Following the highly successful World Cup Stop in Putrajaya, Malaysia, last weekend, the worlds top professional Waterski and Wakeboard athletes are now heading for Doha on the sun-drenched coast of Qatar. The final Stop of the 2008 World Cup season will take place this Friday and Saturday, November 14th and 15th, at the famous Diplomatic Club against the dramatic backdrop of palm trees, gleaming Skyscrapers, Hotels and the paved Corniche which circles the bay on the Gulf. It will be the 26th Stop of this global series of the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF).
Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006 in the very impressive Aspire Dome complex which is close to the World Cup competition site. It houses over 30 arenas for a wide variety of sports with some of the most modern sporting facilities seen anywhere in the world today. Doha has also hosted the IWSF World Wakeboard Championships in 2007 and has been involved in the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series since 2004. The sponsors of this final World Cup Stop of 2008 will include Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), the Diplomatic Club, MasterCraft, who will supply all the competition boats and support services, and the IWSF.
Entry to the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series is restricted to the highest ranked athletes in the world. Considering the estimated total number of active participants in the sport of 30 million, those who qualify are certainly the best of the best today. This Doha Stop will include Wakeboard, Slalom and Shortboard / Tricks. Being the last World Cup Stop of the year means that the season champions will also be declared at the completion of this Doha Stop. The last of the Waterki Jump Stops took place three days ago in Putrajaya Malaysia. The special 2008 World Cup Crystal Awards for the season victories will be presented this Saturday in Doha.
At this last stage of the World Cup’s 2008 global journey, a select group of Riders have dominated all year in Wakeboard. In the Pro Ladies division, Dallas Friday USA, Raimi Merritt (USA) and Shelby Kantar (USA), will all push hard to take the season titles. In the Pro Men’s division, Philip Soven (USA), Nick Davies (GBR) and Andrew Adkison (USA) have also all taken podium places. It was Raimi Merritt and Nick Davies who dominated at the Stop at the Palm Hills Development in Hacienda Bay, Egypt. Philip Soven and Dallas Friday dominated in Marina Bay at the world’s largest floating platform in Singapore.
For the Waterskiers, the top Slalom scorers in Dubna in Russia and Putrajaya in Malaysia, were Clementine Lucine (FRA), Sarah Green (GBR), Jodi Fisher (GBR) and Chris Parrish (USA). Several others will not compete in Doha due to injury, etc., narrowing the season title contenders and this will further increase the level of competition. In Shortboard / Tricks, Marion Aynaud (FRA), Clementine Lucine (FRA), Jimmy Siemers (USA) and Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) will all be very strong contenders for the season title. All are capable of wining on the day. Great interest will also be focused on Nicolas LeForestier (FRA). As the World Record holder, his spectacular recover from a serious arm injury last July and his return to form in Putrajaya, tells all that he is back in contention once again. As in World Cup Stops this season in Russia, Egypt, Singapore and Malaysia, it will be no surprise if some of the very young rising stars upset the final predictions for Doha in Qatar. All divisions have seen enormous talent with those as young as 16 earning World Cup qualification to date. This very healthy development gives great confidence for the future of the Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series for 2009 and beyond.
The reports and details of this 26th World Cup Stop in Doha, Qatar, can be accessed at www.waterskiandwakeboardworldcup.com