Young Guns Take Aim at Nationals Junior
Monday, April 03, 2006
The Junior Men’s (15-18 years) class at this year’s
Corona New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals will be the most hotly contested
ever, with young guns Darren Bishop, Ben Carter, Nigel Harding and
Chris Dunn all in the running.
Darren Bishop is a high-performing 18-year-old who gleaned a second
at the 2004 College Games and took a worthy first in the Junior
Men’s division at the 2005 NZ Nationals. Representing New
Zealand at the 2004-05 WWC Worlds in Russia late last year, Darren
also took top honours at the PWSC Regional Championships in February
of this year.
At just 16, Ben Carter is the youngest of these title hopefuls,
but has proven himself capable of performing at the highest levels.
Ben topped the board at the 2004 College Games and has been a four-time
winner of the Junior Boys division at National level.
Ben represented New Zealand at WWC Worlds, held in Sydney in 2003,
and also notched up a second at this year’s PWSC Regional
Championships behind Darren Bishop. Invited to
ride at the 2006 Wakeup Pro Tournament and Tairua Pipemasters, Ben
is without doubt one to watch.
Nigel Harding is 18 years old and ranks as one of the top prospects
for a Junior Men’s crown at this year’s event, taking
third at the 2004 College Games and completing the top three with
Carter and Bishop. Taking second at the 2005 NZ Nationals in the
Junior Men’s class, Harding also featured in a triumvirate
of Carter and Bishop at the 2006 PWSC Regional Championships and
rounds out the hottest prospects for this tightly contested division.
Winning the Men’s 1 division (a second-tier event to Open
Men’s class) at the 2005 New Zealand Nationals, 19-year-old
Chris Dunn was also a top performer at the invitational 2006 Wakeup
Pro Tournament and Tairua Pipemasters. Following in the footsteps
of title contender Brad Smeele, Dunn has made the move up to the
prestige Open Men’s class this year and will no doubt continue
to perform and elevate his rankings at this event.
Registrations for the Corona New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals have
already exceeded expectations and are continuing to grow, making
this event the biggest and most well subscribed national competition
in the sport’s history. As a result, heats will kick-off a
little earlier on Friday, April 7, with riding beginning just after
The Corona New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals at Pairere (at Lake
Karapiro in Cambridge) on Saturday April 8th, 2006 – with
preliminary heats on Friday – will have an array of champions
and challengers in attendance and should not be missed...