With the first Stop of the 2007 Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series scheduled to take place this weekend at the picturesque City of Dubna in Russia, the entry list is crammed with the super stars of the sport. The highest ranked athletes from fourteen countries are already on their way to the magnificent Volga River competition site. All the action will be captured for distribution on the SKYSPORTS TV Channel and on World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) http://www.wcsn.com
The hot Waterski contender in Mens Jump this weekend must be Freddy Krueger (USA). Aged 32 and currently ranked number one in the latest International Water Ski Federation (IWSF) Ranking Tables, Krueger has had an extraordinary twelve months of success on the water. He took the Jump title in every major event of the past year. This included two Masters titles in the USA, the Moomba Masters in Australia, the World Cup Jump titles in Dubna and Northern Ireland and the 2006 World Cup series Jump title. As the defending Dubna Jump Champion, he is also the current World Record holder with a distance of 73m.
In Womens Jump, the talented Greek athlete Ageliki Andriopoulou is also in peak form. The 30 year old athlete from Athens has had a very convincing series of major Jump triumphs. Having taken the title of World Jump Champion in Tianjin in China in 2005, she went on to take the Jump title in the World Cup Stop in Northern Ireland and the Moomba Masters title in Australia. Her personal best of 54.9m is the leading distance of all contenders next weekend in Dubna.
In Mens Shortboard, it will be difficult to find a stronger contender than the 33 year old star, Nicolas LeForestier (FRA). Not only is he the highest ranked IWSF athlete in this category, he is also the reigning World Champion, the holder of the current World Record of 12,400 points and the Dubna World Cup Stop defending champion. In the past year, LeForestier also took the Shortboard titles in China and Northern Ireland. Many believe that he could well set a new World Shortboard Record this season. There is always the possibility that Dubna may well be the place for some Shortboard history making.
In Womens Shortboard, Mandy Nightingale (USA), will be one to watch closely. She has been the reigning World Shortboard Champion since 2003. This 25 year old is also the highest ranked IWSF athlete of the year. Her personal best score is 8740 points. She took the World Cup Shortboard titles in Northern Ireland and China and will be fighting hard to recapture her 2005 Dubna Shortboard crown this coming weekend on the Volga River.
If all of these achievements suggest an inevitability about the results of the Dubna Stop of this World Cup series in Russia, do not bet on it ! In all events, there are really no athletes so far ahead of the others who cannot be beaten on the day. This is what will keep all 30,000 spectators in Dubna in Russia this coming weekend on their toes. It will certainly be another thriller for the fans.
Sponsors MasterCraft have the competition boats fully prepared and ready to go on the calm Volga River waters. All we need for yet another thrilling World Cup Stop in Dubna this weekend is some luck with the weather. The forecast is for temperatures of 75Fh / 22C, with the possibility of some light showers.
photos Janos Schmidt