The first Stop of the 2008 Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup series kicks off at Noon on this coming Friday, July 25th. The Finals will start at Noon on Saturday, July 26th with the Official Closing Ceremony scheduled for 16.30hrs that day.
Having successfully completed 21 World Cup Stops to date, the 2008 season contains the most exotic line-up of venues to date. These will include Dubna in Russia this weekend, followed by Egypt, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Qatar. The Dubna Stop is strictly for the highest ranked Waterski athletes on the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF) charts. The defending Dubna Champions in both Jump and Shortboard are all now confirmed for entry and are in transit at this time. This year will also see the very welcome return of Slalom once again to this quality Volga River site.
The defending Dubna World Cup Stop Jump champions are Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE) and Jaret Llewellyn (CAN). Both are expected to push to the extreme to retain these coveted World Cup titles. Andriopoulou is the reigning World Jump Champion and she also took the 2007 season World Cup Jump title to finish on a high note. However, June Fladborg (DEN), has dominated since the final World Cup Stop in 2007 in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. Fladborg has come out on top at Australia’s Moomba Masters last March and also at the US Masters in May. This will make the Dubna Stop a thriller. The Mens Jump event is also guaranteed to be a stunning duel. Jaret Llewellyn is the reigning Dubna Stop Jump champion. He also took Australia’s Moomba Masters Jump title four months ago. Freddy Krueger (USA) is the reigning World Jump Champion and he took the US Masters title two months ago. Dubna will offer these two extreme athletes yet another opportunity to prove a point. For our 30,000 Dubna spectators, this will really be one to remember.
In Shortboard, we will also have some guaranteed drama ! Mandy Nightingale (USA) looks almost unbeatable. She is the reigning Dubna champion and the 2007 World Cup season champion. However, Clementine Lucine (FRA) is the World Champion and the European Champion and will be a very serious challenger this coming weekend. In addition to this, the young Belarus athlete, Natalia Berdnikova is certainly on a rising curve with a Silver Medal in both the World Championships and the recent Moomba Masters. In May she took the Gold medal at the US Masters. Dubna is certainly going to see a great talent display here. Moving to the Men, within the past 48 hours is was reported that Nicolas LeForestier (FRA), World Record Holder, World Champion, World Cup Champion and Dubna Champion, caught his arm in the ski rope and picked up an injury. Will this open the door for the two other great Belarus talents, Aliaksei Zharnasek and Oleg Deviatovski ? Who knows, we may see LeForestier make a miraculous recovery by Friday. Either way, this scenario will certainly bring an electric atmosphere to the Dubna arena one again.
Finally, the very welcome return of the Slalom event to Dubna will add a whole new dimension to the guessing game ! The Womens World Champion, Nicole Arthur (GBR) will make her first appearance in the World Cup series, as will Australia’s Karina Nowlan. Both are very much the rising stars for the future and Arthur already has four World titles to her credit. Against them will be that past Dubna star and past World Slalom Champion, Emma Sheers (AUS), and Karen Truelove (USA) who is rarely outside the top three IWSF Rankings. What a battle that will be ! In Mens Slalom, it is wide open. The new World Slalom Champion Thomas Degasperi (ITA), like Arthur and Nowlan, will be on his first Dubna visit. US Masters Champion, Will Asher (GBR) and the French star, Jean Baptiste Faisy, will also take on the challenge but the new young sensation Jonathan Travers (USA) could well surprise all on his World Cup debut.
This has all the appearances of being a real classic World Cup Stop. Dubna always has a unique atmosphere of its own with the packed grandstand and long Waterski history. Again, the sponsors response has been exceptional. Joining MasterCraft, the official boat suppliers for all World Cup Stops around the world once again this year, will be Moscow Regional Government, Akrilan, Sberbank, Tenzor, Murexin, Nuclear Research Institute, Atoll and Vozrozhdenije Bank.
WORLD CUP PROGRAMME – DUBNA STOP
Thursday July 24
Training 9.00 – 19.00
Friday July 25
15.30 Opening Ceremony
Saturday July 26
World Cup Finals
12.00 Slalom, Shortboard and Jump
16.30 Official Closing Ceremony and Athletes Awards on site