Raphael Derome wins the park competition, as Aaron Rathy takes the overall title.
Around 30,000 spectators lined the Garrison Channel at the Tampa Convention Center and many more tuned in live to the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC to watch 35 of the world’s top wakeboarders compete in the second annual Red Bull Wake Open. At the end of three days of competition in boat, big air and park events, Aaron Rathy was crowned the overall champion.
“I just took it one at a time, and tried to do my best in each event,” said Rathy afterward.
The camaraderie of the competitors brought out the best in flips, tricks and jam-packed action. In the end, a podium of riders would round off the world’s best in wake. Winners Raphael Derome (boat), Bob Soven (big air) and Derome (park) took home top prizes and bragging rights, with Rathy sweeping the competition by claiming the overall title. Derome and JD Webb earned second and third place overall, respectively.
“Red Bull Wake Open definitely stepped up the obstacles since last year,” said 2013 Red Bull Wake Open judge Brian Grubb. “The big air ramp-to-ramp feature has never been done in America before. It’s kind of a new thing that guys are just starting to hit so having that feature as the center of big air was really cool.”
In true wakeboarding fashion, Malibu boats pulled athletes through timed runs and overall performance on day one of the competition. The boat category of the competition was held at SunWest in Hudson, Florida, near Tampa.
The big air day was just as exhilarating as day one, with the inclusion of the first ramp-to-ramp feature ever to be seen in U.S. competition. The Sesitec System 2.0 cable system pulled the athletes through the course, launching riders up to 50 feet through the air off the kickers.
Day three rounded out the competition with the park segment and the crowning of the winners and the overall champion of the 2013 Red Bull Wake Open, Rathy. Red Bull Wake Open’s innovative format of competition pushed the world’s best wake pros to their limits and provided a platform, yet again, to advance the sport as a whole.
Boat: 1. Raph Derome, 2. Aaron Rathy, 3. Rusty Malinoski
Big Air: 1. Bob Soven, 2. Aaron Rathy, 3. Daniel Grant
Park: 1. Raph Derome, 2. Aaron Rathy 3. JD Webb
Overall: 1. Aaron Rathy, 2.Raph Derome, 3. JD Webb