Any Waterski World Cup competitor who has ever performed at the Dubna, Russia Stop, has returned with one dominating memory – and that is the huge number of enthusiastic spectators in the purpose built Volga River arena. To experience 30,000 cheering Russian fans is something very, very special indeed.
Actually qualifying for the World Cup in either Waterski or Wakeboard is the hardest part. Unless the Skiers or Riders are close to the top of their game, entry is just not possible. The result is that there is always a very large waiting list. This is managed on an hour-to-hour basis by Bob Corson, IWSF TC Chairman, based in New Jersey, USA. The reason for this is that injuries and travel problems can occur at any time. One drops out – and another then gets a chance if they can secure a Visa or Flight in time and follow the application deadlines. It’s a jungle out there and that just adds to the fun !
Right now, changes are happening and new opportunities arising on a day to day basis. Today, Chris Parrish (USA) was forced to pull out of Slalom – and this opened the door for young Jonathan Travers (USA). This will be a first for Jonathan. He just happens to be one of the most exciting new Slalom talents on the scene today. Californian Jason Paredes (USA) will also miss out and that will allow Aaron Larkin (NZL) to enter. Aaron had a fantastic Moomba Masters in Melbourne this year and will now shoot for World Cup gold. Top ranked April Coble Eller (USA) was also forced to cancel and that was great news for young Whitney McClintock of Canada. As with Jonathan Travers, Whitney is also one of the great new talents on the international circuit. Russell Gay (USA) reluctantly had to cancel in Shortboard and this allowed Canada’s Ryan Dodd in. All of this adds to the anticipation and we will announce full details of the final list shortly before the 30,000 Russian spectators take up their seats on July 24/26 and prepare to enjoy every moment of the first 2008 World Cup Stop.