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Saturday marked the final day of the fifth year of the Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown and it was one of the wildest finishes in the series’ history. With both Graeme Burress and Tom Fooshee failing to make it past the quarterfinals, the overall title was open for the taking. This also meant that for the first time in the Monster Energy WPTC Tom Fooshee would not be on top of the overall title podium.
Going into the event Aaron Gunn was in prime position to take the overall title. According to the mathematicians he only need to finish 3rd or better to take the overall title. What the math folks failed to realize though was just how close Chandler Powell was, as well. Aaron Gunn did manage to take 3rd in the Men’s Pro Features event, but Chandler got first. The 100 points for first gave him just enough of an edge over Gunn to get the overall title. Had Chandler gotten 2nd he would not have surpassed Gunn. Had Gunn gotten 2nd instead of 1st, he would have had enough points to be the overall champ. Needless to say, it was an incredible finish at what is by far one of the best wake park facilities in the world.
After an amazing year in the Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown series the final rankings are out. Each year the riding in the WPTC has gotten better and better, and much more competitive. For the first four years though nobody could take down Tom Fooshee from his overall titles – either in Pro Men’s Cable format or Pro Men’s Features format. This year though, The King couldn’t hold onto his crown for Pro Men’s Features. In what will go down as one of the wildest finishes in the five years of WPTC events, Chandler Powell put it all on the line and went for broke during the finals of the Pro Men’s Features event this weekend at BSR Cable Park in Waco, TX. His hard-charging paid off and he found himself on top of the podium for both that event and for the overall title, just barely edging out Australian Aaron Gunn.
Despite missing the podium at the first two events (CajunX and Terminus), Powell was able to surge ahead of Gunn in the standings with his first place finish at the final stop. Had Gunn managed to get second place, or had Powell finished in second, Gunn would have taken the overall title. In the end they were only separated by 14 points.
The Top Male Wakeboarders category was unchanged in the top spot, but the #2 spot went to a rider that has never before appeared anywhere in the Riders Choice Awards; Brad Smeele. If you don’t already know, Brad suffered a spinal cord injury earlier this summer and has been paralyzed from the neck down ever since. Brad is an amazing rider, so not only is his #2 position a great tribute, but it’s also well-deserved. The rest of the top 10 is a reshuffling of last year’s results other than the ouster of Shaun Murray in favor of Steel Lafferty.
The only rider that was mentioned in three categories for 2014 (four if you count his pro model wakeskate) is Daniel Grant. He has a spot as a Top Male Wakeboarder, Top Wakeskater and got the trophy for Rail Rider of the Year. However, Daniel relinquished his Cable Rider of the Year from 2013 and Tom Fooshee has taken over that award.
Now let’s move on from riders to products. This year’s Wakeboard of the Year remains in the hands of the most popular name in the Riders Choice Awards with the Liquid Force Harley grabbing the honor for the fourth year in a row.