Some of the world’s biggest names in wakeboarding hit the water in Mandurah to begin the Action Sports Games, incorporating the first Australian International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) World Cup Stop.
Wakeboard entrants were greeted by a beautiful Western Australian morning as both the Men’s and Women’s competition got under way.
Men’s Wakeboard World Number One Harley Clifford started strongly winning his way straight into the Semi-Finals despite a fall in the choppy conditions. The 18 year old, who has dominated the sport over the past year, is now set to achieve his goal of winning the first stop on the 2012 IWWF World Cup Schedule.
“I went out there and had one little fall but I busted most of the tricks I wanted to so I am pretty pumped,” said Clifford fresh out of the water. “I definitely have some more tricks that I will lay down in the finals tomorrow.”
Fellow Aussie wakeboarder Amber Wing won through to the Women’s Final where she will meet American favourite Raimi Merritt who also advanced this morning. The Women’s Wakeboard Final will take place at 1pm on Sunday. Merritt was awarded the 2011 Rider of the Year by the IWWF and has recently found some tough competition in Wing, with both females consistently sharing the podium during the 2011 season.
From March 16 – 18 Mandurah’s Western Foreshore will be transformed into the 33rd stop of the IWWF World Cup series with an anticipated 100,000 spectators ready to descend on the shores of Mandjar Bay to catch the action live and up close. Over 60 athletes from 23 different nations will be competing over the weekend with the finals for both wakeboarding and waterskiing scheduled for the Sunday.
The IWWF has travelled through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, China, South East Asia and now Australia. Mandurah will be home to the IWWF World Cup for the next four years, making it not only the first time the event has ever been held in Australia, but also the first time the event has been held in the same place for four consecutive years.
The Action Sport Games Mandurah is supported by the State Government through Eventscorp’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions.
The event will also include a BMX and Skateboarding competition as well as Freestyle Motocross demonstrations throughout the weekend.