European and African Championships have come and gone, but SA riders managed to hold their own against tough international competition.
During the 14-18th February 2012, South Africa had the massive privilege of hosting the international European and African Wakeboard/Wakeskate Championships at the Emerald Casino Resort along the Vaal River. About 125 entrants from 16 countries gathered on the banks of the luxurious resort and scenic Vaal River for four days of intense competition.
Big international names at the E&A Championships included Lior Sofer (Israel), Dominik Hernler (Austria), Sam Carne (United Kingdom), Michel Calvez-Yann (France), David O’Caoimh (Ireland), and Massimiliano Piffaretti (Italy). With competitive riders all making their way down to South Africa, our local riders knew they had their work cut out for them, and they had to be on top of their game. The event kicked off with an opening ceremony in the Aqua Dome of the Emerald Casino Resort that set the mood for what was going to be a fantastic and highly competitive E&A Wakeboard/Wakeskate Championship.
The 15th of February 2012 saw the qualifying rounds go down. Israel’s Lior Sofer, carrying a bruised rib into the competition stuck a clean Crow mobe and 313, which were unfortunately just not enough for him to make it through to semi-finals. Clayton Krause qualified 2nd in his heat with a run that included a KGB and a Moby Dick, which guaranteed him a seat in the semi-finals on Friday the 16th of February. Dylan Mitchell was next up in Junior Men qualifying, qualifying first in his heat with a Big Worm and Moby Dick to secure his spot in the Junior Men semi-finals on Friday.
Friday saw the semi-final rounds of the competition take place, in the open division Clayton Krause once again stuck a clean pass that included high ends such as a Dum-Dum and KGB which seeded him second in his heat for the finals on Saturday. In the Junior Men’s division Dylan Mitchell managed to qualify first in his heat.
Finals showcased stacked heats in both the Open division and Junior men. The Open division finalists included Clayton Krause, Shaun Faccio, Nikita Martyanov, Dominik Hernler, Sam Carne and Yann Calvez. Clayton was first off the dock and banged down an impressive two passes which included a KGB, a Moby Dick and to top off a heelside frontside 720 off the double up. Sam Carne, however, ended up taking it with a hammer pass which started off with a switched Vulcan, front mobe, Pete Rose, and a heelside frontside 720 that ended in a first place finish.
Everyone at the tournament only had good things to say about the towboat – a Malibu Wakesetter MXZ. The boat, supplied by Boating International, produced a huge, consistent wake, and everyone was happy riding behind it.
Although there was plenty of support from the Irish, Italian and French supporters, the Vaal River came alive when local boy Shaun Faccio started his run. He rode hard, and enjoyed every moment of it. However, on a few slight technical points, Shaun missed out, and managed a respectable third place podium finish.
Junior Men saw a high level of competition this year, with finalists that included Dylan Mitchell, Jerimiah Hoppe, Martin Velzuat, Marc Kroon, Massimiliano Piffarretti, and David O’Caiohm. Dylan Mitchell was second last off the dock and managed to throw down some hammers, sticking a Moby Dick, big worm, and a BS 5 in his pass to finish off with a heelside 720 off the double up. David O’Caiohm from Ireland took top spot with a solid pass that included a toeside backside 540, a switched Big Worm and a Whirly 5.
All in all the competition was a great success with Team Italy taking first place followed by team South Africa and team Ireland in second and third respectively. South Africa can be very proud for hosting a very successful international wakeboard/wakeskate event. Leisure Boating would like to thanks the following: SAWBA (South African Wakeboard Association), Boating International, and Club Marine Insurance for contribution to the event. Well done guys!
For more information and results, please visit www.wakesa.com