Tens of thousands of thrill-seeking spectators and 110 of the world’s biggest names in action sport are set to take gravity to the extreme at the 2005 Gravity Games H2O, presented by Vodafone, lifting off in Perth, Western Australia, tomorrow (October 6).
Held on the Swan River, viewed from McCallum Park, Victoria Park, the event runs until Sunday (October 9) and boasts prize money of AUS$170,000+ for medal contests in Wakeboarding, Kiteboarding and a new event, Thundercats freestyle powerboating.
Touching down in Perth from today, an elite contingent of professional athletes will arrive from 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, France, Sweden, South Africa, China, New Caledonia, New Zealand and from across Australia. The adrenaline-pumped line-up includes the majority of the top-ranked competitors from each sport.
Vision from the event will be seen by more than 400 million people worldwide, with broadcasts spanning Europe, Asia, United Kingdom, North America, South AmericaMiddle East, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
The Wakeboarding contest is regarded as one of the world’s largest and is now part of the World Wakeboard Association (WWA) 2005 World Series. The Kiteboarding medal event, boasting international sanctioning as part of the Kiteboard Pro World Tour (KPWT) World Cup, will be battled out on the Swan River, viewed from Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth.
Non-medal events include BMX, Skate and Inline demonstrations on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest vert ramp (20ft high), and death-defying displays by renowned Freestyle Motocross rider, ‘Mad’ Mike Jones from the US. Mad Mike will join big-name Australians Matt Schurbring, Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Ray and the only female freestyle rider in the Asia Pacific, 22-year-old Mary Perkins of New Zealand.
The host city will be well represented, with six Perth kiteboarders and one wakeboarder adding some all-important, home grown talent to the line-up. In the Wakeboarding event, 17-year-old Cory (‘Peachy’) Peach will make his international debut. Local Kiteboarding entrants include the current Australian No. 1, 19-year-old chiropractic student Adam Ratajewski, along with Ryland Blakeney, Jake Gordon and Dale Stanton. In the women’s Kiteboarding event is Overall National Champion for 2005, Theresa McKirdy, and Jessica van den Berg.
More than 40,000 spectators will take in the adrenaline-pumped atmosphere at the smoke-free Drug Aware Gravity Village, where athlete autograph sessions, a Gravity Challenge amateur competition, free local bands and 16 different interactive activities, including paintballing, will be on offer. The Village will be open from 9.00am to 6.00pm daily and until 8.30pm on Friday night. Entry is free.