2006 Corona New Zealand Wakeboard National
Championships a Huge Success!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The biggest weekend in New Zealand wakeboarding has been completed
and was, after two days of competition, the best-attended national
championships to date. Competitor registrations far exceeded expectations,
with a record 75 entrants competing across the nine categories from
Veterans to Grommets.
The most eagerly anticipated battle was between world Open Men’s
champion Jeff Weatherall and world Junior champion Brad Smeele,
who’d just stepped up to the premier Open division. Brad came
very close to knocking Jeff off his perch as the undisputed champion,
with just one point separating the two athletes by the close of
Tony Evans also put in a spectacular performance, setting the standard
early in the finals round, though was eventually eclipsed by the
predictably impressive Brad and Jeff.
The Open Women’s class was taken by favourite Andrea Fountain,
although she felt it perhaps “…wasn’t a vintage
performance”. Nevertheless, her seemingly effortless style
and comprehensive range of tricks make her a worthy world Open Women’s
title holder and now New Zealand’s top woman wakeboarder to
2006 has indeed been a stunning year for this talented young woman,
as it has also seen her selected as one of only two athletes to
receive a ‘Pinnacle Scholarship’. Pinnacle is a sports
mentor programme headed by Olympic champion board sailor Barbara
Kendall and aimed at creating world champions. To achieve that goal,
Pinnacle provides financial and vehicular support, while –
most importantly – supplying them with a wide range of skills
outside the point of competition.
The weather proved favourable over the Nationals weekend, though
both days started out cloudy and wet. Fortunately the sun soon came
out, giving the various divisions two days of perfect water and
great conditions for a feast of sensational wakeboarding.
By the close of the event on the Saturday night, the 2006 Corona
New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals had become the most successful Nationals
ever held, with an estimated 1000 spectators attending on the Saturday