USA 66.67
3 Nicola Butler GBR 62.33
4 Tarah Mikacich USA 58.33
5 Taylor McCullough USA 46.67
6 Emily Durham USA 28.33

Jr. Pro Men
Final Round - Heat #1

1 Daniel Powers USA 87.75
2 Shota Tezuka JPN 87.00
3 Mike Dowdy USA 84.25
4 Kyle Evans USA 81.00

Pro Men
Semifinal Round - Heat #1

1 Harley Clifford AUS 78.333
2 Adam Errington USA 68.33
3 Dean Smith AUS 63.33
4 Shane Bonifay USA 59.33
5 Bob Soven USA 41.67

Pro Men
Semifinal Round - Heat #2

1 Phillip Soven USA 86.67
2 Rusty Malinoski CAN 76.67
3 Jimmy LaRiche USA 55.00
4 Steel Lafferty USA 50.83
5 Austin Hair USA 21.67

Jr. Pro Men
Semifinal Round - Heat #1

1 Daniel Powers USA 89.00
2 Kyle Evans USA 88.25
3 Dylan Prideaux AUS 81.00
4 Tony Iacconi AUS 80.25
5 Gordon Harrison USA 61.50

Jr. Pro Men
Semifinal Round - Heat #2

1 Shota Tezuka JPN 97.25
2 Mike Dowdy USA 83.25
3 Freddie Wayne USA 82.00
4 Marc Kroon NED 71.00
5 Robby Holihan USA 66.50

Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round - Heat #1

1 Rusty Malinoski CAN 75.00
2 Jimmy LaRiche USA 63.33
3 Aaron Rathy CAN 58.33
4 JD Webb USA 53.33

Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round - Heat #2

1 Steel Lafferty USA 76.67
2 Austin Hair USA 66.67
3 Shaun Murray USA 60.00
4 Kirby Liesmann USA 51.67

Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round - Heat #3

1 Bob Soven USA 73.33
2 Dean Smith AUS 61.67
3 Joey Bradley USA 48.33
4 Kyle Rattray CAN 38.33

Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round - Heat #4

1 Harley Clifford AUS 80.00
2 Adam Errington USA 70.00
3 Andrew Adkison USA 63.33
4 Danny Thollander USA 40.00

Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round - Heat #5

1 Phillip Soven USA 76.67
2 Shane Bonifay USA 58.33
3 AJ Racinelli USA 50.00
4 Shawn Watson USA 41.67





MasterCraft Team Talk

Recent Forum Activity

  • 1998 prostar 205 redo

    Ok folks been a while- between family things and other projects- Boat is running very good. Finally picked a "new to me" ski - D3 X5. Timing and weather hasnt work to ski yet but its close!!! Still working out the ethanol gummies so another set of ...

    Read More

  • '79 SNS hull restoration

    Have a fiberglass platform left over if anyone wants it, I'd say it's a 6/10, a couple small cracks but otherwise solid....

    Read More

  • Painted Window Glass

    Sorry it took so long but here is the final result....

    Read More

News & Announcements

Updates and News From MC

  • The Wilson Brothers Signed to MasterCraft Pro Waterski Team

    MasterCraft Boat Company is pleased to announce the addition of Brooks and K.C. Wilson to the MasterCraft Pro Waterski Team. The brothers, branded as The Wilson Bros., bring both young life and high energy to the ski team, making the brot...

    Read More
  • Australian Waterski Championships

    The Victorian Water Ski Federation Tournament Division in conjunction with the Darwin Water Ski Club and the Northern Territory Tournament Division are pleased to invite you to the 2014 Australian Waterski Championships. Held on Apr...

    Read More