The launch of the 2004 Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup by the International Waterski Federation has been well timed. The first of the seven World Cup Stops in France saw crowds of over 20,000 cheer the Wakeboarders to excel. The next Stop for the World’s top ranked Waterski athletes takes place in Dubna on the outskirts of Moscow in Russia on July 24th/25th. Here, over 30,000 spectators are expected to attend. England, China, the USA and Qatar are also confidently forecasting attendances of up to 50,000 spectators, the signs are that Waterski and Wakeboard are riding the crest of a wave at the moment.

To underscore this positive trend, SGMA International in the USA published their annual Recreational Market Report in June. The detailed report for 2003 shows a significant US$22 million sales increase in the USA of Waterski, Wakeboard and water sports equipment. Whereas Snow Skiing, Baseball, Bowling, Racquetball, Tennis and others struggled in challenging market circumstances, the International Waterski Federation is encouraged by the positive trend in Waterski and Wakeboard equipment. This reflects similar positive developments in Golf, Soccer and Ice Hockey.

The $22 million USA sales increase of waterskis, wakeboards and other water sports equipment does not include sales of pleasure craft. Here sales also increased. Ian Birdsall of MasterCraft, sponsors and official suppliers of the World Cup competition boats confirmed this very positive sales trend.

Kuno Ritschard, World President of the IWSF stated this week ‘The efforts of our friends in France, Russia, China, Great Britain, USA, Singapore and Qatar in bringing the 2004 Waterski & Wakebard World Cup Stops to downtown venues, has brought a new and exciting event to spectators searching for a new experience close to where they live. We are very encouraged by the trends reflected in the SGMA report’

The total cash prize for the 2004 Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup now stands at US$650,000. Akrilan, Russia’s market leader in hydromassage baths and shower enclosures is a major sponsor, together with the Government of Moscow Region and the City of Dubna. With a US$100,000 cash prize at stake in Dubna next weekend, athletes from eighteen countries will make this an event to remember as Dubna also celebrates its anniversary day on July 24th.

CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation

Official Towboat Sponsor for 2004 World Cup