| Oz Wakeboarding
has a new king – and queen – after final Pro Tour showdown
30th January 2006
Sunshine Coast – The Air Nautiques Australian Pro Tour of
Wakeboarding title has changed hands for the first time in the Tour’s
four year history after Gold Coast based New Zealander Jeff Weatherall
won the final Toytota Round 4 claiming the overall title from fellow
Gold Coast resident and three time APTW champion Daniel Watkins,
the current WWA World Series champion.
The results for the Men’s competition in the final round
were almost identical to the overall tour results, with Cronulla
21 year old Dean Smith claiming equal third with Gold Coast/Wagga
Wagga rider Brett Eisenhauer, who just trailed Smith in the overall
standings to come fourth.
With Australian riders having dominated the sport internationally
in 2005, APTW organisers described the competition as the most hotly
contested Tour yet, pushing riders to their limits and requiring
competitors to be on their game every time they hit the water.
“The pressure has been incredible,” said Jeff Weatherall
of his bid to take a podium position at each round and the overall
title. “Everyone has ridden so well this Tour.”
“More than anything, though, it has made me respect Daniel
Watkins even more for having been able to take the title three times,
but I am unbelievably stoked to take it from him,” he said.
Watkins congratulated Weatherall indicating he had shown his metal
as a competitor by taking the top spot on the podium in three of
the four rounds, adding he was proud to see the consistency of competition
riding by younger riders who have started competing overseas, including
Smith, Chris O’Shea (20, Vic), Troy Mackey (18, Vic), Scott
Mackey (21, Vic) and
Scott Broome (21, NSW) as well as the likes of rookie competitors,
16 year old Victorian Brenton Priestley and 12 year old Harley Clifford,
who respectively came 9 th and 15 th overall.
“It has been great to see the guys who were just starting
to compete when we started the pro tour making the podium and the
top 8 week to week, I am stoked for Australian wakeboarding and
looking forward to us waving,” said Watkins, who donated his
prize money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Despite winning the final three rounds of the Tour, the organiser
of the inaugural Liquid Force women’s title, 23 year old Sydney
rider Amber Wing took second overall to World championship winning
Cathy Williams (USA), a long time supporter of women’s wakeboarding.
“It has been so exciting to be here to support Amber in creating
a women’s tour, she has been a great competitor and I am stoked
to see such a great level of riding among so many young female riders,”
said the Florida-based Williams who had competed on the US Pro Tour
and World Cup series for nine years.
The Pro Tour has sparked a junior Grom Series which kicks off on
the Gold Coast this weekend before heading to the ACT and Victoria.
The series has been developed by 2005 US Pro Tour champ and King
of Wake, Josh Sanders (Nowra, NSW), who has been unable to compete
this season due to injury