Kiwi world wakeboarding champions to be
honoured by Academy of Sport
Monday, March 27, 2006
In recognition of their stunning achievements over the past year,
WWC World Wakeboarding Championships Jeff Weatherall and Andrea
Fountain are to be honoured at the New Zealand Academy of Sport
2006 Gala Dinner, to be held in May.
Working with athletes in cooperation with the Hillary Commission,
the New Zealand Olympic Committee, the corporate sector, national
sports organisations and coaches, the Sports Foundation/Academy
of Sport assists high performance Kiwis to succeed internationally
and backed the ‘dynamic duo’ over the past year. Along
with WWA gold medal winners Brad Smeele and Gavin Broadbent, the
world-beating pair will be showcasing their talents at the upcoming
Corona Wakeboard Nationals.
With 10 divisions to choose from over the two-day event, spectators
will be spoilt for choice. Weatherall is the lead contender for
Open Men’s division, with two-time Junior Men’s World
Champion Brad Smeele taking aim at the title after placing second
to Jeff in 2005. This Open Men’s title fight will doubtless
be a highly anticipated clash.
Andrea Fountain heads into the Open Women’s class as favourite
and, likewise, world-champion Gavin Broadbent will be aiming to
take the Veterans (35 years and older) crown. The Junior Men’s
(15-18 years) class will be the most hotly contested at this year’s
Nationals, with young guns Darren Bishop, Ben Carter, Nigel Harding
and Chris Dunn all in the running.
Further categories at the Corona Nationals include Masters (30-34
years), Men’s 1 and 2 (19-24 and 25-29 years respectively),
Juniors (boys and girls aged 11-14) and Grommets (boys and girls
aged 10 and under).
Limited to 12 contestants of all ages, both male and female, the
‘Wakeskate’ showcase event will be a raucous and exciting
close the 2006 Nationals and involves a binding-less wakeboard with
small fins. Edge control and timing on a wakeskate are much more
difficult than on a traditional wakeboard, requiring boarders to
ride ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ the board.
Though the most basic tricks such as wake jumping are more complicated,
skateboard-oriented tricks such as kick flips are commonplace, making
this somewhat ‘underground’ discipline an exciting one
While the Corona New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals had been capped
at 55 riders, registrations have already exceeded this number and
are continuing to grow, making this event the biggest and most well-subscribed
national competition in the sport’s history.
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...