MasterCraft (NASDAQ: MCFT) athletes put on quite a show during the inaugural World of X Games: MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine including a new world Skifly jump record and the top two podium spots in wakeboarding's return to the X Games franchise.
Waterskiing legend and five-time World Jump Champion Freddy "The Nightmar" Krueger wowed crowds with two jumps of more than 300 feet, both further than the length of a football field, breaking the previous world record of 299 feet set back in 2000. Being pulled by a MasterCraft ProStar boat outfitted with a modified 7.4L GM Marine engine marinized by Ilmor, Krueger reached speeds up to 80 MPH as he launched off the custom-built ramp in front of a full beach of cheering spectators.
"I've always dreamed about being the best at something and today, with the help of everyone involved with this production, I can say that I am," said Krueger. "I am so humbled to be allowed to achieve my dream at an event like this. I'm ecstatic on the inside but more than anything, I'm humbled by the support all around me. This experience has been unreal."
Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records were on hand during practice on Friday to certify Freddy's successful 312 foot jump, as well an additional jump of 304 feet during Saturday's performance, adding another world record to his long list of accomplishments including the world record for long distance waterski jumping, five-time World Jump Champion and 11-time Masters Jump Champion.
The record-setting performance capped off an action-packed day with wakeboarding making its official return to the X Games franchise earlier in the day. The top eight riders in the world competed in a new pressure-packed format with head-to-head elimination heats deciding who walked away with the biggest cash purse in the history of competitive watersports.
Aussie phenom Harley Clifford took the top spot on the podium out-dueling fellow MasterCraft team rider Shota Tezuka in the finals. Michigan native Mike Dowdy rounded out the podium with a third place finish. Boasting a final score of 86.33, Clifford's flawless performance captivated the crowd from start to finish as he ended with a solid combination linking several mind-blowing mobes, front flips with a 540 twist, to take home the gold medal.
"Winning the first-ever MasterCraft Throwdown is crazy. It's probably the biggest event I've ever been in – it was live on TV and tons of people watching," said Clifford. "I was definitely under a lot of pressure, but couldn't be more stoked to come out with the win." In addition to the competition, the inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine showcased the crowd-engaging antics of Gregg Godfrey and the Godfrey Clan as they boosted family members off the Blob, back-flipped jet skis and hydroskimmed motorcycles across the water. Multi-platinum country recording artist Kip Moore rounded out the evening with a live performance.
Bringing together the biggest names on the water today, MasterCraft in collaboration with ESPN/World of X Games would like to thank GM Marine as the presenting sponsor of the inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown. The official MasterCraft towboats were powered by GM Marine engines marinized by Ilmor which allowed the world-class athletes to break world records and push the boundaries of competitive watersports. Additional sponsorship involvement provided by Ilmor Marine, Action Water Sports, Ronix, Radar, CWB, Connelly, West Michigan Sports Commission and Spectrum Health.
The World of X Games series features a variety of X Games and athlete-focused content. For the most updated schedule and information on World of X Games, go to www.xgames.com. Check local listings for additional details.
High resolution images of the event can be found at www.espnimages.com. Embeddable video of Freddy Kreuger's world-record breaking skifly jump can be viewed here: http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/video/13400752/freddy-krueger-sets-world-skifly-record.