News Releases have been distributed to 192 countries on every one of the 21 Stops completed. The search for suitable new downtown venues and event partners for the future continues as the momentum of the World Cup reaches new levels.
The venue for this 21st World Cup Stop was the Diplomatic Club on the Arabian Gulf in Doha in Qatar. Sponsored by Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), Aspire - Academy for Sports Excellence, MasterCraft, The Diplomatic Club and the IWSF, this was the perfect location for the final chapter of the season. With temperatures of 34C, a light cooling breeze and a spectacular setting against the impressive and rapidly changing Doha sky line, those who expected high standards on all fronts were not disappointed.
Having successfully completed the Asian Games one year ago at the nearby Aspire sports complex, running two major international Wakeboard events back to back was not a problem for Doha or the QMSF. Last week, the IWSF Wakeboard World Championships were completed successfully and now it was the turn of the World Cup series for Wakeboard Riders from ten countries. These included Korea, Republic of South Africa, USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand and China. Only the highest performers qualify for IWSF World Cup invitations to compete for the US$60,000 Doha prize fund.
The winner of the last World Cup Wakeboard Stop in Singapore, Dallas Friday (USA) arrived to attempt a double victory. Friday was crowned IWSF World Wakeboard Champion last week.
Eight Women qualified for World Cup entry at the Diplomatic Club site. They formed two Heats of four Riders with the top three in each advancing to a six Rider Final. In the first group. Chen LiLi (CHN) had some bad luck on the day. However, Shelby Tantar (USA) dominated with a clear three point lead over Caitlin Blaauw (AUS). In the other Heat, Canada’s Sunni Ann Ball lost out as she struggled to overcome back pain. It was Dallas Friday who dominated that Heat. In the Finals, the 14 year old sensation from Florida, Raimi Merritt, who has clocked up four major titles in the past twelve months alone, almost did it again. Her score of 50.78 was extraordinary. This pushed Dallas Friday harder than she may have wished. However, Friday’s gymnastics background and rare talent gives her a major advantage and her score of 60.78 delivered the well deserved title of Doha IWSF Wakeboard World Cup Stop champion.
As a sign of the growth of this sport in the region and the impact of the IWSF Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series, the Arab Wakeboard Open Championships, the Qatar Wakeboard Trophy and the Aspire Children’s Master Class lessons were also completed this week. The Master Classes performed by Patrice Martin and Rodo Vinh Tung attracted over 250 young Qatari children to the Diplomatic Club beach site. Kuno Ritschard, President of the IWSF, stated that the future growth potential for the sport in Qatar is enormous and such a high level of interest at junior level needs to be encouraged further.
This 21st IWSF World Cup Stop brings the 2007 season to a very successful conclusion. All of the 2007 IWSF World Cup Stops will be available shortly on DVD at http://www.sportsactiondvds.com The 2006 Series is also still available on DVD for both Wakeboard and Waterski fans at this address.
To see all the results of the Doha Stop of the IWSF World Cup series, go to this address :
PRO WOMEN RESULTS
1. Dallas Friday (USA)
2. Raimi Merritt (USA
3. Shelby Kantar (USA)
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS