11Oct08 Wakeboard World Cup Singapore Saturday Qualification Day

Dean Smith (AUS) just makes it into the Semi-Finals

Today was possibly one of the greatest multi-discipline days of the past 24 World Cup Stops. From 10.00hrs, the spectators were treated to a feast of choices ? all built around the World Cup programme. Supported by the Singapore Sports Council and Tote Board & Singapore Pools, there was something today for all. This included Wakeboard, a Rail Jam, free Boat and Jet Ski Rides for spectators, Touch Rugby for the World Cup Riders, F3000 Power Boat Races and finishing with the first ever Hip-Hop party on the Floating Platform in Marina Bay which is scheduled to run till 04.00hrs on Sunday morning ! With DJ?s from seven countries on stage, this may keep Singapore awake all night !

Riders enjoying Singapore - Dean Smith (AUS), Kris Bower (AUS) and Jeff Weatherall (NZL)

To the surprise of many spectators, the World Cup Riders Touch Rugby Team put in a performance as good as many Rugby Clubs and Andrew Adkison was an impressive scorer. In the F3000 Power Boat Heats, the leading boats exceeded 160kph right in front of the very elegant World Cup VIP catering area. One of the most successful events today was the Rail Jam. This was perfect for the fans as the three huge water tanks were located right in the middle of the Floating Platform. The World Cup Pro Riders mixed it up with the local Singapore talent and produced some eye-watering crashes ! All the owners of some very impressive Nikon and Canon cameras went home happy too.

World Cup Rail Jam on the huge Floating Platform

As the World Cup Pro Men Qualifying Round kicked off at 15.30hrs and with temperatures exceeding 32C, all eyes turned to the spectacular Marina Bay lagoon. Against the towering backdrop of Singapore, China?s Luo Jian was the first Rider on the water in Heat 1. Only three Riders from each Heat advanced to the World Cup Semi-Finals. Luo was unlucky today and this allowed Chad Sharpe CAN, Trevor Hansen USA and Dan Knott GBR to advance.

In Heat 2 five Riders fought for three places. The last one off the dock and six-time NZL National Champion, Jeff Weatherall, was in blistering form and took the top score. In this Heat, Ronnie Cheung HKG and Max Christian SIN were not so lucky. Two-time Australian National Champion Dean Smith had a very close call and only just scraped ahead of Ronnie Cheung. Those who moved through with Jeff Weatherall were Park Sung Jun KOR and Dean Smith AUS.

Heat 3 was always going to be tough. IWSF World Champion Andrew Adkison USA was last off the dock and he put in the most outstanding performance of the day. That left two places in this Heat. Nick Davies GBR is just 19 years of age and has already taken the World Cup Stop title at Hacienda Bay in Egypt just a few weeks ago. Although he did not outscore Andrew Adkison, he took a Semi-Finals place and put all on guard that the Singapore World Cup title could also be his tomorrow. That left one place in this Heat. Kim Yongil KOR took this comfortably pushing out Wan Ka Choi HKG and Giulliano Molli ITA.

Heat 4 was a guaranteed show-stopper. This included rising star Jarrod Askew AUS, 2008 US Masters Champion Rusty Malinoski CAN, Dutch National Champion Michael Timmers, South Africa National Champion Shaun Faccio ? and last off the World Cup dock, Phillip Soven USA who has taken the past four World Cup titles here in Singapore. Surprises followed. Sixteen year old Jarrod Askew was first to rock the boat with a stunning and hard-to-beat performance. Shaun Faccio RSA also greatly impressed. Very unusual for him, Rusty Malinoski ran in to all kinds of trouble. Phillip Soven also had some scares and with some scoring delays, as the sun set tonight, the scores of Heat 4 were still being reviewed. Did Rusty Malinoski make it through ? Did Jarrod Askew out perform Phillip Soven ? Eventually, under the moonlit sky on another very hot evening here in Singapore, the details emerged. Rusty did not make it through and Jarrod secured his place with just five points less than Phillip to join Shaun Faccio in tomorrow?s Semi-Finals..

Here are the confirmed Semi-Finalists :

Chad Sharpe CAN
Trevor Hansen USA
Dan Nott GBR
Jeff Weatherall NZL
Park Sung Jun KOR
Dean Smith AUS
Andrew Adkison USA
Nick Davies GBR
Kim Yongil KOR
Phillip Soven USA
Jarrod Askew AUS
Shaun Faccio RSA