The town of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland really took this stop of the World Cup series to heart. It also provided a totally new level of competition technology in partnership with the Irish Waterski Federation and MasterCraft. Add to this a large and enthusiastic audience, outstanding performances from the athletes and strong local media support and the outcome was certainly impressive.
The AtmosphereFollowing previous 2006 World Cup Stops in Qatar, France, China and Russia, it was time to return for the second consecutive year to Enniskillen. Global Airport chaos did not prevent a full attendance by the qualifying athletes from 18 countries. Many were forced to divert to other Airports, hire cars and even use Sea Ferries to reach the competition site on time. Cool temperatures had no impact on the warm welcoming atmosphere. The north west wind direction was perfect for the Jump event.
Many FirstsFor the first time ever, a 250m section of a system called Wave Barrier was used to create a calm competition site in spite of the large volume of passing pleasure boats. Kuno Ritschard, President of the International Water Ski Federation stated that this could open up many new possible venues for future World Cup Stops. The automatic electronic SplashEye jump measurement system which requires no human intervention was also used throughout this World Cup Stop. Both were invented in Ireland. This was their first major exposure to the world at large. MasterCraft also unveiled their first diesel powered waterski prototype competition boat and caused quite a stir with its lower running costs and a noise level almost 50% lower than the conventional craft. This demonstration boat was powered by Volkswagen Marine and could be available to the public within twelve months. To add to this array of interesting "first" inventions, a simple “Slalometer” was used to explain to the public the significance of rope shortenings in Slalom scoring.
Freddy's Title JumpWhen the Jump Finals arrived, the Enniskillen arena in the shadow of its 12th Century Castle overlooking the site was packed to capacity. Even the weather was kind while the rest of Western Europe suffered very heavy rains. In the Men’s Jump event, Jaret Lewellyn (CAN) returned to defend his 2005 Enniskillen title. But as predicted, Freddy Krueger (USA) was his greatest threat. Krueger really soared through the Irleland air and set the pace with a score of 68.2m, plus a new Irish Allcomers Record. Krueger added another title trophy and record to his already crowded showcase. However, with eleven World Records to his credit, Lewellyn on this occasion could only get to 66.8m to take second place. Sebastien DiPasqua (SWI) scored an impressive distance of 64.4m and a World Cup third place.
The BanquetAt the closing World Cup Banquet in the nearby Manor House Ballroom, the Enniskillen sponsors, Fermanagh District Council, Waterways Ireland and Northern Ireland Events Company, all declared that they were looking forward to the return of the World Cup series to this very picturesque site in 2007.
Men's Jump Winners
1. Freddy Krueger (USA) – 68.2m
2. Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) – 66.8m
3. Sebastien DiPasqua – 64.4m
The results and full details of this past weekend's World Cup stop can be viewed by clicking on the link below: IWSF World Cup News