12Sep08 Successor To Spanish Crown, HRH The Prince of Asturias Felipe de Borbon y Grecia, Visits World Senior Trophy Today At Sesena for Some Tricks and Jump Finals

Franz Oberleitner with HRH

Following four long days of Preliminary Rounds at the 2008 Sesena World Senior Trophy Championships in Spain, this afternoon kicked off the first of the Finals. His Royal Highness, the Prince of Spain, a keen Waterskier, arrived just in time to enjoy the first round of Finals in Senior 3 Mens and Ladies Tricks, and also Senior 2 Mens Jump. In perfect sunny conditions with a slight chill in the Autumn air, the performances were outstanding and provided a thrilling programme for the spectators.

The first Final was Senior 3 Mens Tricks. The ten Finalists represented France, Germany, USA, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Argentina. Denmark?s Ib Trier Pedersen was seventh off the dock and the first to break 2000 points with 2290 ? just ahead of Australia?s Alan Dagg. Canada?s Pierre Plouffe responded with 2610 points. The defending champion, Edgardo Martin from Argentina, had enthralled the spectators all week with his outstanding Slalom performances and he now increased the scores to 3360 points. With just Lars Arp Hansen (DEN) left on the dock ? silver medalist from 2006 ? he somehow managed to find an additional 90 points to beat Edgardo this time with a score of 3450 points. We had our first 2008 gold medalist.

Senior Men 3 Tricks

1. Lars Arp Hansen
2. Edgardo Martin
3. Pierre Plouffe

Next came the Senior 3 Ladies Tricks Final. With only two entrants, the situation from the Preliminary Round did not change. Leza Harrison (USA) beat Gabriele Hueller (GER) by a comfortable margin of 680 points with a total score of 3000 points.

Senior Women 3 Tricks

1. Leza Harrfison
2. Gabriele Hueller

His Royal Highness sat with the spectators for the exciting Senior 2 Mens Jump Finals and as expected, this was a thriller. With eight Finalists representing Ireland, Germany, USA and Austria, some of the names involved are household names in our sport. Mike Morgan (USA), one of the World?s most gifted senior three eventers, qualified in semi darkness last night and today was the first to exceed 40m with a distance of 47.9m / 157ft. Steve Raybourne (USA) immediately responded with 46.2m / 152ft but could not get ahead of Mike Morgan. This just left Franz Oberleitner (AUT) a legend to many, to take on the challenge as the warm sun began to sink to the west. In the Prelims he scored a distance of 51.0m / 167ft. His very first distance today was 50.1m, his second was 51.0m and his final distance of 53.4m / 175ft brought a huge roar from the enthusiastic spectators. Later, the Prince of Spain congratulated Franz on his superb performance and he clearly enjoyed this thrilling Senior 2 Jump Final.

Senior Men 2 Jump

1. Franz Oberleitner
2. Mike Morgan
3. Steve Raybourne