Waterskiing Legend Freddy Krueger Soars 312 ft. for World Record and Harley Clifford Claims Gold at MasterCraft Throwdown, Wakeboarding’s Return to X Games Franchise
August 11, 2015 – Waterskiing legend and five-time World Jump Champion Freddy Krueger successfully set the world record after soaring 304 feet during the live telecast of World of X Games: MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine in Grand Rapids, Michigan. An official from the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS was onsite to honor Krueger's new record for Farthest Distance Waterski Flying of 312 feet, achieved during a practice run yesterday.
"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."
Being pulled by a MasterCraft ProStar boat, Krueger reached speeds up to 80 MPH as he launched off the kicker 30 feet into the air, exceeding the length of a football field, further pushing the boundaries of skiflying. The feat was captured live on ABC in front of a full crowd and will re-air on World of X Games tomorrow, Sunday, August 9 at 7:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
The record-setting performance capped off an action-packed day that kicked off with a world-class wakeboarding competition that featured eight of the most dominant riders in the world. The sport made its official return to the X Games franchise, which was previously a full medaled event in X Games competition from 1996-2005. Although competitors impressed with big airs and progressive style in action-packed, head-to-head elimination heats, the day belonged to Wakeboard World Champion Harley Clifford (Gold Coast, Australia) who walked away with the largest cash purse in the history of competitive watersports.
Boasting a final score of 86.33, Clifford's flawless performance wowed the crowd from start to finish as he ended with a solid combination where he linked several Mobes to win him the gold medal – multiple toeside front flips with a 540 twist.
"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. I was definitely under a lot of pressure, but couldn't be more stoked to come out with the win," said Clifford. "My final run I did a toeside 900, a frontside mobe 540, a backside mobe 540 and a crow mobe 540. Shota went out before me and I knew what I had to do and I just went for it. "
Japanese phenom Shota Tezuka took silver after a close final round against Clifford, narrowly missing the landing of the last trick of his last run. Michigan native and hometown hero Michael Dowdy brought home the bronze to round out the podium.
In addition to the competition, the inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine was met with a full beach of spectators who were entertained by 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.