Harley Clifford Wins PWT In Acworth
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour debuted its new format today at Dallas Landing Park in Acworth in front of one of its largest crowds to date. Fans poured in to see the Pro Men and Jr. Pro Men compete in their respective finals, and to witness the excitement of the Pro Tour’s new Main Event. Between the live music, a stacked six-man pro final, a big-air challenge and a double up contest, fans were treated to an epic wake party full of action and entertainment. “We definitely left an impression in Acworth with this new format,” said the current King of Wake and Oakley pro team rider, Aaron Rathy. “The fans and riders were all really pumped on how things went down and to see new elements of the sport added to the Pro Tour.”
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 an upset. Austin Hair of Tega Cay, SC beat out four-time X Games gold medalist Danny Harf and former Pro Tour champ Shaun Murray to advance to his first Pro Tour finals appearance. The finals pinned Hair, Adam Errington, Rusty Malinoski, Phillip Soven, JD Webb and Harley Clifford against each other in a six-man final. In such a stacked final heat, riders couldn’t hold anything back in order to win the first Pro Tour stop of the 2010 season.
Aussie Phenom and Oakley pro team rider, Harley Clifford, the current defending Pro Tour titlist, took that notion to the next level during his final run, landing a handle pass KGB 540 – the first ever in a contest. Clifford’s impressive run was more than enough to take first place in the Pro Men’s finals and take the lead in the Pro Tour standings. Malinoski and Soven rounded out the Pro Men’s podium, respectively. “I’m stoked,” said Clifford. “Sticking the KGB 5 and winning the first Pro Tour stop in the same day is just unreal.”
Following the Pro Men finals, the Pro Tour went right into the Indmar Double Up contest, where the “Bone-Crusher” Rusty Malinoski was declared the obvious winner after sticking his toeside 1080. Chad Sharpe, who is known for his bag of tricks off the kicker, won the Rockstar Energy Drink Big- Air Challenge with his massive Indy Glide. Sharpe and Malinoski each took home $1,000 for winning their respective events.
With finals wrapped up in Acworth, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour will now head to Fort Worth, Texas on June 10-12. Additional venues for the 2010 season include Elizabethtown, Ky., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Knoxville, Tenn. To catch all the high-flying, rail-sliding, water-sports action of the Acworth Pro Tour stop on television, tune in to FUEL TV on July 20 at 8 p.m. EST.