The crowds were large along Mandurah’s foreshore this afternoon for the International Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup and Action Sports Games Men’s Wakeboard Final.
An exciting line-up of the world’s best water sport athletes put on a show, including the unbeatable Harley Clifford and fellow Australians Tony Iacconi and brothers Brad and Cory Teunissen.
Clifford shocked the crowd after going down from his wild-card trick, a whirly five, but used his experience and determination to come back strong and take the top spot in an an all-Australian podium.
“The conditions held up for us, it has been perfect all day despite being a little bit windy, but nothing that affected me too much.”
“I’m stoked that my boys Corey and Tony, who I have been riding with for six years now, are on the podium with me, I’m really proud of them.
“It was a really close Final, but I went out there and got some tricks no-one else did and got the win, I’m super happy.”
Cory Teunissen was close behind Clifford with a final score of 86.33, followed by Tony Iacconi with a score of 81.
In the Women’s Wakeboard Semi-final, World Champion Raimi Merritt fought back hard from her ankle surgery to take the Mandurah title from last year’s winner Bec Gange (AUS) in her first competition since rehab.
Gange took an early fall and tried to come back strong with a number of jumps before falling again on a wild-card trick to finish with a low score of 39.7
“I’m a little disappointed as I rode really well last year, I felt the boat was going a bit fast, but you just need to rise above it,” she said.
“It was still fun though and I’m always happy to be here.”
All eyes were then on Merritt and her ankle as she took to the water as the last Finals rider to beat Caroline Djupsjo’s score of 60.1
Merritt threw in the handle early, unsatisfied with the boat speed, but came back strong to give am impressive and solid final run and earn the winning score of 62.3
The Men’s Waterski Final was filled with huge jumps, with three world champion athletes exceeding 65m for the first time in Mandurah.
All eyes were on the World Record Holder Freddy “The Nightmare” Krueger with the crowd’s anticipation building when it was down to his last jump to secure his World Championship reign.
Krueger knew there were high expectations and after a jump of 65.9m for his third attempt, Germany’s Bojan Schipner was pushed to second place with his jump of 65.3m.
“It builds the pressure, but people expecting you to win means you’re doing your job,” he said.
“It’s about concentrating on the things you need to be successful.”
Similarly in the Women’s Waterski Jump Final, spectators were held in suspense until the very last jump.
After a rocky start, Jacinta Caroll came through in her third attempt with a winning jump of 51.1m to defend her Mandurah World Cup title.
“I crumbled a bit under the pressure but thankfully I was able to get my nerves in tack,” she said.
“It was so close, I could see the 50m buoy when I was coming down so I kept pressing, hoping to get that little bit further.”
The 20 year-old from Geelong was excited to defend her World Cup title and kick off 2014 at the top.
“I perform best when I’m having fun, which is what I did on the third one and it paid off.”
World Record Holder Natalia Berdnikava (BLR) just fell short of Carroll’s result, jumping 50.2m, a long way off her 58.6m personal best.
The weekend’s action was also seen off the water with world champion BMX, Skate and Scooter athletes wooing large crowds at the Mambo Skate Park in Australia’s largest Skatepark competition.
Fierce competition was seen at the park throughout the weekend as scooter competitors battled it out for a wild-card entry into the International Scooter Association World Titles.
Melbourne’s Max Peters will travel to England later in the year for the Scooter World Titles after winning the wild-card entry and Action Sports Games competition.
Jack Fahey, who overtook defending BMX Champion and Freestyle Now rider, Dylan Schmidt, took out the hard-to-judge BMX competition.
Tourism Western Australia and the Department of Regional Development of Lands are proud to support the Action Sports Games Mandurah through the Royalties for Regions – Regional Events Program, which is administered by Eventscorp.