Waterskiing- 05 Sep 2011

The rapid growth of Cable Wakeboard was clear for all to see at the weekend at the 13th European Cable Wakeboard Championships. An estimated six new Cable Parks are opening each month at the moment and 51 countries already have the facilities in place. At a time when environmental issues are headlined almost daily, this sport offers much to city authorities around the world today.

The venue chosen by the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) for the 2011 European Cable Wakeboard Championships was the picturesque AQUA SKI Cable Park located right in the centre of Belgrade, Serbia’s capital city. With hot 32C sunshine and perfect calm water, the surrounding lakeside beaches were packed with enthusiastic spectators all weekend.

Following the recent decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to shortlist Cable Wakeboard for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, a special IWWF taskforce was immediately established entitled WAKEBOARD 2020 VISION. Their task is to provide the information required by the IOC to assist in their final Olympics decision. This added an extra dimension to these Championships in Belgrade.

A record total of 156 athletes from 21 Countries took part in these 2011 Championships, with the largest numbers coming from Germany, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Israel and Sweden. With separate categories for Boys, Girls, Junior Women and Men, Open Ladies and Men, plus Master Men, the Public enjoyed two full 12 hour days to satisfy the record number of Riders taking part.

As the sun set over Belgrade and the floral garlands were presented to the winners, the loudest applause at the lakeside podium came for both Denise de Haan NED and Lior Sofer ISR. In taking the Open Ladies European title, Denise de Haan showed her full recovery from past injuries but had to fight hard to take this close called victory. Cosima Giemza GER and Kirsteen Mitchell GBR took the silver and bronze medals. In the Open Men’s division, Lior Sofer was really in a league of his own and a clear winner with his outstanding performance. Mike Ketellapper NED took silver and Szebasztian Szolath HUN took bronze. The European Team prize went to Germany. The highlights were broadcast on primetime Serbia’s Channel 1 TV.

For all the 2011 European Cable Wakeboard Championships results, here is the Link : http://www.cablewakeboard.net/press/LiveResults/404/Results

The WAKEBOARD 2020 VISION project has certainly given an enormous boost to this exciting lifestyle sport which captured the imagination of Belgrade this weekend.