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Successful Weekend for Rising Stars at the Malibu Rider Experience East 

Australian Cobe France Steals the Glory in the Jr. Pro Men Divsion

WORCESTER, Mass. (July 18, 2016) – The fourth Malibu WWA Rider Experience of the 2016 season took place this past weekend, July 15-17 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts. Great weather and perfect conditions on the water saw many new faces show up to kick off Freeride Friday and the rare opportunity for riders to test eight different Malibu towboat models on hand. The Wakesetter 23 LSV towboat provided the exclusive pull for all amateur divisions, while the competition proven Wakesetter 24 MXZ offered an incredible wake for the Jr. Pro and Wootown Open Divisions. The event also featured the fifth Malibu WWA Pro Card Qualifier of the season.

In the Jr. Pro (14-18) division, Tyler Higham (USA) and Lewy Watt (AUS) quickly showed that they were going to be a serious threat by winning their respective heats, while Cobe France (AUS) barely snuck in with the final qualifying position in his heat. France pulled together a clutch performance that included a pair of Mobe 5’s in the Finals to take home the bragging rights and overall win with a score of 80.00. Fellow Australian Elliot Digney earned a score of 76.33 with a Double Bankroll for the runner-up position and Higham was third with a 66.67.

Worcester also served as the final stop in the 2016 Malibu Jr. Pro Men Series overall race and a total of $15,000 was up for grabs from Malibu to the top five placing riders, including scholarships that help towards attending the WWA National and World Championships. Higham and France were separated by a mere 10 points heading into the final, ultimately meaning the event winner would go on to claim the series overall. France’s event win helped him emerge as the Jr. Pro Men Series overall champion.

Holly Watt (AUS) demonstrated some of the strongest riding for a female over the weekend, grabbing the win with a stylish run in the Jr. Women’s (14-18). Despite being one of the smallest riders to compete, Kira Lewis (MA) would not let that slow her down from jumping big behind the 23 LSV’s wake to be crowned winner in the Jr. Girls (9&Under) division. Isabella Foley (MA) and Mia Portuondo (MA) were behind her in second and third, respectively.

The Men’s I (19-24) division hosted some of the closest action throughout the weekend as Woody White (KY) and KP Gagnon (ME) battled head-to-head several times. When the Final run of the weekend took to the water, White won over the judges with a diverse bag of tricks. Aaron Piemontesi (MA) topped the charts in the Men’s II (25-29) with a variety of flips and spins. Eric Svensson (NJ) came home second and Mike Mongeau (MA) rode solid in third.

Seth Wytrwal (NY) outdueled local Massachusetts favorite Mark Portuondo and stole the glory to take home the win in Master’s (30-39).  The Amateur Women had the fans attention by displaying tons of intense action during their Finals, but it was New Jersey’s Shaina Kassaleh that nailed her run for the top placing position. Heather Bouchard (MA) and Kayla Foley (MD) landed podium finishes in second and third, respectively.

Malibu’s Surf Gate had riders from four different states come out to test their talent on perfect conditions against the regions best riders. In the Men’s Wakesurf, Jake Caster (MA) prevailed for the overall victory in convincing fashion, while Seth Wytrwal (NY) placed second and Hunter Lyon (MA) third. The Women’s Wakesurf Final was a nail biter as all of the girls threw down technical tricks with silky smooth style. Nicole Portuondo added another win for Massachusetts, narrowly edging out Sarah Moreau (MA) and Brittany Peak (MA).

An impressive performance by JD Webb (USA) helped him secure the win and $5,000 cash prize in the Wootown Open division, just ahead of Malibu rider Massi Piffaretti (ITA) who consistently pulled huge tricks off of the 24 MXZ’s wake. Malibu’s Parker Siegele rode strong to round out the podium in third.

Surf Gate Sunday was a big hit for men and women of all ages who were looking to experience a kick back day in the sun behind Malibu’s Surf Gate. A variety of new faces appeared and learned how to surf for their very first time. Malibu had some of its star riders on hand, which included Massi Piffaretti, Chad Sharpe, Tarah Mikacich, Amber Smith, and Parker Siegele who gave pointers as they hung out with wakeboarding’s future stars.

The final Rider Experience and sixth Malibu WWA Pro Card Qualifier of the 2016 season is set to take place on the waters of Wow Lake in Quebec, Canada on August 12-14.

Wootown Open – Finals Heat 01:

  1. JD Webb (USA) – 89.00
  2. Massi Piffaretti (ITA) – 83.33
  3. Parker Siegele (USA) – 74.33
  1. Chad Sharpe (CAN) – 72.33
  2. Yun Sanghyun (KOR) – 70.00
  3. Cobe France (AUS) – 56.33
  4. Brian Mennella (MA) – 55.67
  5. Joel Schrader (GA) – 55.00
  6. Jared Franco (FL) – 46.33
  7. Jim Campbell (MA) – 39.33
Jr. Pro Men (14-18) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Cobe France (AUS) – 80.00
  2. Elliot Digney (AUS) – 76.33
  3. Tyler Higham (USA) – 66.67
  1. Callan Starr (AUS) – 56.67
  2. Lewy Watt (AUS) – 51.33
  3. Luca Kidd (GBR) – 40.00
Master’s (30-39) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Seth Wytrwal (NY) – 85.00
  2. Mark Portuondo (MA) – 60.00
  3. Francisco Cabezas (FL) – 46.67
Men’s I (20-24) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Woody White (KY) – 86.67
  2. KP Gagnon (ME) – 85.00
  3. Jared Franco (FL) – 78.33
  1. Nick Foley (MA) – 73.00
  2. Mike Abate (CT) – 70.00
  3. Hayes Akers (MA) – 65.00
  4. William Akers (OH) – 58.33
  5. Marshall Kirby (MA) – 45.00
  6. Carlton Eaton (MA) – 41.33
  7. Jeremy Woodruff (CA) – 38.33
  8. Evan Kurzman (NJ) – 32.67
  9. Billy Capua (MA) – 31.00
Men’s II (25-29) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Aaron Piemontesi (MA) – 73.33
  2. Eric Svensson (NJ) – 56.67
  3. Mike Mongeau (MA) – 48.33
  1. Nicholas Edmunds (MA) – 38.00
  2. Ryan Pullman (NY) – 35.33
  3. Matt Garland (MA) – 33.33
  4. Patrick Amero (MA) – 26.33
  5. Jared Pabis (MA) – 25.00
  6. David Fogg (UH) – 19.67
Jr. Men (14-18) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Bryce Grey (AUS) – 68.33
  2. Noah Wildman (IN) – 60.00
  3. Nick Fernandez (CT) – 48.33
  1. Austin Sroczenski (MA) – 40.67
  2. Tyler Gallant (NH) – 37.67
  3. Kevin Aboff (NY) – 33.00
  4. Michael Guido (NJ) – 29.00
  5. Ryan Peak (MA) – 18.33
  6. Mark Goldsher (MA) – 12.67
Jr. Girls (9&Under) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Kira Lewis (MA) – 60.67
  2. Isabella Foley (MA) – 60.00
  3. Mia Portuondo (MA) – 51.67
  1. Ava Foley (NJ) – 40.00
Jr. Women (14-18) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Holly Watt (AUS) – 70.00
Amateur Women – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Shaina Kassaleh (NJ) – 70.00
  2. Heather Bouchard (MA) – 55.00
  3. Kayla Foley (MD) – 40.00
  1. Alisa Topper (MA) – 20.00
Veterans (40&Over) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Eric Freitag (MA) – 66.67
  2. Steven Collins (MA) – 43.33
Jr. Boy’s (9&Under) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Laird Stidham (IN) – 62.67
Boy’s (10-13) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Thomas Herman (IN) – 81.67
  2. Benjamin Brown (KY) – 66.67
  3. Kai Stidham (IN) – 56.67
Men’s Wakeskate – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Francisco Cabezas (FL) – 60.00
Women’s Wakesurf – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Nicole Portuondo (MA) – 61.67
  2. Sarah Moreau (MA) – 53.33
  3. Brittany Peak (MA) – 43.33
Girl’s (10-13) – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Kayla Hendricks (WI) – 87.00
Women’s Wakeskate – Finals Heat 01:
  1. Kira Lewis (NJ) – 53.33
Men’s Wakesurf – Finals Heat 01: 
  1. Jake Caster (MA) – 92.67
  2. Seth Wytrwal (NY) – 66.67
  3. Hunter Lyon (MA) – 58.33
  1. Jared Pabis (MA) – 45.00
  2. Josh Doherty (MA) – 31.00
  3. Charlie Rabe (MA) – 25.00
Jr. Pro Men (14-18) – Semifinal Heat 01:
  1. Tyler Higham (USA) – 78.67
  2. Luca Kidd (GBR) – 75.00
  3. Callan Starr (AUS) – 69.00
  1. Yun Sanghyun (KOR) – 65.00
  2. Bryson Hancock (USA) – 50.00
  3. Clayton Holladay (USA) – 33.33
Jr. Pro Men (14-18) – Semifinal Heat 02:
  1. Lewy Watt (AUS) – 75.00
  2. Elliot Digney (AUS) – 62.33
  3. Cobe France (AUS) – 61.00
  1. Nicholas Brown (USA) – 59.00
  2. Mac Schramm (USA) – 53.33
  3. Jesse Foushee (USA) – 48.00
  4. Joseph McEvoy (USA) – 26.67
2016 Malibu WWA Pro Card Qualifiers & Rider Experience DatesPro Card Qualifier – #6
(Rider Experience Canada) 
Host Dealer: Aqua Sport Marine
Wow Lake
St. Zotique, QC, Canada
August 12-14

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About Malibu Boats
Malibu Boats is the world’s largest manufacturer of watersports towboats, known for leading the industry with major innovations, including the first onboard computer system in 1993, the ingenious Power Wedge hydrofoil in 2006 (completely redesigned in 2014), the industry’s first wake-maximizing hull in 2000, and Surf Gate, the innovation that changed the face of wakesurfing forever, in 2012. Malibu markets the Wakesetter and Response models – as well as the Axis Wake Research brand – through a worldwide dealer network. With some 450 employees and three manufacturing facilities, in California, Tennessee, and Australia, Malibu builds boats to help you live a #lifewithoutlimits on the water. (NASDAQ: MBUU) | @malibuboats  |  #evolutionproseriesAbout the WWA
The World Wakeboard Association is the global leader in wake sports sanctioning. The WWA owns and operates the WWA Wakeboard World Series, WWA Wake Park World Series, WWA Wakeboard National Championships, WWA Wake Park National Championships, WWA Wakeboard World Championships, WWA Wake Park World Championships, WWA Wake Park Triple Crown, WWA Pro Card and WWA Rider Experience. With 27 affiliate countries worldwide, the WWA is a rider-formed organization dedicated to promoting and growing wake sports worldwide. It is the primary source for riders, event organizers and competitive standards. For more information on the WWA and its events, check out www.thewwa.com