Cold weather and slight rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the wakeboarding enthusiasts that witnessed the 4th WWC World Wakeboard Championships in Sydney, Australia from 9th. – 12th. October 2003.
143 riders from 19 countries entered this annual event with 99 riders travelling overseas, to reach this prestigious event.
The Sydney International Regatta Centre at Penrith was the official competition site for this annual event. The site, built for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has world class facilities and design features that minimize the impact of weather and backwash. Spectator facilities are unmatched by any other wakeboard venue in the world.
Jeff Weatherall, Daniel Watkins and Tino Santori stole the show in Pro Mens finals. Jeff managed to complete a sensational routine of tricks which included a method crow mobe, nuclear tantrum, boardslide 270 off the slider, blind five and whirlybird five to edge out Daniel Watkins (2nd) and Tino Santori (3rd).
Speaking with Jeff after the event he said “I’m really stoked with the result. I wanted to come here to win and managed to pull it together, but the competition was tough – it was harder in the earlier rounds and I had my work cut out for me. I loved the competition and the level of riding was excellent”.
The level of riding in the Open Womens division continues to get stronger each year, with Amber Wing from Australia winning the gold medal with a run which included an off-axis five and whirlybird to beat Laura Lohrman from the USA (2nd) and fellow Aussie rider Hayley Smith 3rd).
Defending overall champions Australia, with Daniel Watkins, Josh Sanders, Amber Wing and Scott Broome on its team, placed first for the second year running, edging out the USA (2nd) and New Zealand (3rd).
Upon the completion of the world title events, Tige Boats organized a cash prize event for a list of invited riders. The orders were reversed with Daniel Watkins taking home the top cash prize, leaving Jeff Weatherall in second and Josh Sanders in third. The results were unchanged in the women's cash event with Amber proving why she was crowned world champion by beating Laura Lohrman, and Hayley Smith again to take home the cash.
The 2004 Wakeboard World Championships will be held in Seville, Spain (date TBA)