Massi Piffaretti navigated the tough conditions at Cap Cana Marina and claimed the win at the Malibu Punta Cana Pro and earned his first WBWS title.
Massi Piffaretti Emerges Victorious at the 2016 Malibu Punta Cana Pro to Claim First Career Wakeboard World Series Win Nicola Butler Scores Third WBWS Win of the Season and Pro Women’s Overall Championships.
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (October 10, 2016) – The final day of competition at the 2016 Malibu Boats Punta Cana Pro presented by Rockstar Energy was a nail biter as the best wakeboarding athletes in the world took the water on Sunday at the Cap Cana Marina and competed for more than $130,000 in overall prize money. The event served as the final round of the Malibu Evolution Pro Series and Wakeboard World Series (WBWS), which went down to the final runs of the day to determine who would emerge as the overall series’ champions. Despite soaking up the beautiful tropical climate, the water provided the ultimate challenge as rough and choppy conditions surfaced as a result of several hurricanes passing through the area earlier in the week. Nitro Circus star Travis Pastrana made a guest appearance and celebrated his birthday weekend with the hottest wakeboarders in the world.
Pro Men’s semifinals kicked off the morning with their final qualifiers of the day as each rider laid their biggest tricks for a chance to compete in the finals later that afternoon. Mike Dowdy (USA) claimed the win in Heat 1, while Malibu rider Jeff Langley rode strong to take Heat 2. A stylish run by Dean Smith (AUS) watched him emerge with the win in Heat 3, followed by an electric performance from Nic Rapa (AUS) in Heat 4.
A large crowd littered the shorelines for the Pro Men’s finals that guaranteed insane riding from highly talented field that made the trek to compete from around the globe. Team Malibu Rider Massi Piffaretti (ITA) has been on fire during the second half of the season and continued to elevate his riding as he outdueled his fellow competitors for the win with an 88.33. It marked the first career WBWS win for the Italian. An inspiring performance from Smith led him to a season-high finish in second, courtesy of his 82.67 score. Tony Iacconi (AUS), who has won several WBWS events this season, scored a 79.00 and wrapped up the year by grabbing the final spot on the podium.
“I’m pretty stoked to walk away with the Pro Men’s win at the 2016 Malibu Punta Cana Pro,” said Team Malibu Rider Massi Piffaretti. “The event all around was insane, the location was amazing and riding behind Malibu’s industry-leading products allowed for me to lay down huge tricks all season. Conditions were a little bumpy on the water with a sea wall on each side of the course, but overall this is one of the best events I have been apart of and it feels good to finish the year on top.”
Iaconni claimed the Malibu Evolution Pro Series overall title thanks to his consistent riding at each of the events. Piffaretti and Dowdy tied on points for second in the Series, however, Piffaretti’s better result at the final round gave him the edge, while Dowdy took home 3rd. Dowdy struck back in the WBWS overall standings to become the No.1 ranked rider in 2016 and take home the $20,000 grand prize. Australians Iacconi and Rapa were tied going into the final round and it was up to their results in the finals to decide the podium. Separated by just 15-points for second and third, Iacconi’s podium finish gave him the edge over Rapa in the final standings.
In the Pro Women’s division, the star-studded field used pure aggression to navigate the challenging conditions on the water and laid down some of the most spectacular runs of the weekend during the finals. Nicola Butler (USA), who has had a standout season, battled Central American prodigy Larisa Morales (MEX) for the top position and both riders stood up two strong passes. Butler managed to grab the upper hand by scoring an 82.00 to sweep all three Malibu Evolution Pro Series events this season, followed closely by Morales in second with a 76.00. Team Malibu Rider Amber Wing (AUS) used her veteran experience to nail a variety of technical tricks and complete the podium in third with a 68.33.
Besides Butler scoring the Malibu Punta Cana Pro win, her successful 2016 season continued as she was announced overall series’ champion in both, the Malibu Evolution Pro Series and the WBWS. The accomplishments netted her an additional $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.
“It has been an amazing year for me by grabbing the win at all of the Malibu Evolution Pro Series stops,” said Nicola Butler. “At the beginning of the season I set goals for myself and today I was able to accomplish the goals that I had set by placing as the top overall finisher in the Malibu Evolution Pro Series and Wakeboard World Series. This has definitely been one of the best years of my career and I want to thank everyone who helps make these fantastic events possible, including Malibu, Rockstar Energy and the WWA.”
Team Malibu Rider Tarah Mikacich (USA) took home $3,000 for the runner-up position in the Malibu Evolution Pro Series, followed by Malibu teammate Wing’s third place that was good enough for a $2,000 bonus. The duo swapped positions in the WBWS standings as Wing finished second with Mikacich in third.
As the organizer and sanctioning body of the 2016 Malibu Punta Cana Pro presented by Rockstar Energy, the World Wake Association would like to thank all of its partners for their support in making the event possible, including Malibu Boats, Rockstar Energy Drink, Billabong, Ronix, and CWB.
Pro Men’s – Wakeboard Finals: Heat 01
Massi Piffaretti (ITA) – 88.33
Dean Smith (AUS) – 82.67
Tony Iacconi (AUS) – 79.00
Mike Dowdy (USA) – 75.00
Jeff Langley (USA) – 68.67
Nic Rapa (AUS) – 63.67
JD Webb (USA) – 43.33
Shota Tezuka (JPN) – 32.67
Pro Women’s – Wakeboard Finals: Heat 01
Nicola Butler (USA) – 82.00
Larisa Morales (MEX) – 76.00
Amber Wing (AUS) – 68.33
Bec Gange (AUS) – 59.00
Taylor McCullough (USA) – 53.33
Melissa Marqaurdt (USA) – 38.33
Men’s Malibu Evolution Pro Series Overall:
Tony Iacconi (AUS)
Massi Piffaretti (ITA)
Mike Dowdy (USA)
Women’s Malibu Evolution Pro Series Overall:
Nicola Butler (USA)
Tarah Mikacich (USA)
Amber Wing (AUS)
Men’s WBWS Overall Standings:
Mike Dowdy (USA) – 590
Tony Iacconi (AUS) – 525
Nic Rapa (AUS) – 510
Women’s WBWS Overall Standings:
Nicola Butler (USA) – 585
Amber Wing (AUS) – 527
Tarah Mikacich (USA) – 505