World Cup Stars Shine Brightly At the 50th Moomba Masters In Melbourne
The Moomba Monday Holiday in Melbourne, Australia, is always a major family day of celebration. In spite of the extraordinary weather patterns of the past week, thousands showed up for today’s special 50th Anniversary Moomba Masters on the Yarra River.
Historically, the gold medals at this event usually go to the more experienced skiers and regular Moomba visitors – such as Nicolas LeForestier FRA, Chris Parrish USA, Freddy Krueger USA, Anais Amade FRA and Clementine Lucine FRA. This year it was a totally new story with major upsets – and in many cases it was the World Cup stars who triumphed.
More heavy overnight rain brought a new supply of debris to the Yarra River – and this upset some of the competitors routines. In Women’s Slalom, 26 year old Australian National Overall Champion Cathryn Humphrey caused a sensation. She beat two co-holders of the World Record, Regina Jaquess USA and Karina Nowlan AUS and took the title with a score of 2 buoys on the 12m line. In Men’s Slalom, it was the turn of a worthy World Cup star to shine. The three-time runner-up, 32 year old Aaron Larkin NZL, took the gold medal for the first time with a score of 2.5 buoys on the 11.25m line. To achieve this he outperformed the current World Champion Will Asher GBR and World Record Holder Chris Parrish USA. It was a dream come true for the New Zealander.
In Tricks, there were more surprises. Past World Trick Champion Regina Jaquess USA and past World Overall Champion Clementine Lucine FRA, could not outscore 26 year old Natalia Berdnikova BLR. Her 7750 points were enough to take this 50th Moomba Masters title. In Men’s Tricks, we had the same upset ! Russell Gay USA, past PanAm Champion, and Javier Julio ARG, the current World Overall Champion, were unable this time to out score the young Czech Republic athlete Adam Sedlmajer who clocked up 9980 points.
It is hard to believe that exactly the same pattern continued in Jump where the regulars usually take the top places. World Overall Record Holder, Regina Jaquess USA and US Masters Jump Champion June Fladborg DEN could not keep pace with 26 year-old Natalia Berdnikova BLR as she took her second Moomba medal of the day. The Men’s Jump result was even more spectacular. When 30 year-old Damien Sharman GBR took the European Jump title last year in Denmark, it was his first major title. Today he was pitched against Freddy Krueger USA, Jason Seels GBR, Zack Worden USA and Scot Ellis USA. In fact he tied for first place at 64.7m with Thomas Asher GBR and went on the beat hin in a jump-off. This was an enormous victory for Damien Sharman.
The 2010 50th anniversary of the Moomba Masters was a roller-coaster of experiences. Weather extremes really tested the excellent organizers, Darren Robertson and the Victorian Water Ski Association. Most of our sports super-stars struggled to compete with the rising talents in all three disciplines. As ever, the Moomba Masters created its own annual magic and helped to continue its reputation of being one of the most spectacular events on our calendar.
In 1960 Max Kirwan OAM established the first Moomba Masters Water Ski Championships on Melbourne’s Yarra River. This grew to be one of the most famous international Water Ski events in the World, bringing the City of Melbourne to the attention of the worlds sporting public. His involvement has continued for the entire fifty years of its history. Today he announced his retirement from the organizing committee. A special presentation was made to him to mark the occasion by Kuno Ritschard, President of the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation.
For all the results, see : http://www.moombamasters.com.au/results.htm