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World champions gathering for Tairua Pipemasters wakeboarding event
January 23, 2006

Four current wakeboarding world titleholders are among competitors descending on the coastal township of Tairua this February 11 for the coolest event of the year – the Tairua Pipe Masters.

A play on the famed surf event in Hawaii, the Tairua Pipemasters is a wakeboarding event in which riders are towed behind jetskis onto custom built ramps, jumps and sliders made from pvc piping and other bits and pieces.

The sliders are positioned in shallow water close to shore, giving spectators an insight into the range of tricks that can be pulled off by riders who possess the skill - and the will – to hit some ominous looking obstacles.

The invitational event is a highlight of the New Zealand wakeboarding season. Confirmed riders include Andrea Fountain and Jeff Weatherall, who finished their most successful ever years winning world titles in the open women’s and open men’s divisions of the IWSF world wakeboarding championships.

Others who wouldn’t miss the event are New Zealand’s World Wakeboarding Federation (WWF) junior world champion Brad Smeele and WWF veterans division world champion Gavin Broadbent.

2004 Pipemasters Champion Hayden Macquire from Waiheke Island, who is recovering from knee reconstruction, will make his comeback ride in Tairua, and

Queenstown’s hottest rider Josh O’Connell is another to watch.

Tairua local - and keen wakeboarder - John ‘Cocksy’ Cocks will MC the event which kicks off at 5pm to coincide with the full tide, and runs until dark.

The best viewing site will be at Pepe reserve, next to the Tairua Hall on the township’s main road. The event is free to all.