All of the top wakeboaders in the world kicked off the 2013 Red Bull Wake Open with the BOAT contest towed by the Malibu WAKESETTER 22 MXZ at a scenic, private location outside of Tampa, Florida on July 3-4, 2013.

Team Malibu had four invited riders including Oli Derome, Chad Sharpe, Phil Soven and last year’s defending overall champion, Raph Derome. Conditions were flat and the wake was banging, with Brian Grubb at the helm of the towboat.

Progressive in nature, this wake riding format allowed riders two long passes and judges would score their best six-trick pass. Riders were also required to include one signature trick consisting of a 360 or less. This encouraged big air, style and individuality. In the final, riders were rewarded with a double up to add to their score.

Phil and Raph made it past the qualifying round and Raph found himself in the six-man final. After taking third last year in the BOAT event, everyone knew Raph would be a podium threat. He stomped a clean and technical second pass including a stylish mute crow 5, backside 720 and Raph stamped his run with a switch heelside 900 off the double up. This impressive flow of high-end tricks launched Raph onto the top of the podium in first place!

“I’m super stoked to have landed everything I wanted, and the finals were amazing,” Raph said. “I’m really lucky to have a 22 MXZ back home, so I’m comfortable behind it and the wake today was bangin’. One big strength about the Malibu wake is that it never curls and it’s just massive, so you can do whatever kind of tricks you want. There’s also a nice transition to land on. This wake definitely helped my riding this weekend and all the other riders were pumped on it too.”

Watch the BOAT highlights on NBC this Saturday July 6 at 4 p.m. EST. Producer Sean Osborne and crew of the best action sports cameramen shot the BOAT event from every angle with the best cameras in the world, including the RED Epic, Phantom and Cineflex, which was mounted from the nose of a helicopter.

Special thanks to Red Bull, Tommy’s Florida, Sean Dishman, Chris Bischoff and Priscilla Scollin as well as the judging crew of Rob Corum, Jimmy Trask and Ben Greenwood.