The MasterCraft Throwdown on August 8 in Grand Rapids will feature the top athletes in wakeboarding and Skifly, capped by a performance by multi-platinum country music artist Kip Moore to complement the sports and entertainment lineup. The event, taking place at Millennium Park and created by ESPN X Games and MasterCraft Boats, will be featured in a 90-minute, live World of X Games special at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Boasting the largest single event prize purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding, the MasterCraft Throwdown will pit the biggest names in the sport in head-to-head, single elimination heats where athletes will be scored on their biggest and best tricks. In addition, officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand as ski jumping legend Freddy Krueger will attempt to soar the length of a football field in hopes of breaking the current World Skifly Record of 299 feet – set back in 2000 by Jared Llewellyn.
The MasterCraft Throwdown athlete lineup is as follows:
- Harley Clifford, age 22 (Gold Coast, Australia) – Nicknamed “The Phenom,” Clifford is a three-time Pro Wakeboard Tour (PWT) World Champion and World Wakeboard Association (WWA) World Champion and current King of Wake champion.
- Mike Dowdy, age 21 (Pinckney, Michigan) – First to land the Moby Dick 720 and the switch double back roll to revert in contest, Dowdy was also the 2012 Junior Masters Champion and 2013 Rookie of the Year
- Danny Harf, age 31 (Visalia, California / Orlando, Florida) – Harf is a four-time X Games gold medalist, two-time U.S. Masters Champion, Multiple PWT World Champion, WWA National Champion and first athlete to land the 1260, a three and a half rotation spin.
- Rusty Malinoski, 31 (Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada) – nicknamed the “Bone Crusher” for his strong and powerful style. Malinoski is a 2005 X Games competitor, two-time Wakeboarder of the Year, PWT World Champion and WWA National Champion
- Massi Piffaretti, age 21 (Como, Italy / Orlando, Florida) – Recently, Piffaretti achieved his goal to land a double rotation trick known as the “FS 360 Rewind” where he combines two aerial spins – two complete front side spins and then rewinds to spin 180 degrees in opposite directions.
- Aaron Rathy, age 27 (Nanaimo, British Columbia / Winter Garden, Florida) – 2013 Wake Open champion showcasing the best overall ability in best in boat, big air and park.
- Bob Soven, age 24 (Longwood, Florida) – Soven was featured in the 2012 MTV series,WakeBrothers with brother Phil, who is also a pro wakeboarder and X Games gold medalist.
- Shota Tezuka, age 22 (Shizuoka, Japan) – The Japanese wonderboy is an International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Tour Champion, 2011 WWA World Champion and 2011 Rookie of the Year
- Freddy Krueger, age 40 (Decatur, Illinois / Winter Gardens, Florida) – Although he may be the oldest competitor at the MasterCraft Throwdown, Krueger is one of the most decorated athletes in waterskiing as a World Jump Champion and 11-time Masters Jump Champion. He will attempt to break the current World Skifly Record – a record currently held by Jared Llewellyn at 299 feet set back in 2000.
*PLEASE NOTE: The athlete list is subject to change.
Rounding out the day of competition, musical guest Kip Moore will take center stage at the MasterCraft Throwdown on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The lead single from the MCA Nashville recording artist’s upcoming sophomore album, “I’m To Blame,” is steadily climbing the radio charts and has already become a fan favorite during Moore’s live shows. Currently on the road on Dierks Bentley’s 2015 Sounds Of Summer Tour, the singer-songwriter has earned critical acclaim for his “high energy” (Rolling Stone) live show with Chicago Sun Times heralding him as “carving his own niche in country music…that sets him apart from the flock of country music rockers.”
Named American Country Countdown Award’s “Breakthrough Artist Of The Year,” Moore earned PLATINUM certification for his No. One smash hit “Hey Pretty Girl,” and DOUBLE PLATINUM status for his chart-topping breakout hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck.” For the latest updates, visit www.kipmoore.net.
“Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love outdoor sports. This is a dream gig for me,” said Moore. “It’ll be cool to see the professionals out there doing their thing, maybe I’ll pick up some tips from them while I’m there.”
Produced by live action sports mastermind Gregg Godfrey, the MasterCraft Throwdown will also feature a full line-up of entertainment including pyrotechnics, light shows, “waterslide slip ‘n fly,” “hydryoskimming” motorcycles across the lake and more. Wakeboarding legend and two-time X Games gold medalist Parks Bonifay will emcee the event.
The most updated details on the MasterCraft Throwdown including ticket information, competition schedule, athletes, music and entertainment is available at www.mastercraftthrowdown.com.
The World of X Games is a weekly program on ABC and ESPN platforms, which 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.