Fifth year for the World Cup series in Singapore – and five in a row for peerless Philip Soven. Dallas Friday also easily defended her title in this World Cup Stop in its spectacular new location.
A change of competition venue after 4 years in particular from the Bedok Reservoir to the Marina Bay Floating Platform in Singapore for the very first time is usually challenging even for the the most seasoned competitors of this year’s 5th Wakeboard World Cup 2008. But when the going gets tough, that is when the cream of the crop rises to the top.
And so it proved as defending men’s and women’s champions Philip Soven and Dallas Friday showed their class in their respective categories to successfully defend their titles against the magnificent backdrop of the Marina Bay and Singapore cityscape today.
Amazingly, it is the young American’s fifth straight Wakeboard World Cup Singapore title. Crowd favourite Friday also proved beyond all doubts just why she is considered the best female rider in the business by completely demolishing the competition in the women’s field to win by a massive 20-point margin. In doing so, they walked away with the top prizes of USD$15,000 and USD$8,000 respectively.
Thankfully, the men’s competition turned out to be much closer. In what was arguably one of the best finals in recent memory, each and every one of the men’s finalists registered high scores and there was not much to choose between them.
19-year-old British rider Nick Davies set the tone with a fantastic score of 69.45 to pile on the pressure on the trio of pre-event title hopefuls Jeff Weatherall of New Zealand, American Andrew Adkison and his compatriot Soven.
The pressure proved too great for the experienced duo of Weatherall and Adkison, who could only manage 62.23 and 68.23 despite their best efforts. But Soven is in another class of his own as he promptly responded with a flawless performance to earn his place on the top of the podium with the day’s highest score of 78.00.
“Coming into this year’s event, I was kind of nervous because of the new venue but the moment I got on my board and on the water, everything just seems to fall into place,” said Soven, who is only still 19 despite his success.
“The conditions out there at the new venue were challenging but thankfully I am used to competing at all sorts of venues and it didn’t really affect me too much,” said Friday. “I thought I performed really well today and it is always nice to win. This new competition site is great as the view of the city is simply awesome.”
Singapore’s 15-year-old wakeboard sensation Sasha Christian just failed to make the women’s final after falling in her first pass, which caused her vital points as she was just edged out by good friend Denise DeHaan of the Netherlands by the narrowest of margins.
Nevertheless it was still a good effort by the Singapore Sports School student, who managed to complete all her tricks without falling in the second pass to earn the loudest cheer of the day from the appreciative crowd, which was estimated at around 7,500.
While the MasterCraft X2 captured the attention on the water, the 7,500 spectators together with the more than 5,000 from the previous day plus the 3,000-strong party crowd at Float by The Butter Factory, Singapore’s first ever hip hop dance party on the floating platform on Saturday night, the total number of spectators for the two-day Wakeboard World Cup 2008, surpassed the 15,000 mark. That does not include the thousands more watching from various vantage points at the Esplanade Park, on the Esplanade Bridge and the Merlion Park at One Fullerton.
Said Paul Fong, from the Singapore Wakeboard Federation (SWWF), organisers of the Wakeboard World Cup: “we believe we have found a great formula combining high impact water sports, exciting on-shore fringe activities and an excellent dance party. With the support of our partners and sponsors, both new and long-term, we have created a very promising event property with the city skyline as its backdrop.”
Final Results PRO MEN FINALS 1) PHILIP SOVEN 78.00 USA USD$15,000.00 2) NICK DAVIES 69.45 GBR USD$10,000.00 3) ANDREW ADKISON 68.23 USA USD$6,000.00 4) JEFF WEATHERALL 63.23 NZL USD$3,250.00 PRO WOMEN FINALS 1) DALLAS FRIDAY 65.00 USA USD$8,000.00 2) SHELBY KANTAR 44.91 USA USD$3,500.00 3) RAIMI MERRITT 41.13 USA USD$2,500.00 4) DENISE DEHAAN 32.03 HOL USD$1,500.00