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Jeff Weatherall

Nationals showdown produces best wakeboarding in NZ history
Monday 9th March 2009

The showdown between two New Zealand world wakeboarding champions at the New Zealand Wakeboarding Nationals on Saturday exceeded expectations, producing some of the best wakeboarding ever seen in New Zealand competition.

Reigning national champion Jeff Weatherall and up-and-comer Brad Smeele faced-off in the Open Men’s final at Lake Crichton, Dunsandel, with Weatherall successfully defending his 2008 title in the most exciting final in National’s history.

After the first day of competition Weatherall was placed in the top seed position and the pressure was on Smeele to challenge his placing in the finals.

Smeele laid down two flawless passes landing a Whirly 540, Nuclear Tantrum to Blind, and a 720 amongst an array of world class tricks.

Nerves were high as Weatherall left the dock but after a clean start to his first pass with a Backboard to 90 on the Eco-decking flat bar things were looking good for the defending champion. Following with a Tootsie Roll, Backside 540 and a huge Crow Mobe into the flats Weatherall’s near perfect pass ended with a fall on his last trick, increasing the pressure to an all time high.

Coming back for his second and final pass, Weatherall stepped up and blew the crowd away with a huge S-Bend landing 20 feet out into the flat water. A string of professionally executed tricks followed including a 720, Tantrum to Blind, Crow Mobe 540, Whirly 540 and toeside backside 360, gaining Weatherall the title.

The Open Women’s division saw Charlotte Mills biting on the heels of reining champion Andrea Fountain during the heats on Friday but Fountain managed  to secure a convincing win with two complete passes in the final that included a Tantrum, Toeside Backroll, Scarecrow and at hit on the Eco-decking flat bar.

Nik Gibson took a clean win in the Junior Men division with an impressive two passes that would have given many in the Open Men’s division a run for their money.

Lake Crichton proved to be a perfect venue for the event with spectators able to view every trick from their seat and on-site food, accommodation and entertainment, not to mention perfectly smooth water for the competitors.

Wakeboarding New Zealand President Ralph Yearsley was impressed by both competitors and overall success of the event.

“The level of riding from all competitors was incredible and the heated final battle between Jeff and Brad really topped it off, making it the best National’s event to date”, he said.

“A huge thank you goes out to all those who made this event possible – all of our sponsors, event organisers, judges, MC’s and in particular the Wright family from Lake Crichton Tournament Waterski Park”, he added.

Mastercraft was the official tow boat and major sponsor of the event with support from Liquid Force, Jet Pilot, Ronix, Hyperlite, CWB, X-box, Spy, Sofrana, Eco-decking, Tony’s Restaurant, Demon Energy and My Refund.

2009 New Zealand Wakeboarding Nationals results

Open Men
1st Jeff Weatherall
2nd Brad Smeele
3rd Tony Evans

Open Women
1st Andrea Fountain
2nd Charlotte Mills
3rd Katrina Pollard

Junior Men
1st Nick Gibson
2nd James Tingey
3rd Michael Parks

Junior Women
1st Jessica Coomber
2nd Leanna Cooper
3rd Suzette Thoroghgood

Veterans
1st Gavin Broadbent
2nd Rodney Parks
3rd Darren Yearsley

Masters
1st Kurt Robinson
2nd Shawn Crossman
3rd Darren Walters

Mens 2
1st Matt Simpson
2nd Cam Powell
3rd David Evans

Mens 1
1st Beau Gibson
2nd Brad Wilkins
3rd Logan Collier

Junior Boys
1st Talor Walters
2nd Daniel Tingey
3rd Regan Carlyon

Junior Girls
1st Sophie Schollum
2nd Georgie Spittlehouse
3rd Anae Dixon

Grommets
1st Trent Tingey
2nd Seth Robinson
3rd Zoe Richards