The second last 2007 Singapore Stop of the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series of the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF) was a major test for the best Wakeboard Riders in the World. Thirty two athletes arrived at the spectacular downtown Bedok Reservoir once again from the USA, New Zealand, China, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Thailand, Republic of South Africa, Italy, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Korea. In sweltering heat but excellent competition conditions, all the big names made it through to the Final. The MasterCraft competition boat was gleaming in the glorious sunshine as they made their way to the starting dock for the last challenge of the weekend.
One year ago, a freak sporting accident at Bedok Reservoir sent the most outstanding female rider in the world today to hospital. She broke her left femur and for most recovery from this can be a slow process. As Dallas Friday (USA) arrived for the Sunday Finals, she was instantly the crowd favorite and received a tumultuous welcome. The question on everybody’s mind was obvious – was she back to full fitness against such stiff international competition ? Pushing her hard were Sunni Ann Ball (CAN), Andrea Fountain (NZL), Chen LiLi (CHN), Raimi Merritt (USA) and Sasha Christian (SIN). What followed was inspiring. Her performance was breath taking. Not only had she returned to full fitness, she was once again unbeatable. Dallas Friday (USA) smiled with great satisfaction as she climbed to the top of the World Cup podium and accepted the USA$ 8,000 cash prize.
In the Mens event, all eyes were yet again on the 18 year old wonder Rider Philip Soven (USA). He already had three Singapore World Cup Stop titles. Again, he was also pitted against some of the World’s best Riders. These top challengers included Jeff Weatherall (NZL), Chad Sharpe (CAN), Rusty Malinoski (CAN), Andrew Adkinson (USA), Daniel Watkins (AUS), past World Cup winner Danny Harf (USA) and Morgan Krause (RSA). This was a best-of-the-best challenge by any standards. As is so often the case, the great talents rose to the top once again. It was eventually Jeff Weatherall (NZL) against Soven. Drama struck as Weatherall fell on his first pass. You could hear the large crowd gasp in astonishment ! This opened the door very wide for Philip Soven. With true style, he walked away with the US$15,000 top cash prize for the unprecedented fourth time.
The Singapore Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (SWWF) have turned this annual Stop of the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series into one of the highlights of the entire World Cup series. Working together for the first time with Waterfest Singapore, the carnival atmosphere made this 20th Stop of the World Cup series a great family occasion. Paul Fong, SWWF General Manager, stated that every effort would be made to keep Singapore at the forefront of the IWSF World Cup series. Certainly each and every one of the international Riders present will need no encouragement to return to this very popular venue.
The final Wakeboard Stop of the 2007 Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series will take place in Doha in Qatar on November 3rd.
Pro Women Finals
1. Dallas Friday (USA)
2. Raimi Merritt (USA)
3. Sunni Ann Ball (CAN)
Pro Men Finals
1. Philip Soven (USA)
2. Jeff Weatherall (NZL)
3. Daniel Watkins (AUS)