13 September 2011

Wakeboard World Cup in Kuching, Borneo

I'm happy with that run!!

I just finished competing at the first stop of the Wakeboard World Cup in Kuching, which is on the island of Borneo – the Malaysian part. It’s an awesome city and surrounded by jungle. We got to see some Orang-utans and we also visited caves. The weather was really hot, the people were friendly, and the food was great.

The World Cup had 27 invited riders – eighteen men and nine women – from 18 countries all over the world. As it was my first World Cup I didn’t really know what to expect but everyone was really nice and friendly.

We had a practice run on Friday and then the quarter finals were on Saturday. The water was quite choppy with backwash as there were a lot of other boats around the area so we all had to cope with that. With 4 heats, two of four riders and two of five, the top two riders in each heat would go through to the semi finals. I was in a heat with Steel Lafferty (USA), Andrew Adkison (USA), Nikita Martianov (RUS) and Michael Timmers (Ned) but I didn’t ride too well so I competed again in LCQs in the afternoon. There were two heats of five of us and I managed to qualify first in my heat, with Nick Jones (USA) going through as well.

Sian Hurst, my fellow team mate from Ireland, was also invited but unfortunately she just missed getting through to Finals being pipped by Sasha Christian from Singapore and Caroline Djupso from Sweden but Sian, like me, was thrilled to be invited.

There were thousands of people watching over the weekend and the World Cup tied in with a huge regatta as well. There were over 6,000 people in 400 canoes! One of the reports said that there were 50,000 people at the opening ceremony – wow – and they closed lots of the roads around the city too!

In the semi finals I was first off the dock and up against Daniel Powers (USA), Padiwat Jaemjam (Thailand) and Dan Nott (GB). Unfortunately, while I rode well, including landing my Whirly 5, I didn’t make it through but the two Daniels did! Well done to them.

The finals were up in the afternoon and in the end it was Harley Clifford who killed it like always and took the Gold followed by Andrew Adkison and Steel Lafferty in third. In the women’s division Raimi Merrit took 1st, followed by Amber Wing, and taking third was Miku Asai from Japan. Congratulations to all of them.

I still can’t believe that I actually made it through to the semi finals in my first world cup stop and it was a brilliant experience! Next we fly to Linyi in China for the second stop with an overnight in Shanghai on the way there. Fingers crossed and will let you know how it goes.