27Aug09 Chuncheon City South Korea Stages 2009 Wakeboard World Championships In Spectacular Setting

Past World Wakeboard Champion Jeff Weatherall NZL has a tough start this time around

Riders from 25 countries around the world were given a very warm welcome as they arrived this week at Chuncheon City located in the northeast of South Korea for the 2009 Wakeboard World Championships. The City is also known as the City of Festivals and hosts many major events each year. The very picturesque Lake Uiam competition site is located where the Bukhan and Soyang Rivers meet and is surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges which offer perfect wind protection for the Championships. The City has five Universities and is renowned as an important centre for information technology, animation and multimedia industries.

The 2009 Wakeboard World Championships are promoted by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation and Chuncheon City, are organized by the Korea Waterski and Wakeboard Association and the World Wakeboard Council, and are sponsored by Hyundai Development Company, THN Corporation and MasterCraft. Television coverage is provided by MBC TV. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 active Wakeboard Riders in this region and as a result, local Korean competition is expected to pose a serious challenge to the visiting athletes throughout the week. It is also interesting to note that the average amount of daily consumption of DMB digital TV on cell phones in Korea is 129 minutes per day. The 2009 Wakeboard World Champions are likely to be signing a lot of autographs on Saturday evening !

The Lake Uiam competition site has outstanding facilities which include a Food and Commercial Village, a three storey all-glass Judges and Media Tower and a large Starting Dock and Equipment Storage area ? ideal for major events such as these Wakeboard World Championships. . The Preliminary Rounds are staged over the period August 26th ? 28th. The Finals will commence at 11.00hrs on Saturday August 29th, followed by the Awards and Closing Ceremonies in Chuncheon. The Finals will include the following divisions ? Girls, Boys, Jr Ladies, Jr Men, Masters Men, Open Women and Open Men. Results are available at www.iwsf.com - by clicking on the Wakeboard tap at the top of the Home Page.

Giuliano Molli ITA, Mediterranean Games Gold Medalist,
off to a strong start in the Championships

Singapore's rising star Sasha Christian
makes it through the Junior Women's LCQ

The top performances in the Heats so far in the Men?s Open Division have come from Giuliano Molli ITA, Adam Fields USA, Nikita Martianov RUS, Austin Hair USA, Ireland?s David Coates and Nick Davies GBR. Davies is a past World Cup winner and a hot favorite in Korea. Surprisingly, past Wakeboard World Champion, World Cup star and Pro Rider, Jeff Weatherall NZL, did not make it out of the Heats and neither did the experienced Yong Il Kim KOR. In the Women?s Open Division, China?s ChenLiLi, another experienced World Cup star, looks very impressive and has a large local following. Strong performances were also achieved by Bec Gange AUS and Raequel Hoffman USA. In Junior Women, the Singapore teenager Sasha Christian continued her winning streak by topping her Last Chance Qualifier Heat (LCQ). With more LCQ?s to follow, some of those who missed the mark today may yet make it through.

The overall standard of performances of the Riders from 24 countries in these 2009 Wakeboard World Championships is higher than ever. With the perfect Chuncheon Lake Uiam site and organization, Singapore?s Chief Judge Paul Fong is expecting one of the most competitive Finals of all time here in Korea on Saturday. An estimated 30% of all South Koreas students dispatch more than 100 text messages per day ? and so the names of the 2009 Wakeboard World Champions are likely to hit the headlines within seconds of the results being posted at Lake Uiam!