RECORDS FALL AT THE 55TH MASTERS WATER SKI & WAKEBOARD TOURNAMENT
Pine Mountain, GA (May 24, 2014) – The 55th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament lined the shores with thousands of watersports enthusiasts and beautiful weather as the professional athletes competed for a spot in Sunday’s finals. USA’s Regina Jaquess, for the third year in a row, broke the slalom course record taking top seed while Team Nautique’s Natallia Berdnikava set a new jump course record that she set in 2011.
In Women’s Tricks semifinal, world record holder Erika Lang scored 9,390 points earning top seed followed by fellow Team Nautique skiers Natallia Berdnikava, Whitney McClintock and Clementine Lucine. In Men’s Tricks Aliaksei Zharnasek tricked 11,870 points moving on to the finals along with Jimmy Siemers, Josh Briant, and Pierre Ballon.
Congratulations to Junior Masters slalom champion Brando Caruso who competed in the junior head-to-head exhibition against Eamon Van Der Merwe, earning a scholarship courtesy of O’Brien.
Defending Women’s Slalom champion Regina Jacquess ran 3.5@39-off and will be last off the dock followed by Team Nautique skier Whitney McClintock, Nicole Arthur and April Coble-Eller. In Men’s Slalom semifinal, Jon Travers, a previous Masters Champion and Team Nautique skier, earned top seed followed by Aaron Larkin, Thomas Degasperi, and Will Asher.
In the Men’s Wakeskate semifinal the all-new Super Air Nautique G21 towed its first Masters event on Robin Lake. In Heat #1 James Balzer scored 81 points followed by Danny Hampson who did not have the best run but qualified after Christobal Mendez had uncharacteristic falls. The second heat was not a surprising semifinal for the two roommates Brian Grubb and Brandon Thomas, both had stand up runs and Grubb the defending Masters Champion put up the highest score of 90.67 points.
In other events, women’s wakeboarding Dallas Friday and Amber Wing advanced on from Heat #1. Nautique Wake Games champion Meagan Ethell who was injured last year earned a spot in the finals followed by Bec Gange in Heat #2. The Men’s Wakeboard semifinal with a stacked heat, Phil Soven put up a score of 92 points followed by Harley Clifford on his heels scoring 90 points while Shota Tezuka rode great but it just wasn’t enough to advance on. In the second heat defending Masters Champion Rusty Malinoski earned top seed along with Dean Smith who’s been riding great since his win at Nautique Wake Games.
The Jump semifinals rounded out the day with Natallia Berdnikava setting a new course record that she previously held earning top seed in the finals. Team Nautique skiers Jacinta Carroll and Marion Mathieu along with Finland’s Jutta Lammi will advance to the finals. Germany’s Bojan Schipner jumped 223 feet securing the Men’s Jump leader position for Sunday’s final followed by Freddy Krueger, Ryan Dood and Team Nautique’s Zack Worden.
The Opening Ceremonies of the 55th Masters Finals will begin tomorrow at 10:00AM with the Parade of Champions followed by the final rounds at 10:30AM. For complete up-to-date scores of the 55th Masters, please visitmasterswaterski.com/standings
An invitation to compete in the Masters is universally considered an acknowledgement of achievement for reaching the pinnacle in a given watersports discipline – only the world’s most elite athletes compete at the Masters. To view the 2014 criteria please visit the Masters website. This tournament is sanctioned by IWWF/USA Water Ski and WWA. Watch all of the 55th Masters action live on Sunday May 25th starting at 10:00AM EST, please visit masterswaterski.com.