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New Zealand a Dominant Force in World Wakeboarding!
13th February 2006

After winning the 2005 World Open Men’s title in Moscow last September, New Zealand’s Jeff Weatherall has recently also won the Australian Pro Tour, held during January. Jeff dominated with podium finishes at each event and took overall victory in the finals, proving once again that he’s the world’s best wakeboarder and a name to be reckoned with!

Following in these footsteps is another NZ talent making his mark on the world scene – 18-year-old Brad Smeele. Already having won two World Championships in the most fiercely contested and keenly watched division – Junior Men (age 16-19) – Smeele consolidated his achievements by competing in the Open division on the Australian Pro Tour and taking a solid 10th overall in his first year at this level.

New Zealand can also boost the best woman wakeboarder in the world with Andrea Fountain winning the 2005 IWSF Open Women’s World Title at the Moscow World Championships. Chasing Andrea is our up-and-coming youngster Jane King, who placed second in the Girls division (age 13 and under) at the World Wakeboarding Association (WWA) Championships held in Queensland last October.

Other significant achievers at the WWA Worlds were Brant Hales, taking silver in the Men’s 1 (age 19-24) division, and the indomitable Gavin Broadbent taking the Veteran’s (age 40 and over) crown. These stellar results reaffirm New Zealand’s credentials as a breeding ground for the world’s best wakeboarders, with a total of four world champions emerging in 2005.

The National Champs are drawing near, but prior to this high-profile event there are still a few opportunities to see our world-beating wakeboarders in action. On Saturday Feburary 11th between 5pm and 8pm, the Tairua Pipemasters will be held in the Tairua Harbour near the Pepe Inlet. More information on this event is available from Devan on (027) 291 3257 or Matt on (021) 752 016, and accommodation information is available from the Tairua Information Centre on (07) 864 7575.

Returning to Pairere at Lake Karapiro in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday, April 7th to 8th 2006, the New Zealand Wakeboarding National Championships is the biggest, most impressive wakeboarding event on the New Zealand calendar. With an array of world champions and challengers in attendance, this is an event that should not be missed and more information will be available via press releases over the coming weeks.