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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