You Win Some, You Lose Some
We had the pleasure of being on-site with our Ambush Board Co. family this past weekend for the Nautique Wakeboard Championships, and it was everything we knew it would be. Our team riders Mike Dowdy and Massi Piffaretti both were on fire for Friday’s quarterfinals with a 90.33 and 90.00, respectively, so we knew Saturday was going to be lit. The day of the finals was super rad – families, chicks, dogs, just about everyone was on the beach enjoying the hot summer day with equally hot action on the water. One of the most legendary spots to watch the event is from the row of boats floating just outside the contest run, but you really need to wear your drinking helmet if you’re going to do that, because that crew likes to party. Heading into semifinals we saw all our boys make it through plus some heavy runs by friends JD Webb and Noah Flegel, who are no strangers to the massive Nautique G23 wake. Once it got to the finals the shoreline went ballistic for Massi as he was slaying his run – blind pete, heavy 9, the zero – but his last trick, the double flip, didn’t quite pan out for him this day. Most the guys did some pretty solid riding, but the last rider off the dock was Mike Dowdy, and his focus and determination was at an all-time high. Mike had a super solid run and on his second pass. Unfortunately, he came up short on a mobe 5, or…should we say long. See…once you are on your second pass there are 3/4 markings, and if you fall past those markings, you don’t get picked up. The toughest part was that it appeared he fell right on the line, which would have allowed him (like other riders the day before) a shot at getting back up and finishing out two more tricks. With a heavy hand down from the judges, Mike was deemed past the line and not allowed to complete his run. Mike kept his composure (better then most people, I’m sure) and that meant there would be a new winner. Australian Tony Iaconni took the top spot that day and earned his first win, and was followed by fellow Australian, Nic Rapa. Good ole American boy and Nautique team rider, Noah Flegel, finished in third.
It’s really something special to be able to watch these athletes ride in person, especially because of how advanced the tricks are getting and how young many of the riders are. Seriously, the Jr. Mens division looks like the Pro Tour of 2006. The girls kicked ass, too. Our homegirl, Nicola Butler, got a new husky puppy and harnessed all that puppy power and pulled of a podium spot, finishing 3rd, while the legend Amber Wing and her son William stood at the top of the podium as she claimed her 6th National Championship. Babies and puppies – the women’s division is on a whole new level you could say.
Check out the recap video of Tony’s Nautique National Championship pass:
We look forward to the next Nautique Wake Series event! Here are a few images from the Nationals: