CHINA ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR WATERSKIERS AND FORMULA 1 DRIVERS
For the very first time, the Shanghai area will host both the Waterski World Cup and the Chinese Grand Prix. The new Waterski Arena at Changshu is now ready for it’s first Waterski World Cup Stop. Changshu is widely known as The Future City – and with good reason. A totally new Shanghai Grand Prix Circuit, designed by Herman Tilke, is also ready for the first Formula 1 race ever held in China.
Shanghai’s Metropolitan area is five times larger than the City of Los Angeles and has a population of 17 million. This will guarantee very large attendances for both events. The Changshu Waterski Arena is expecting between 60,000 and 80,000 spectators. China Central Television (CCTV) will broadcast the Waterski World Cup through it’s 209 domestic TV Stations. With over 400 million TV sets in China, CCTV will provide two and a half hours of live transmission. The new Formula 1 Grandstand will hold 50,000 spectators in magnificent surroundings. Everything about these two spectacular events will be on a major scale. Both promise to be exceptional experiences.
Sport in China is big news these days. Having taken 32 Gold Medals in the Athens Olympic Games, the pending arrival in China of the best Waterskiers and the best Formula 1 Drivers in the World, will keep that interest on fire ! The similarities between these two sports are uncanny. With live TV coverage of both events, for the viewers the choice is simplified as one week separates each activity – with FI occupying this coming weekend and the Waterski World Cup the following one on October 1st and 2nd.
‘And now for some fascinating similarities. The current Mens Waterski World Jump Champion, Freddy Krueger (USA), and the Current F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher (GER), have much in common. Freddy started his Waterski career at the tender age of 3. Michael drove his first Kart at 4. Both are exactly the same height at 1.74m. Coincidentally, both just happen to weigh 68 kgs. These physical details are key to the success of Mr Krueger and Mr Schumacher. What their bodies must endure is even more stunning. When Schumacher takes off at full throttle from the Grid down that new 1km Shanghai straight, he will propel his Ferrari from Zero to 100 kph in just 2.7 seconds. Many normal humans would simply black-out from this acceleration. When Krueger turns towards the new Changshu Jump Ramp for that final whip over it’s surface, he will travel from Zero to 100 kph in only 1.8 seconds ! No Formula 1 Car on the Shanghai Grid could produce such a performance. Even the legendary Michael Schumacher might black-out from that acceleration. These are two exceptional athletes.
For true sports lovers out there, here is a final scenario to ponder. Reports suggest that Formula 1 Drivers endure a level of over 3G’s of lateral force when cornering. Drinking from the on-board water bottles becomes impossible at certain points around the Track – a total energy draining experience which can also result in black-outs. When Waterski Jumper Freddy Krueger enters the Jump Ramp surface in Changshu on October 1st and 2nd, he will pick up a staggering 10 G’s for 75 thousandths of a second at that point ! Milliseconds later, he will again pick up 2.2 G’s as he launches himself off the top of the Jump Ramp. The sport of Waterskiing should truly be a great cross training discipline for Formula 1 Drivers – at least for those capable of sustaining the pressures.
The 2004 Waterski World Cup kicked off in Dubna / Russia in July. This was followed by the London Stop in August. With the Changshu Stop in China next week and the USA and Qatar Stops yet to come, the leader table shows that the World Cup titles are still wide open. The World Jump Champion, Freddy Krueger, holds the lead with 375 points. Canada’s Jaret Llewellyn is close on his heels with 299.9 points. In the Ladies Jump event, Australia’s World Champion, Emma Sheers, has a more commanding lead with 247.3 points compared to Clementine Lucine’s (FRA) 195.6 points. When Emma Sheers visited Changshu last week to help in the promotion of this World Cup stop, 22 News Agencies and CCTV covered the details. She was also questioned by over 500 students about her career as a Waterski World Champion !
With Waterski athletes from 15 Countries represented in Changshu and the US$650,000 season’s cash prize at stake, the other Waterski World Cup leaders are well distributed. In Tricks, two French athletes lead at this point - Nicolas LeForestier and Clementine Lucine. In Slalom, Britain’s Glen Campbell and USA athlete, Natalie Hamrick, will wear the leaders distinctive World Cup yellow bibs. Now that the rainy season of this subtropical region is moving away from the Shanghai area and with temperatures of 25C forecasted, both the Waterski athletes and Formula 1 Drivers should have perfect conditions to perform at their best.
The Changshu Waterski World Cup stop will be attended by the Mayor of Changshu, the Vice President of China’s National Olympic Council, the Director of the China Water Sports Administration, the Director of the Sports Bureau and many other dignitaries. The main sponsors will be The Future City and MasterCraft.
WATERSKI ACTION GUIDE :
IWSF Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup
IWSF Wakeboard World Cup Stop
October 30th / 31st
Official Towboat Sponsor for 2004 World Cup
Changshu - Official Sponsor of the 2004 China World Cup Stop