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ProWakeShow offers bright future for young wakeboaders as they head to Worlds contest
Grafton, NSW: Three young Australian wakeboarders upset the international pros to take the podium at Australia’s top international wakeboarding event the Monster Energy ProWake Show this weekend, with the $6,000 prize money split between Melbourne 22 year old Brenton Priestley and two Queensland teenagers.
Second and third place getters Cory Teunissen, 14 from Brisbane and Dylan Prideaux, 16 from the Gold Coast, earned their places on the start line during the qualifying round on Friday, which also served as the Australian selection round for the World Wakeboarding Association World Championships to be held in Indianapolis, Ind (USA) in August. The pair were among four to qualify to compete against their wakeboarding heroes in the invited top eight pro line up that featured some of the world’s top talent including event organiser Daniel Watkins, Monster Energy team riders Shawn Watson (USA), Shane Bonifay (USA) and Kevin Henshaw (CAN), Jeff Weatherall (NZ) and Australians Scotty Broome and eventual winner Priestley.
Watkins, who came 5th in the contest, said the result produced exactly what the event was intended to do: “to help young Australian wakeboarders realise their potential and give them experience competing at an international event on home soil”.
“The ProWake Show is a three hour combination of an international wakeboard contest and a show of choreographed waterskills andtheatrics, featuring kneeboarding, hi-speed skiing, big air hydrofoil boarding a jet boat, sky diving, to bring together the best in the sport,” he said.
Despite persistent rain, the event – postponed in January due to the floods – attracted almost two thousand people to the banks of Grafton’s Clarence River, which the international riders declared could become Australia’s new wakeboarding mecca.
Legendary American rider Shane Bonifay from Florida, who has multiply taken out every wakeboarding title in his decade long career, said “the crowd response and the level of riding at the Monster Energy ProWake Show has been inspiring for us –it’s great to see so many young Aussies riding so well”.
For winner Brenton Priestley, the win was his first on the pro circuit after having originally taken out the rookie of the year award on the Australian Pro Tour of Wakeboarding series in 2004. “Winning the Monster Energy ProWake Show means I can go back to America to compete this year,” he said.
Second place getter Cory Teunissen qualified against the likes of Warner’s Bay 14 year old Tony Iacconi, who narrowly missed out on a berth in what was a very competitive Junior Men’s qualifier on Friday.
Watkins says “it was disappointing for Tony but shows how exciting and competitive the juniors are and really giving us older professionals a run for our money.”
Watkins thanks the Clarence Valley Council and Mayor Richie Williamson for supporting the event and said he looked forward to being able to offer wakeboarding opportunities to local through his ProWake school in the area.
those in bold qualified on Friday
1st Brenton Priestley, 22, Melbourne (VIC)
2nd Cory Teunissen, 14, Brisbane (QLD)
3rd Dylan Prideaux, 16, Gold Coast (QLD)
=5th Daniel Watkins, 35, Gold Coast (QLD)
=5th Kevin Henshaw, 24, Canada
=5th Shane Bonifay, USA
=8th Lachlan Burgess, 22, Tailem Bend (SA)
=8th Jeff Weatherall, 30, New Zealand
=8th Brett Eisenhauer, 34, Wagga Wagga (NSW)
=8th Shawn Watson, 28, USA
=8th Scotty Broome, 27, Sydney (NSW)
=8th Brand Teunissen, 16, Gold Coast (QLD)
WWA QUALIFIERS – winner in each dvision goes through to represent Australia at worlds
1. Chloe Mills (12 y/o) Eden Park, Vic
2. Ashleigh Blake
3. Jordan Mills
4. Tanisha Iacconi
1. Cory Turnball (22 y/o) Coomera, Qld
2. Jordan Uran
3. Jason DeGroot
4. Damo Cox
5. Daniel Townsend
1. Jesse Scott (13 y/o) Urunga, NSW
2. Cobe France (12 y/o) Gold Coast, QLD
3. Cannon Campbell
1. Dylan Prideaux (16 y/o) Gold Coast, QLD
2. Brad Teunissen (16 y/o) Brisbane, QLD
3. Cory Teunissen (14 y/o) Brisbane, QLD
4. James Windsor
5. Tony Iacconi (14 y/o) Warner’s Bay, NSW
1. Lachlan Burgess (22 y/o) Tailem Bend, SA