Today was the Finals day of the 2007 IWSF Wakeboard World Championships. Having started off with 127 Riders from 24 Countries, now we were down to the last six in seven different categories. These ranged from Boys and Girls all the way up to Open Men and Open Women. Conditions at the Diplomatic Club were perfect. Sunshine, 32C / 94Fh and a slight headwind produced first class results in all groups.
The MasterCraft boat started the proceedings promptly at 08.00hrs. The first surprise of the day was the talented and hot favorite Phillip Soven USA not making it out of the last heats to the Finals. This made the Mens Open division a far less predictable affair. Reigning World Champion Jeff Weatherall NZL also failed to make it to the podium this time and so it was now all down to the new challengers. Superstar Andrew Adkison USA delivered a thrilling performance to become the new World Champion - followed closely by Dean Smith USA and Dan Nott GBR. The Womens Open Finals were more predictable. Dallas Friday had an early fall but absolutely dominated the entire event to take the gold medal. Reigning Champion Andrea Fountain NZL never really settled on this occasion and had to settle for fourth. Shelby Kantor took second and Chen LiLi CHN continued her run of very consistent scoring by taking third place.
The Juniors delivered very impressive performances. Judging by the displays of rising talent, the Open Divisions will be even more competitive in years to come. In the Mens section, Mitchel Langfield AUS just pipped Nikita Martianov RUS for the gold medal. In the Womens section, Caitlin Blaauw AUS dominated but Sian Hurst IRL was firts off the dock and the lead almost to the end to take a well deserved silver medal.
The Boys and Girls sections also showed how fast the standards are rising. Estelle Tuaz FRA was out on her own in taking the Girls gold medal and Harley Clifford AUS was also a very clear winner in the Boys section.
The Masters Men contained some great legends from the past. Rodo Vinh Tung FRA spend the previous days coaching young rookies here in Doha and still had eneough energy to take the silver medal. He was only just beaten by two points in losing the gold medal to Travis Osbourne AUS.
This was the most impressive IWSF Wakeboard World Championships to date. The excellent facilities provided by Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) were greatly appreciated by all. The diplomatic Club site was perfect in all regards. Aspire created a very positive atmosphere by running lessons for several hundred children at an adjacent site with Patrice Martin and Rodo Vinh Tung throughout the week. TV and Media coverage was first class - all organised by QMedia and QMSF and MasterCraft ensured that there was not even one delay in delivering high quality performances for all 124 Riders. Already, plans for a return to Doha in 2008 are being discussed.
See the final results by clicking here