Following a one year rest, the 46th Moomba Masters returned with all the spectacle intact. Ski Shows, Night Jumping, Fireworks displays and the Moomba Championships , attracted capacity crowds to Melbourne’s Yarra River once again. A light head wind, 25C temperatures (sometimes) and challenging water conditions all added to the fun and excitement.


There were many surprises on the water. Felippe Miranda (CHI) and Danyelle Bennett (USA) suffered spectacular crashes on the Jump Ramp. Those to fail to reach the Finals included Thomas Degasperi (ITA) and Terry Winter (USA) in Slalom, Christian Rampanelli (ITA) and Scott Ellis (USA) in Jump and Brigitte Lethem (FRA) and Joy Todd (USA) in Tricks.


The Finals also produced some real shocks. Hot favourite and World Champion Mandy Nightingale (USA) had a rare early fall in Tricks to spoil her chances of success. Seventeen-year-old Michale Briant (AUS) was the real sensation with a score of 7780 giving her not only the Moomba title but also an Australian U17, U21 and Open Record. The big surprise in Mens Tricks was the unprecedented first trick fall of Aliaksei Zharnasek (BLR). Joel Wing (AUS) kicked off with a very impressive 9020 points score but today was victory day for newly married Javier Julio (ARG) with his 10,040 points score.


Slalom was equally dramatic. Almost all struggled with the tail current and breeze in the opening pass. Only four Men made it to the 11.25m line. Following his silver medal performance in Crighton Lake in New Zealand the previous weekend, Californian Marcus Brown, and Aaron Larkin (NZL), set the early target with 2.5 buoys on the 11.25m line. Second last off the dock, the World Cup Slalom Champion Jodie Fisher (GBR) broke through with an outstanding 4.5 buoys on the same line. Last off was World Record holder Chris Parrish (USA) – and the stage was his. As with Jodie Fisher, he opted to start with the shorter 13m line, ran the six buoys and then skipped the 12m line to come back on the 11.25m line – head on into the wind and current. Unfortunately, it all ended at buoy three and the brave gamble did not pay off on the day. Victory went to Jodie Fisher. The Women’s Slalom was more predictable. Jill Knutson (USA) just scraped her way in to the Finals but her 2.5 buoys on the 12m line beat all but the top two performances. Sarah Green (GBR) was as strong as ever with an impressive four buoys on the same line – but Karen Truelove (USA) was the only athlete to reach the 11.25m line and one buoy was enough to take the title.


That headwind was still there for the Jumpers. All of the six Women Finalists exceeded 42m. Young Stinne Soendergaard (DEN) kicked off with an impressive 42.6m. score. However, all through the previous stages, the two Greek athletes dominated. Maria Vibranietsova pushed the target up to 44.7m and on a normal day, this should have taken the title. However, World Champion Ageliki Andriopoulou opened up with a very impressive 47.0m score and that clinched the title. All but one of the eight Men Finalists exceeded 60.0m. Young Ryan Dodd (CAN) impressed all week and his 65.8m performance looked like a title score. That left the very familiar duel of Freddy Krueger (USA) and Jaret Llewellyn (CAN). Freddy beat Jaret in every major event in 2006. However, Jaret beat Freddy here twice in the Prelims this week. The huge crowd cheered to the heavens. Freddy pushed as far as he could against the current and head wind and landed 66.2m on Jump two. Jaret responded with 65.8m on his second attempt. One to go – and a gap of just 0.4m. Try as he did, his final attempt just fell a little short at 65.8. This title went to Freddy.



1. Karen Truelove (USA)

2. Sarah Green (GBR)

3. Jill Knutson (USA)


1. Jodi Fisher (GBR)

2. Aaron Larkin (NZL)

3. Marcus Brown (USA)



1. Michale Briant (AUS)

2. Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE)

3. Rhoni Barton Bishoff (USA)


1. Javier Julio (ARG)

2. Ryan Dodd (CAN)

3. Joel Wing (AUS)




1. Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE)

2. Maria Vibranietsova (GRE

3. Marion Mathieu (FRA)


1. Freddy Krueger (USA)

2. Jaret Llewellyn (CAN)

3. Ryan Dodd (CAN)