The Wave Ski Worlds Championships

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Wave Ski Worlds Wrap up in New Zealand
Aussies take crown, but U.S. places two juniors in top four

The waves Down Under might have been down under the average swell for this time of year, but that didn’t dampen spirits at the Wave Ski World Championships at the infamous Makorori break in Gisborne, New Zealand, March 25-31. Competitors made the most of it on and off the water, through cutbacks, off-the-lip moves and dynamic aerials as well as beachside bashes worthy of any international gathering of boaters.

“Unfortunately sunny, surf city Gisborne had an off week, but that didn’t hold back some top performances and big moves, and it certainly didn’t slow down the partying,” says event co-organizer John Nowak of the weather and lack-luster swell. “The atmosphere all round was pretty awesome—a fantastic time was had by everyone all around, and big huge ups to the crew in Gisborne for organizing such a great event.”

Dominating both the partying and surf were the Aussies, taking the first, third and fourth spots in the Open division behind first-place finisher and former world champion Reece Duncan, and second and third in the women’s division, behind Lisa Ryan. But the U.S. showed it might soon be the country to beat with two juniors, Tyler Lausten and Alexander Stubbs, taking second and fourth, respectively, in the junior division.
While the rain wasn’t a welcome event for competitors, it was for locals, who were in the midst of a three-month drought. The drought of swell during the event, however, led to a couple of postponements, with surfers taking to the water in a series of unjudged—except for bragging rights—free-for-alls. “The competitors had a good attitude and surfed well in some difficult conditions,” says contest director Terry McMillan, who used a panel of boardsurfing judges from New Zealand to determine the winners of each heat. “They sorted out the better waves and we saw some good air-turns, with an excellent range of scores.”
The judges, he adds, were struck by the similarities to stand-up surfing and impressed by the skills of the top surfers.
Adds world wave ski association president Brett Cronin: “Everyone was philosophical about the conditions–they’ve been around long enough to understand that the best we can provide is the contest infrastructure, and there has not been one bad comment about the judging.” And even the judges were impressed by Great Britain’s Tony Diamond, who took home the coveted Wipeout Award after a huge off-the-lip biff.
Results
Open
1st – Reece Duncan – Australia
2nd – Mattheau Babarit – France
3rd – Lance Milnes – Australia
4th – Dale Randahl – Australia

Women’s
1st – Caroline Angibaud – France
2nd – Lisa Ryan – Australia
3rd – Melissa Hardy – Australia
4th – Coralie Jousett – France

Juniors
1st – Lionel Angibaud – France
2nd – Tyler Lausten – USA
3rd – Coralie Jousett – France
4th – Alexander Stubbs – USA

New Age
1st – Ben John – Australia
2nd – Fletcher Burton – USA
3rd – Caroline Angibaud – France
4th – Gerry McGlinchey – Ireland

Seniors
1st – Luke Herman – Australia
2nd – Reece Duncan – Australia
3rd – Tony Cherry – New Zealand
4th – Mattheau Babarit – France

Masters
1st – Neil Decker – Australia
2nd – Richard Tadday – Australia
3rd – Stephen Farthing – Australia
4th – Brett Cronin – New Zealand

Grand Masters
1st – Steve Gibbs – New Zealand
2nd – Kevin Marshall – Australia
3rd – Graham Roberts – Australia
4th – John Paul Martin – Australia

Veterans
1st – Basil Repa – Australia
2nd – Eric Tocock – Australia
3rd – Richard Croome – Australia
4th – Paolo Giompalo – Australia

Tag Team
1st – Australia
2nd – New Zealand
3rd – France
4th – UK International
5th – USA International

Wipepout Award: Tony Diamond – Great Britain
Info: www.waveski.info. View photos at www.peniorphotography.com

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