Aussies spring a surprise
THREE young Australian wakeboarders upset the international pros to take the podium at Australia's top international wakeboarding event, the Monster Energy ProWake Show at the weekend.
As a result, the $6000 prize money was split between Melbourne 22-year-old Brenton Priestley and two Queensland teenagers.
Second and third place-getters Cory Teunissen, 14, from Brisbane and Gold Coaster Dylan Prideaux, 16, 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 (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 finished fifth, said the result was exactly what the event was intended to do – help young Australian wakeboarders realise their potential.
Despite persistent rain, the event – postponed in January due to the floods – attracted almost 2000 people to the Clarence River, which the international riders declared could become Australia's new wakeboarding mecca.
For 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.