A headline that may be a recurring theme, however this podium domination was something truly special. Sarawak - Borneo. The 31st Stop of the MasterCraft World Cup took place in front of what was possibly the largest crowd of the series history.
An estimated 100,000 people packed the banks of the Sarawak River in Kuching - Borneo to see thirty of the world's best wakeboarders including the two current World Champions compete for a part of the massive $95,000 prize purse. New for 2011, the invitation selection for the Wakeboard World Cup is based on the results from the IWWF World Wakeboard Championships, offering an impressive international line up of athletes representing over sixteen countries - all of whom excelled at the recent Championships held in Idroscalo - Italy.
MasterCraft played their Wild Card entry and the recently crowned "Rookie of the Year" - Steel Lafferty (USA) was selected to represent - a choice that would prove to be the right one in the men's finals.
Following two days of qualifying Rounds, the Men's and Women's Wakeboard Finals took place for the first time at Sarawak's Kuching City Waterfront, directly opposite the spectacular riverside Parliament building. As the Men's Final arrived, the riverbanks were packed with spectators stretching for over 2 kilometres, providing the perfect arena for the MasterCraft X-2, powered by the incredible Ilmor OPS Series of engines and piloted by MasterCraft's very own Martin James - the driver of all 14 Wakeboard World Cup events.
Of the six Wakeboard Riders who made it through to the six man final, no less than five were Team MasterCraft athletes. MasterCraft Wild Card and World Cup new-comer Steel Lafferty USA (19) stomped an incredible two passes and double up to land himself a huge score of 79.78 followed by past World Champion, Andrew Adkison USA, who seriously rose to the occasion pulling in a massive 87.90 performance to take the lead ahead of Lafferty.
Last off the dock - and to no surprise, was Australia's wakeboarding sensation - Harley Clifford. After two phenomenal passes, falling on his last trick of the second pass, Harley then went on to land a massive Heelside 720 on the double up delivering a blistering score of 92.67 taking the lead and the first place prize cheque of $15, 000.
The World Cup now moves straight on to Linyi City in China for next weekend's Wakeboard and Waterski Jump event.
2011 Wakeboard World Cup - Sarawak, Borneo: Podium Results
Harley Clifford (AUS)
Andrew Adkison (USA)
Steel Lafferty (USA)
Raimi Merrit (USA)
Amber Wing (AUS)
Miku Asai (JPN)
Visit MasterCraftWorldCup.com for full information on the World Cup Series.