This has been a real roller coaster year for the sports of Wakeboard and Waterskiing. The launch of the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup has taken the best athletes to France, Russia, Great Britain and China. Next to come are Singapore, USA and Qatar. Enormous crowds have witnessed the battle for the prestigious World Cup titles. Now we also have a chance to enjoy the spectacular stand-alone Wakeboard World Championships scheduled to take place in Seville in southern Spain next weekend. Warm Autumn air, Flamenco atmosphere and riverside dining, make this a perfect choice of venue.
The Wakeboard World Championships of the International Waterski Federation have been hosted by very exotic locations in the past five years – France, South Africa, Brazil, Australia – and now Seville in Spain. The 2004 downtown location will be the magnificent Olympic Rowing site on the Guadalquiver River which divides the City in two. With 750,000 Sevillano people in the immediate area, it promises to be a huge attraction.
Here is a glimpse of the progress made. A total of 144 Wakeboard Riders from 19 Countries took part in Australia in 2003. This 2004 Wakeboard World Championships will see 42% more Countries and 24% more Wakeboard Riders participate. With a total of 178 Riders from 27 Countries, all attendance records have already been shattered. This will be the largest Wakeboard World Championships ever!
Sponsors MasterCraft have played a major role in this impressive growth. Their new 2004 X-Star Competition model will be the official tow boat having recently signed a 5 year agreement with the International Waterski Federation to continue their involvement at the highest level.
The Wakeboard World Championships will commence with Practice and the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, October 13th. The Competition will then run from Thursday Oct 14th through to the Finals on Sunday, October 17th. The Closing Ceremony promises to be a very colorful affair with the flags of 27 Countries hoisted in this perfect Autumn climate.
The City of Seville has a long history of water related distinctions and is no stranger to spectacular events. Not far from here, Colombus set sail on his epic voyage to the New World. In 1992, Seville hosted World Expo. For that occasion, the City constructed 70 kms of new streets and also launched the new AVE high speed train which reduced the travel time to Madrid in the north to just 3 hours. The Rowing Club on the Guadalquiver River also offers all the required facilities for the IWSF 2004 Wakeboard World Championships.
With 178 Wakeboard Riders now arriving from 27 Countries around the World, Seville is beginning to look like the United Nations of Sport. Australia will defend the Team Title but according to the experts, the battle is wide open this year. The best six scores of each 8 Rider Team will count. By the end of the week, the 2004 World Champion titles will have been decided. With the largest attendance ever recorded for an International Waterski Federation Wakeboard World Championships, Seville promises to continue its association with spectacular events. Columbus would be proud!
Official Towboat Sponsor for 2004 World Cup