Report EB meeting Lausanne 1998

After he has served for 14 years as president I took over the leadership from Aubrey together with Sid Adrieansen as Secretary general at our Congress in Bergen end of January. The four elected Admincom members are Depy Papadimitriou, Rob Tuin, Alan Goggin (new) and Franz Kuhn (new). Depy as the longest serving member replaces Graziano Tognala as Vice-President. Aubrey was nominated Honorary Vice president and can remain in this position for a maximum of two years. End of March we moved the administrative office from London to Antwerp, where it is under the responsibility of Sid. All in all I think we could realise a smooth take over without dramatic changes.

We started with a big promotional event in Turkey. Sponsored by a turkish holiday ressort the first international Water ski and Wakeboard competition was held with success. The turkish medias showed a great interest and even Eurosport broadcasted 30 minutes. In the meantime the ressort bought to boats and opened a Wakeboard school using coaches from EAME and the USA. The event will be repeated next year.

The 4th African Championships were held in Namibia. Fifty four skiers from three countries took part. We have to find a way to attract more countries to be involved.

The competition season in Europe was very busy. In addition to all the different EAME titled events we had three World events, the Tournament World Juniors in Dijon/France, the first World Wakeboard Championships in Heidelberg/Germany and the Tournament World Senior Trophy in Feldberg/Germany. All three events were well organised and we have to thank the organizers and the French and German Federation for their involvement.

In view of the Mediterranean Games in 2001 in Tunisia, Egypt was willing to organise after some years of interruption again the Mediterranean Championships. Eight countries participated, but we hope that next time it will be 3-4 more.

We have also organized for the first time an official European Wakeboard Championships. This was held with great succes in England and riders from eleven countries participated.

With Athens as the 2004 Olympic town most of the efforts towards our Olympic dream were concentrated on Europe. We tried from our side to give as much help as possible, but the main workload was on the shoulders of Graziano Tognala, Depy and Nicolas Papadimitriou.

In regard of new member countries Jean-Michel Cau, with the help of the French Government, is trying to form Federations in Maroc and Tunisia. Through the initiative of Simon Khoury an Arab Federation was founded with Jordan, UAE, Lebanon and Palestine as first members. The president is H.E. Prince Raad Ben Zeid from Jordania. We have also new contacts with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Island.

Kuno Ritschard