<p> The final showdown of the 2016 Nautique Wake Series Season couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting with the Toronto skyline and Canada’s CNE Festival as the backdrop. Riders from over twelve countries came to chase their dream of being awarded a world title behind the boat that has undeniably changed the sport of wakeboarding, the Super Air Nautique G23. Near perfect conditions made way for inspiring performances that pushed every rider to their limits making for an exciting show that kept eyes on the water for four full days of action. </p>
<p> Team Nautique riders Mike Dowdy, Dean Smith and J.D. Webb earned a spot in the final round of competition after advancing through two previous rounds with jaw dropping runs behind the Super Air Nautique G23. The never conservative J.D. Webb always rides right on the edge, putting his unique style and massive tricks on display to earn him a 5th place finish in the finals. Dean Smith charges on every trick, exploding off the G23 wake which perfectly matches his riding with mind-blowing amplitude, rocketing him into fourth place. </p>
<p> Mike Dowdy came into the event a heavy favorite after an amazing competitive season in 2016. Dowdy has developed a winning formula with runs that incorporate a new level of technicality that includes double flips, crazy double-grabbed underflip spins and mobe 540’s. Leading his way through each heat Dowdy stood up a clean run in the final to take second place in the event and second place overall in the 2016 Nautique Wake Series Standings.</p>
<p> “Riding behind the Super Air Nautique G23 put World’s on the level it needs to be at; the best riders, the best boat, and an amazing venue. The site at CNE waterfront is perfect with smooth water, a big wake and great viewing for the spectators. I can’t wait to go back!” – Mike Dowdy </p>
<p> Nautique’s Raimi Merritt took home the overall 2016 Nautique Wake Series win with dominant riding all season long hitting every stop which included the Moomba Masters, the Nautique Wake Open, The Nautique European Pro Am, the Nautique WWA U.S. Wakeboard National Championships, and the Nautique WWA World Championships. </p>
<p> “It’s been such a great season competing on the Nautique Wake Series and seeing all the ladies push the level of women’s riding. Nautique puts together such amazing events that puts the riders first and creates such an awesome atmosphere for families and fans to come and be a part of and that’s what is so special about this series. The G23 gives everyone from the small amateurs riding their first contest to pros pushing the sport the best wake in the game. I am so pumped on taking the overall win and I can’t wait for next season!” – Raimi Merritt</p>
This past weekend we introduced ultimate versatility in 20 feet of perfection at the GM Heritage Center in Detroit, MI with the first-ever Super Air Nautique GS20. Hundreds of people were in attendance as Team Nautique athletes Shaun Murray, Nate Smith, and Drew Danielo joined athlete & account manager Adam Wensink along with Nautique President Greg Meloon onstage for the reveal. The release of this boat brings waterskiing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing together like never before, and it absolutely lived up to everyone’s expectations during the weekend of demos following the launch event. Gathering at Silver Spray Sport’s Lake Jepawit in Gaines, MI, waterskiers, wakeboarders, and wakesurfers all lined up to experience one boat together with a seamless transition that kept everyone smiling. We’ve captured the essence of what being out on the lake is all about delivering the most important thing in watersports; pure fun.
Pro athlete demo’s and clinics with Nate Smith, Matt Rini, Shaun Murray and Drew Danielo gave everyone a unique opportunity with some of the riders and skiers that watched this new boat come to life.
Drew Danielo - When I first got the call to come to Nautique Headquarters and test the surf wave on the new 20’ boat, I was a little concerned. We have all ridden a 20’ crossover and the surf wave, well, it just wasn’t much to talk about. I can tell you that I was completely blown away. 20’ boat, stock weight and I was riding 15’ off the platform on a perfectly shaped wave that had a ton of push all the way back to the white water. It was so good that if this was my personal boat I would be very happy. After the launch weekend of the GS20 I am convinced that Nautique has built the first true crossover boat. I watched slalom skiers rip through the course and turn 6 buoys with a smile on their face. Then with the same boat we had numerous wakeboarders blasting wake to wake. They couldn’t get over the size of the wake or how much pop it had. Then with the touch of a button on the GS20 we had everyone from 7-year olds to 65-year olds catching a wave down the lake. It was so much fun to be a part of the testing and launching of the Nautique GS20, and I am excited that there is a boat for the all-around water sports family. Nautique hit another Grand Slam with this new boat.
Matt Rini - My first interaction with the new GS20 was about 4 weeks ago when I drove it for Whitney McClintock at the factory. My first impression as I stepped into the boat was wow detail-detail-detail. This boat has clearly been designed by people who use and love being in boats. The new 12.4 inch touchscreen, the toggle selection knob, seat height, cell phone holders and cup holders are all simply and perfectly place for easy access. As I drove the boat through the course the visibility was great and easy to line up the buoys. After Whitney skied, Shaun Watson had his first ride and surf behind the boat. His comments and excitement about how great the wake was for a 20 foot boat was telling that Nautique had nailed the wake side of this boat! About a week later I had the opportunity to ski behind the boat for the first time. The wake is different than the 200 that I normally ski behind but I was very surprised how flat the wake was. The NCRS plate keeps the running profile of the boat “nose down” to keep the wakeboard portion of the boat on top of the water. It’s truly amazing to watch a boat go from a massive wake for surfing to a flat wake for slalom with the push of a button and a 5-minute break.
I was fortunate enough to go to the launch of the boat in Detroit at the GM Heritage Center. What a fitting place for the launch of such an industry first of its kind. We were surrounded by concept cars from GM from the last 60 years. Totally an amazing atmosphere; the food, drinks and music set the stage for Shaun Murray and Adam Wensink to walk everyone through the new boat.
The following two days we demoed with local skiers and riders who came out to try the boat. Lots and lots of smiles of surprise by how good the boat was to ski behind. People were very impressed with how much room the boat has and the great functionality. Hats off to Nautique for yet another home run.
Nate Smith - When I first walked into the GM Heritage Center I could not believe the history that was in the building. From cars that never went into production to cars from 1902, it was amazing to see the progression over the years of where production of vehicles has gone. It was only fitting to have our product launch at the Heritage Center. As we start our journey with the GS20, we are making history as the first boat that can really do it all. Being in the boat and on shore for the on-water demos I lost track of how many times I heard the sentence, “Wow, I can’t believe how impressive the GS20 is.” Everyone that came out to demo the boat got to spend time with some of the best athletes in the world. Seeing people get to try something different and successfully getting up on a wakeboard, wake surf, or ski for the first time and seeing their facial expressions and excitement was priceless. Not one person from the whole weekend walked away disappointed.
Shaun Murray - “Couldn’t have gone better!” is a great phrase to keep hearing from everyone on the team and means even more coming from so many of the customers who attended our GS20 Launch event. When you are surrounded by over 100 years of automotive history at the GM Heritage Center, we were T’d up for a great night. The teaser video ended, the curtain dropped and the fun continued through the weekend.
The on water demo’s allowed the GS20 to show its stuff, and proved to be the most versatile without compromise boat the market has seen. It was great to see such a balance of different things going on behind the new boat with wakeboarders, surfers and more skiers than I’ve seen in a long time. This boat is really going to allow the groups and families that like to keep all options open for what they want to do on a particular day. I’ve said it more than once, and I’ll keep saying it, “You have to remind yourself that you are in a 20-foot boat because not only does it put out a pretty big surf and wakeboard wake, but the amount of space inside the boat for storage and passengers makes you feel like you’re in a much bigger boat.” People’s reactions to the GS20 have been nothing short of awesome and really made for one of the best launches I’ve been part of.
The Nautique WWA U.S. Wakeboard National Championships was everything a Nautique Wake Series event is all about. Top amateurs and pros came out to ride behind 3X wakeboard boat of the year, the Super Air Nautique G23 and celebrate the growth and progression of wakeboarding behind the industry’s best. Spectators packed the shore and lined the course with boats on the water to join in on a weekend that was all about competition and fun. Each Nautique Wake Series event brings wakeboarding’s extended family of all ages and skill levels together for high fives, smiles and a great competitive experience with locations in four different countries. It just doesn’t get any better.
Nautique athletes put it all on the line in Friday’s qualifying rounds to make it to the big show on Saturday. The crowd at Dallas Landing Park in Acworth, GA had the opportunity to witness wakeboarding at its very best behind the Super Air Nautique G23 as riders incorporated double-flips and technical tricks in their runs that until the introduction of the G-series were impossible. The semi-final heats were stacked, leaving no room for error as Raimi Merritt, Dean Smith, Noah Flegel, and Mike Dowdy put together impressive runs to earn their spot in the final.
Merritt was on fire, executing a flawless run behind the Super Air Nautique G23 that showcased the talent that continues to keep her at the top of the sport. When the water settled, Raimi took the podium in second place in a battle that was nearly too close to call.
“The Nautique Nationals is one of my favorite contests all year and to be in Acworth, GA on Lake Altoona with such amazing weather and conditions was awesome! I rode strong all weekend behind the always-perfect G23 wake and to finish with a podium spot was a great way to end the weekend! Looking forward to the next and final stop of the Nautique Wake Series!” - Raimi Merritt
The crowd went absolutely wild during the Pro Men’s final as the Super Air Nautique G23 generated an intensity with its world-class wakes that launched riders in front of a huge line of boats and packed beach. Nautique rider Noah Flegel’s natural gift shines during intense moments where his relaxed, raw power seems effortless. Flegel continued his assault on all things water with a third place Nationals finish heading into the Nautique WWA World Championships.
“Whenever I get to compete behind the G23 in a contest I know that everyone’s level of riding is going to be insane due to the massive and flawless wake. I’m so stoked to have ended up on the podium in one of the craziest finals of the year at the Nautique Wakeboard Nationals.” – Noah Flegel
The Nautique WWA U.S. National Championships marked the 4th stop of the Nautique Wake Series, which concludes at the Nautique WWA World Championships August 25th -28th in Toronto, CA. For more information on the only contest series that puts riders first, please visit http://www.nautique.com/events/nautique-wake-series.
The Nautique European Pro Am hosted a global field of competitors at one of the most beautiful watersports destinations, Ferreira Do Zezere, Portugal. Upon arrival, riders and spectators descended down a windy mountain road that led to the pristine waterfront site of Castelo Do Bode. The Super Air Nautique G23 forming its perfect wakes in this picturesque setting was truly what dreams are made of.
This international event drew riders from all over the world to compete at the third stop of the Nautique Wake Series. Riders representing twelve different countries from seven to fifty years old had the time of their lives competing alongside their friends, family, and favorite pro riders. As each athlete left the dock the excitement level was at an all time high. Whether riders had the run of their life or just an extremely good time out on the water competing, the crowd was all smiles, cheers and high fives.
Team Nautique rider Meagan Ethell knew the waters of Castelo Do Bode all too well after winning a World Championship title there just last year. With some windy conditions picking up during her semi-finals round Meagan rode smart keeping a perfect rhythm of big technical tricks through her pass. Throwing a massive and clean moby dick in the final Meagan increased her 2016 win streak to three of three in the Nautique Wake Series.
“The Nautique European Pro Am was one to remember. Coming back to Portugal from last year, I had high expectations for myself. To be able to compete behind the Super Air Nautique G23 made this experience the best. Taking home the win and getting to explore this beautiful country with my friends made it that much better. I’m super pumped with how this weekend turned out!” – Meagan Ethell.
Nautique’s Raimi Merrit took the second place spot with consistent, powerful riding all weekend behind the G23. Raimi also remains at the top of the Nautique Wake Series standings just behind Meagan in second place.
“I am so happy to have finished the weekend on the podium in the #2 spot at the Nautique European Pro Am. Riding behind the best wake in the industry in Ferreira Do Zezere was absolutely amazing. I’m so blessed to be a part of the Nautique team and getting the opportunity to go to these first-class events in beautiful places around the world! I am looking forward to the next stop!” – Raimi Merritt
In the Pro Men’s division Mike Dowdy kept composure under fire with his big smooth technical tricks to take a second place finish. Mike leads the Nautique Wake Series overall points by 15 with a score of 245 as we head into the fourth stop, the Nautique WWA U.S. National Championships July 27-30 in Acworth, GA.
“The Nautique Pro Am was a really fun event in an awesome place here in Portugal. The energy from the local crowd here was awesome and the wake behind the G23 made for a great show all weekend! Thank you to everyone at Nautique and the WWA for making it happen. I can’t wait for the next one.” – Mike Dowdy
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 more than 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 19 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 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 competitors 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
Nautique’s Clementine Lucine skied smooth throughout both rounds of the Women’s Slalom event to earn a second place finish with a score of 4@38-off.
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 placing third. 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 Meagan Ethell defended her Masters title 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 third with an amazing run that showcased her continued progression after also competing in the trick skiing competition. Raimi Merrit rounded out the field in fourth.
“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 prestigious 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 finish for a team Nautique podium sweep.
“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
Nautique athlete and world record holder Jacinta Carroll had the crowd on their feet during the Women’s Jump final booting a course record distance of 188 feet (57.4m) behind the PCM, GM Marine Technology 6.2L H6DI powered Ski Nautique 200. This is Jacinta’s 27th consecutive professional win and she cannot be stopped.
“Being back on Robin Lake is like no other. The prestige of competing at the 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
There is something special about watching Nautique jumper Ryan Dodd on the water and in the last event of the 57th Masters he was in perfect form. He came screaming into the ramp fully committed flying 233 feet (70.9m) for a second place finish just inches short of the win.
“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 of 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