If you have never been to Callaway Gardens for the Masters Waterski & Wakeboard Tournament, start booking your 2017 Memorial Day weekend now. The Masters experience is the ultimate escape into three days of watersports overload over 57 years in the making. The level of competition is unlike anything you have ever seen and the atmosphere draws you in, being a part of a collective energy both on and off the water that defines the essence of watersports.
The 57th Masters was full of that touch of magic that keeps those in the know coming back year after year. Team Nautique had an overwhelming presence with 25 athletes competing among the most elite Skiers and Wakeboarders in the world for a chance to add their name to the legendary list of Masters Champions.
Each day began with the Ski Nautique 200 roaring to life in front of the Masters pavilion to kick off the day with Women’s Tricks. Nautique’s Whitney McClintock, Erika Lang, Clementine Lucine, and Natallia Berdnikava battled a tough field of competitors. Berdnikava kept composure under fire through semis and skied consistently to earn herself a second place finish in the final.
“I was super appreciative to not only have the opportunity to compete in the Masters but to finish second with a good score. Recently coming back from an injury I am pumped that everything came together!” – Natallia Berdnikava
In Men’s Tricks, Nautique skiers Aliaksei Zharnasek and Josh Briant were flawless throughout both rounds. Being pushed to perfection Aliaksei came within 30 points of the course record for his second Masters title. Josh Briant has been on fire improving every time we see him hit the water and continued his streak with a second place Masters finish.
“Winning the 57th Masters at Callaway Gardens this weekend will probably go down for me as the most exciting win of my pro career. I’m still blown away at the level of tricking from everyone in the final. Going off the dock after watching the two highest scores I had ever seen in a Masters trick final was no easy task. To then be able to pull off a win with over 12,000 points at the U.S. Masters was worth more to me than words can describe. This level of competition is great for our sport and motivates me to keep pushing the limits. Hats off to the Ski Nautique 200 for the great pull and the best wakes we can ask for.” – Aliaksei Zharnasek
“I’m so stoked to have made it to the Masters again this year and get second place amongst such an amazing field. All of the competetors really took it to the next level and I had to give it everything I’ve got! As always, this was an amazing event and I can’t wait until next year.” - Josh Briant
The Men’s slalom competition was full of surprises and dramatic action on the water. Nautique skier Jason McClintock hit the water firing on all cylinders scoring 2@41-off in the semi’s securing his spot in Sunday’s final. An under-the-weather Nate Smith showed the heart of a champion and dug deep to take the top seed spot with 3.25@41-off going into Sunday’s finals. A turn of events put Smith in a run-off for the title in the final round where he once again showed the Masters crowd why he is the best in the world taking home his third Masters title with a score of 1@41-off.
“Words can’t describe how excited I am to have won back to back Masters titles to make it the third of my career. No matter what circumstances I have to overcome in an event competing behind the Ski Nautique 200 gives me all the confidence in the world I need to win” – Nate Smith
“I’m super pumped about getting my first pro podium at the biggest event held in North America and against the top 8 athletes in the world, the 57th Masters is one I will remember forever!” – Jason McClintock
Each year the Masters wakeboard event sees the most progressive riding of the season with the Super Air Nautique G23 wake taking legendary form on Robin Lake. Nautique rider defended her Masters title Meagan Ethell leading the field all weekend with big, clean, technical tricks that continue to keep her at the top of women’s wakeboarding. Erika Lang placed second with an amazing run that showcased her continued progression after also competing in the trick skiing competition. Raimi Merrit rounded out the podium in third for the first of two team Nautique podium sweeps.
“It was so awesome to come into the Masters and take the win for the 3rd time! Being invited to the Masters is such an honor, and to be able to ride behind the G23 makes it that much better. This contest was really fun because of how much the girls are progressing! Erika Lang and Raimi Merrit killed it this weekend as well and I can’t wait for next year” – Meagan Ethell.
“Competing in both ski and wake at the Masters was incredible! We have the best boats in the world to train and compete behind and you can see the difference in the level of skiing and wakeboarding from every competitor. Thank you to everyone at Nautique for putting on this amazing event!” – Erika Lang.
“To compete at the Masters in the most prestiogious contest in wakeboarding with the best wake in the industry is an amazing experience and an honor. It is my favorite contest all year because of the awesome family environment that the Nautique Masters at Callaway Gardens has developed over the years” – Raimi Merritt.
Nautique Riders Mike Dowdy, J.D. Webb and Noah Flegel came into the Men’s Wakeboard final looking for their first Masters titles throwing down runs with an unreal level of intensity. When the water settled it was Mike Dowdy’s unique spin variations and double backroll that earned him his first ever Masters title. J.D. Webb pushed the envelope starting his pass with a massive heelside 900 right in front of the crowd followed by a beautiful mix of technicality and style to take the second spot. Noah Flegel had a heavy fall at the end of his second pass ending his run but massive mobe 540’s and spins earned him a third place.
“I’m Unbelievably Grateful to be the 2016 Masters Champion! I worked extremely hard leading up to the event and the G23 delivered with a huge wake all weekend long. Thank you to everyone that works so hard to make this event what it is!” – Mike Dowdy
“Just being invited to the Masters is an accomplishment for most, but to walk away with a second place I couldn’t be more stoked. The wake behind the G23 was massive and really allowed the riders to showcase their best for all the fans.” – J.D. Webb
“I couldn’t be more stoked to make my first podium of the season at the most prestigious contest of the year behind the best wakeboard boat in the industry, the G23. Competing in this event is an honor.” – Noah Flegel
“Being back on Robin Lake is like no other. The prestige of competing at the U.S. Masters always puts a chill down my spine. The way Nautique puts together such an amazing event that runs flawless every year is outstanding. I am so happy to take the win and absolutely ecstatic to be able to fly 188ft to break the course record behind the Ski Nautique 200.” - Jacinta Caroll
“The 2016 Masters Jump Final was the closest finish I’ve ever seen. I went out early in the finals and on my opener threw down a 233 ft. leap. I tried to build off it with a super late cut on my last jump but missed my lift a bit and hit another 233 ft. jump. The Ski 200 with the new 6.2 from PCM was pulling strong and all the finalists had big jumps. Freddy nailed his opening jump with a 233 ft. leap and got me by a few inches, but it was nice to see him put it together after being out for 6 months with an injury. All in all the closest Masters Jump Final I’ve been a part of, and as always a ton of fun to compete on Robin Lake!” – Ryan Dodd
The Nautique Wake Series went off in Orlando, Florida for our homecoming event, the Nautique Wake Open. The 2016 Super Air Nautique G23 provided the pull for riders ranging from amateurs to the world’s top professionals who showcased just how far wakeboarding has come behind the award-winning boat. Athletes from around the world put their riding to the test at the infamous Orlando Watersports Complex for stop 2 of the Nautique Wake Series, the only series that puts riders first.
Nautique Wakeskater Brandon Thomas was in top form throughout the weekend putting down smooth and controlled runs that earned him a third place finish in the final.
“I really feel blessed to be healthy and riding again. I went out wanting to show everyone what wakeskating is all about. With no more than factory ballast filled, the G23 wake was massive. I felt like I was floating out there more than usual. It was good to be on the podium with my friends again. Thank you to Nautique for giving wakeskaters the best contest series. I’m looking forward to the next one!” - Brandon Thomas
The Men’s Pro division saw incredible riding from the entire field making each heat come down to razor thin decisions. In the final, Nautique athlete J.D. Webb’s run consisted of perfect style with his signature hammers that highlight video sections earning him third place.
“I’m super pumped to start off my season with a podium finish at the Nautique Wake Open. I have no plans of slowing down, and I’m excited to ride behind the best boat in the industry for the biggest events of the year. See you in Portugal!” – J.D. Webb
Phenom Mike Dowdy looks as intense as ever incorporating unorthodox spins and double flips into his runs that just keep pushing the field into new territory. His final’s run earned him another Nautique Wake Series podium in second place as he continues the hunt for the top spot.
“Nautique put on another world-class event and you can see the difference in everyone’s riding behind the G23. There is no holding back and I look forward to claiming the number one spot as we head into the third stop of the Nautique Wake Series in Portugal” – Mike Dowdy.
Nautique’s Meagan Ethell remained in the number one spot with her Nautique Wake Open victory putting her at a perfect Nautique Wake Series score headed into the third event in Portugal. Her technical mastery, amplitude and control continue to set the bar for women’s wakeboarding. Raimi Merritt has been riding strong this season with massive, powerful tricks and consistency landing her a second place finish at the event.
“The Nautique Wake Open was unreal. Getting to compete at OWC is always fun especially with my friends and family being able to come out. Sunday was the perfect day, and the G23 wake was awesome as always! Thank you Nautique for another great event, and I look forward to stop #3 in Portugal!” – Meagan Ethell
“Being Part of the Nautique Wake Open was incredible! Having the opportunity to ride behind the best boat in the industry and have it right here in Orlando was so much fun. Finishing second was a great way to end the weekend, and I look forward to the next stop of the Nautique Wake Series” – Raimi Merritt.
The 2016 Moomba Masters had spectators riveted both on-shore and tuned-in online around the world as Team Nautique athletes hit the Yarra River to kick off the season. The Super Air Nautique G23 and Ski Nautique 200 brought the infamous waterway to life in the heart of the Moomba Festival with action that didn’t stop.
In Women’s Jump, Nautique athlete and world-record-holder Jacinta Carroll increased her unbeaten streak to 26 consecutive Pro events fighting through adversity to take another Moomba Masters win with a 178ft jump in the final round.
“Moomba Masters never fails to impress. It is by far my favorite event of the year and it’s always amazing to compete behind the new 6.2L Nautique 200. This win was for my baby niece who passed away during the week of Moomba. THANK YOU to my Nautique family for helping me get through this week and win for Alexa!” – Jacinta Carroll
World-record holder Aliaksei Zharnasek remains on top of the trick world with his win at Moomba scoring 11,570 points in the final. Aliaksei topped the scores in every round with his signature power and flawless execution behind the 200.
“It’s always a great pleasure to be back to Melbourne, Australia for Moomba Masters. It felt so exciting again to compete in the middle of the city on the Yarra river in front an amazing crowd. Thanks to Nautique Boats for supporting such a cool event and of course allowing us skiers to enjoy the best pull behind Ski Nautique 200. Moomba Masters is the first pro event on my calendar, and there is definitely extra pressure to do your best after a long winter break. Preparation in the winter months is not that easy and having a few injuries along the way makes it hard to get the confidence you need. That’s why without a doubt I feel greatly satisfied to have lead all 3 rounds of the competition and win this prestigious event again. Cheers to the Nautique crew and team skiers who made this event so much fun to be a part of.”– Aliaksei Zharnasek
Whitney McClintock defended her Moomba Masters title for the 5th consecutive time with consistent skiing and a flawless game plan to contend with the Yarra River. Whitney led the field in every round and ran firstname.lastname@example.org in the final for the win. Fellow Team Nautique Skier Breanne Dodd placed third with 1.5@38.
“I always love skiing on the Yarra, the energy is like no where else in the world. Starting the season out with my 5th straight Moomba Slalom title is sort of unbelievable. It doesn’t even feel like I’ve been there that many times! Matt prepares me so well for the early season event in Melbourne and skiing behind the Ski Nautique 200 gives me so much confidence. Starting the 2016 season with 2 wins in Australia feels great! ”-Whitney McClintock
In Women’s Tricks Nautique athlete Erika Lang finished second with a score of 9,320 points for one of two Moomba podium finishes. Young Neilly Ross finished third skiing incredibly well all week with a final score of 8,970 points.
The first Nautique Wake Series event is in the books. The Women’s Wakeboard final kicked off Moomba Monday and the top four spots went to Team Nautique athletes Meagan Ethell, Raimi Merritt, Erika Lang and young Australian Zahra Kell. Women’s riding is clearly on another level in 2016 with all four athletes throwing down amazing runs behind the Super Air Nautique G23.
“Being able to compete on the Yarra River behind the G23 with the massive crowd made this year’s Moomba experience unforgettable. I’m super stoked to start the season and Nautique Wake Series off with a win! It was awesome to share the podium with all my Nautique teammates. Raimi, Erika, and Zahra all killed it in the finals, and I’m really excited to compete this year with them! –I’m looking forward to the Nautique Wake Open next month and the rest of this year!”- Meagan Ethell
All eyes were on Mike Dowdy with spectators rushing to the shoreline every time he rode. Mike put his signature style and creativity on display incorporating double flips and unique spin variations that represent what the next generation of wakeboarders are capable of behind the Super Air Nautique G23. In a heated final round Dowdy placed third. Looking more focused than ever, Mike is set to make the podium feel like home this season.
World Record holder Nate Smith led the field all week behind the 6.2L H6DI with his smooth style making each pass almost look too easy. The final came down to the wire with Nate taking the podium in second place in a run-off after scoring of 1@41.
Nautique Jump athlete Ryan Dodd had an amazing showing with a second place finish in the Men’s Jump final flying 221ft and a first place in Night Jump under the fireworks. Teammate Zack Worden joined Dodd on the podium in third place for the night jump to close out the Moomba Masters with a bang.
“When I was sitting at the end of the Yarra river in the dark waiting for my final jump I took a moment to reflect and think how amazing this opportunity really is. Jumping in front of thousands of people with an insane fireworks show behind the Nautique 200 made me feel pretty lucky. I channeled that energy into my 3rd Moomba Night Jump win and skied to the dock with my fair share of adrenaline!”– Ryan Dodd
Clementine Lucine showed consistency in all three events to take the Women’s Moomba overall title with 2,829.27 points. followed by teammate Whitney McClintock. Young Australian Josh Briant placed second Men’s overall with 2,721.14 points.
For a complete list of results and more information on the event please visit www.moombamasters.com.
Nautique is excited to welcome Ryan Dodd, Breanne Dodd, Dean Smith and Zahra Kell to our elite team of athletes. From World Champions to a young up-and-comer ready to take the world by storm, these athletes each bring new dynamic elements to our team.
World Waterski Jump Champion Ryan Dodd is one of the fiercest competitors in the sport. An absolute machine on and off the water, Ryan has secured his name at the top of the Elite ranking list; consistently working on fine-tuning every detail that puts him farther and farther ahead of the pack. Ryan joins Team Nautique adding yet another weapon to his arsenal with the record-breaking Ski Nautique 200.
“It’s obvious that Nautique is highly dedicated to supporting three-event skiing with the most prestigious events, and the most elite athletes. No other company is as dedicated to Jump and three-event skiing as a whole. I look forward to the future of the sport and a partnership with a company that shares my vision of progression. Nautique is committed to developing the world’s best boats, and I’m committed to being the world’s best Jump athlete so we found it to make perfect sense. To a great season being pulled by the Nautique 200!” – Ryan Dodd
Breanne Dodd brings a wealth of competitive experience on the water to the Nautique team. Traveling to events all over the world, Breanne has a smile on the dock and passion for waterskiing that is contagious. Breanne and husband Ryan make the ultimate team.
“My first ski ride was at the age of 4 behind my parents Ski Nautique. We were a Nautique family. We would spend long summer days out on the lake skiing together. I am so excited to ski for Team Nautique, and join the family that created so many memories for mine”. - Breanne Dodd
Hard-charging Australian Dean Smith is one of the most exciting wakeboarders on the water. Cutting at the wake as if his life depends on it, amplitude and control consistently bring him to the top of the podium along with a win in the hearts of everyone on shore. Dean is loved by all and with a positive attitude as explosive as his riding there is never a dull moment. Look for even bigger things to come from Dean in 2016 behind the Super Air Nautique G23.
“I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Nautique family-a brand that has genuinely altered and revolutionized wakeboarding. The G23 is undisputedly the best boat on the market, and to have one on the dock will help me push my riding harder than ever! Looking forward to the 2016 season!” – Dean Smith
Zahra Kell was born for this. The twelve-year-old Australian spends most of her time causing jaws to drop at Black Diamond Wakeboard School owned and operated by legend Scotty Kell, who also happens to be her Dad. From water to snow this girl shreds with the rare style and skill we’re excited to watch progress.
“I’m so stoked to join the Nautique team with so many of my idols and to have the opportunity to ride behind the best boats in the world! Thank you to everyone at Nautique, I am super excited for what’s to come!” - Zahra Kell