Some of the world’s biggest names in wakeboard and waterskiing will contest the finals today in Mandurah for the Action Sports Games, incorporating the first Australian International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) World Cup Stop.
A huge crowd is expected on the foreshore in Mandurah as the action begins from 10am with both the Women’s and Men’s Shortboard Finals. But with light winds and perfect weather forecast it will be the Waterski Jumping and the Wakeboard Finals which will create the most interest.
Current Women’s World Jumping Champion and waterskiing pin up girl Natallia Berdnikova from Belarus faces a busy day on the Mandurah waterways. She will start the day contesting the Semi-Finals of the Jumping after they were rescheduled from Saturday afternoon. On a calm Sunday morning she is fancied to move her way into the finals around midday local time. Berdnikova is expected to be challenged by Australian teenager Jacinta Carroll, who is the 2011 Under 21 World Jump Record Holder and the 2011 Moomba Masters Champion. Denmark’s Maj Lund Jepsen is also a strong finals prospect after consistent IWWF World Cup performances in 2011.
Following the women will be the man that everyone has come to see. Freddy Krueger, the current Men’s World Waterski Jumping Champion, will take to the air in the Men’s Jumping final just after midday local time. Krueger moved to the final with the last jump of the day on Saturday as competitors juggled tricky conditions with the wind and sidewash affecting many of the skiers line into the jump. But there will be no excuses today as the estuary waters are glassed off and the wind is predicted to remain light into the afternoon. Local boy Ryan Green gave a great showing in the Semi-Finals and is well position for a podium finish this afternoon.
These conditions will create the perfect setting for the finale to the first Australian International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) World Cup Stop for 2012 when both the Women’s and Men’s Wakeboard Finals are held between 1pm and 3pm local time. The Women’s Wakeboard Final will be fought out between arch rivals Raimi Merritt of the United States and Australian favourite Amber Wing. They will be joined in the final by Miku Asai of Japan and Elke Venken, Belgian’s eight time National Champion.
The event will culminate with the Men’s Wakeboard Finals around 2pm local time. Australia’s current World Champion Harley Clifford is the favourite after adjusting seemlessly to the conditions in Mandurah. His main competition in the final will come from Sam Carne of the United Kingdom and American’s Daniel Powers, Andrew Adkinson and Steel Lafferty. Clifford seems particularly focused to start the 2012 IWWF World Cup Schedule with a win in his home country.
A summary of the event schedule for today follows:
10.05am – Women’s Shortboard Finals
10.40am – Men’s Shortboard Finals
11.20am – Women’s Waterski Jumping Finals
12.15pm – Men’s Waterski Jumping Finals
1.05pm – Women’s Wakeboard Finals
1.55pm – Men’s Wakeboard Finals
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.