This first World Cup Stop of the 2013 season was a thriller with some extraordinary final results. On this occasion Athletes from both Australia and the USA dominated in an event which attracted contestants from 23 countries. These included world champions and world record holders in Wakeboard, Jump and Shortboard. With temperatures of 32C and sunny blue skies, the City of Mandurah provided an exceptional atmosphere in magnificent surroundings. The Dolphins, Pelicans, surrounding Marinas and Restaurants added to the special sense of occasion !
In Men’s Wakeboard and Men’s Jump, the almost unbeatable superstars Harley Clifford AUS and Freddy Krueger USA rose to the top once again but not without incident and some other surprises along the way.
In Wakeboard, Harley Clifford, seeded number one, was almost caught by seed three, Shota Tezuka from Japan. In the final scoring after much deliberation by the World Cup judges, the reigning Mandurah Stop Champion Clifford won by less than three points – a very close shave. Daniel Powers USA secured third place also with a great performance. This battle will certainly continue at the next World Cup Stop in Palembang, Indonesia.
Jumper Freddy Krueger also had to pull out all the stops to get ahead of Canada’s Ryan Dodd. Dodd’s jump distance of 59.7m looked like the winner in the Finals. Being last off the dock, so often we have seen Krueger faced with an apparent impossible task. On this occasion, he completed it with real class. Having perfectly sized up the Indian Ocean tidal current, wind direction and tactics of the other five Finalists, yet again he rose to the challenge with an outstanding distance of 62.2m to win by just 2.5m. Although he was suffering from a cold, Canada’s Ryan Dodd believed this Mandurah World Cup title could have been his. Again, this gripping battle will certainly continue at the forthcoming Palembang, Indonesia, World Cup Stop. In another extraordinary performance, Scot Ellis USA, a Junior World Champion back in 1988, yet again took a Jump podium place in capturing the bronze medal.
In Women’s Wakeboard, Australia again greatly impressed. The National Champion and World Cup bronze medalist from 2012, 23 year-old Bec Gange from Mildura, Victoria, stunned the spectators in out-scoring a field which included the talented World Champion, Raimi Merrit USA. With two falls on this rare occasion, Merrit was out of the podium this time. Nicola Butler GBR, who took the bronze medal position in last year’s Indonesia World Cup Stop, rose to the silver medal position here in Mandurah, closely followed by Sweden’s Caroline Djupso.
With Australian athletes showing exceptional strength at this Mandurah World Cup Stop, expectations were again high for Women’s Jump. Jacinta Carroll, the twenty-year-old University student from Geelong, Victoria, missed much of the 2012 season due to injury. Now fully recovered, she took second place a week ago at Melbourne’s Moomba Masters. Marion Mathieu FRA was in the lead with a distance of 43.7m as Carroll took to the water. Showing exceptional determination, she powered her way to a whopping distance of 46.3m to dominate the field. Lauren Morgan USA, the University World Jump Champion again impressed all in taking the bronze medal here.
The Shortboard / Tricks event was also loaded with drama. In the women’s Finals, the 17 year-old sensation from Arizona, Erika Lang USA, was already on a winning streak. She captured the gold medal one week ago at Melbourne’s Moomba Masters. Here she was again taking on World Record holder Clementine Lucine FRA. However, 19 year-old Iris Cambray FRA immediately took all by surprise by scoring 8440 points first off the dock. Lucine came up 300 points below this when Lang finally entered the fray. Having the advantage in being last to compete knowing that Cambray’s score was still the one to beat, somehow she managed to find an extra 100 points to take this World Cup gold medal. Watch out for the name Erika Lang in the years to come.
The Men’s Shortboard event followed exactly the same pattern as the women’s. First off the dock, the reigning World Record Holder Alaiksei Zharnasek BLR scored a very impressive 10,010 points, raising the bar right from the start. It looked unbeatable. However, Jimmy Siemers USA, with past World Cup gold medals to his credit from Doha Qatar, and Putrajaya Malaysia, got an ovation for his 10,140 score. This extra 30 points was enough for him to take the 2013 Mandurah World Cup Shortboard title. Zharnasek took Silver and 17 year-old Joshua Briant AUS greatly impressed in taking the World Cup bronze medal.
The Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Series is organized by the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF). This 36th Stop was supported by Government of Western Australia, Regional Development and Lands, Royalties for Regions, Eventscorp, City of Mandurah, EYRES and MasterCraft.
At the World Cup Award Ceremony, Mandurah City Mayor Paddi Creevey congratulated the winners and confirmed that the World Cup series will return again in March 2014 to this beautiful location on the Western Australian shores of the Indian Ocean.
Archived coverage of the entire Mandurah World Cup Stop is available at: