AUSTRALIA MIGHT STRUGGLE TO REPEAT THEIR 2014 CHINA WAKEBOARD MEDALS HAUL AT SEPTEMBER’S YiHe OPEN / WORLD CUP STOP
The World Cup Series of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) first came to this rapidly developing city of Linyi in 2011. With it’s 2,400 year history and a population of over 10 million, the September 26/27 World Cup Stop will again attract thousands of spectators to enjoy the skills of the world’s most talented Wakeboard riders. At that first event here four years ago, a spectacular grandstand was constructed on the banks of the Yi River to celebrate the occasion. This has since become a significant water-sports centre. Linyi is located south of Beijing on the main Beijing-Shanghai Expressway.
MasterCraft will once again provide the competition boats and technical support for this World Cup Stop. They have mastered the global logistics challenge from the very start which is an extraordinary achievement considering the fact that 44 Stops have been completed by the IWWF since the birth of this Series.
The current male and female IWWF World Wakeboard Champions will both join those athletes from 17 countries in Linyi, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Sweden, Thailand and USA.
Last year, Australian riders in Linyi took four of the six available World Cup medals. Can they repeat this outstanding achievement ? Looking at their lineup for September 26/27, they might just do that. Certainly, the Pro Men will stand a good chance of dominating with 22 year-old World Wakeboard Champion Harley Clifford from Queensland,18 year-old Cory Teunissen from Brisbane and 19 year-old Tony Iacconi from New South Wales. Clifford, regarded as the most talented rider in the world today, captured both the coveted Moomba Masters and US Masters gold medals this year with an unprecedented perfect score at the Masters. He also won eight World Cup gold medals in recent years, including two at Linyi. Teunissen had a major victory last March when he beat all to take the Mandurah Western Australia World Cup gold medal. He already has a Junior Rookie of the Year title. Iaconni took the silver medal in Linyi last year and added gold medals at both the Asia Oceania Wakeboard Championships and National Wakeboard Championships. This Australian trio will pose an enormous challenge to the others. However, Australia might struggle with the Pro Women. Their super stars Amber Wing and Bec Gange cannot attend. Wing and international rider Dean Smith recently celebrated the arrival of their baby boy William and Gange is recovering from injury. That will leave an interesting challenge for the very talented 17 year-old Australian Chloe Mills to fill the gap on the World Cup podium.
Pro Men Riders from Japan, Ireland, USA, Russia and others will certainly push hard to topple the Australian dominance of last year. Watch especially for Shota Tezuka JPN, David O’Caoimh IRL, Daniel Powers USA and Nikita Martyanov RUS. All are capable of getting on to that World Cup podium at this YiHe Open Wakeboard Championships. The Pro Women will also be very competitive with Raimi Merritt USA, the defending Linyi World Cup and World Champion, Nicola Butler USA, the 2015 Mandurah World Cup Champion and Caroline Djupsjo SWE, the Europe Africa Champion, having all performed well this season. The enormous number of cheering spectators in the grandstand and on the banks of the Yi River will certainly make this a very special event for all.
The local area weather forecast is good with temperatures expected to be a comfortable 25C / 77Fh.
Facebook & Twitter : #LinyiWorldCup
TV SHOWS – Immediately following the September 26/27 event, details of this YiHe Open / #LinyiWorldCup TV show will be announced on www.WaterskiandWakeboardWorldCup.com
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