MasterCraft Boats and ESPN’s X Games announced a renewed collaboration, providing an entirely new platform to showcase athletes in wakeboarding and waterskiing.
MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will debut as part of the “World of X Games” series on ABC this summer.
The invitation-only, inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown is set to take place at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Aug. 8. Thousands of spectators are expected and watersports enthusiasts will be able to watch live on ABC.
The competition will pit the best wakeboard athletes in the world in head-to-head elimination heats with the added pressure of a “one run, fall-and-you’re-done” format, which forces riders to pull out their best tricks. Embracing the “go big or go home” mantra, the event also will feature an amped-up version of long-distance ski jumping in an attempt to break a world record.
Boasting the largest single event cash purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding/waterskiing, the MasterCraft Throwdown will include top-ranked pros, past X Games medalists, Pro Wakeboard Tour champions and world champions.
Ski jumping legend Freddy Krueger will be resurrecting the gravity-defying sport of skiflying with officials from the Guinness Book of World Records on hand to witness his attempt to soar the length of a football field in hopes of surpassing the current World Skifly Record of 299 feet.
“MasterCraft has long been at the forefront of progression in watersports, from the company’s initial roots in competitive water skiing to its current role reinvigorating the landscape of wakeboarding competitions,” MasterCraft Boats president and CEO Terry McNew said in a statement. “ESPN and the World of X Games will serve as the perfect platform to showcase the amazing athletes currently pushing the limits of the sport and expose the future of watersports to a global audience.”
The MasterCraft Throwdown also will feature entertainment that includes a live musical performance by a recording artist, pyrotechnics, zany stunts and flying unicorns. It will be produced by Gregg Godfrey, the brain behind Nitro Circus.
In anticipation of the August event, “World of X Games” will add a Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft competition to the previously announced lineup of Real Series competitions. A video-based competition, Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will feature eight pairs of wakeboarding’s top athletes and filmers producing original videos highlighting their styles.
All eight videos will drop July 15 on www.XGames.com/RealWake, where fans can view each segment and vote for their favorite. The competition will culminate in a one-hour “World of X Games” program airing July 25 on ABC, highlighting the top five riders.
“We are thrilled to have wakeboarding back as part of the World of X Games,” said Tim Reed, vice president of X Games. “The MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft are both perfect and exciting opportunities for us to work with the leading boat brand to develop a brand new progressive event and compelling video series for the industry and its fans.”