The defending champion of Mulwala's Freestyle Sports Expo, Jeff Weatherall, went head to head with defending two-time APTW Champion Daniel Watkins at the 1st stop of the APTW today and walked away with first place.
A crowd of over 9,000 was on hand to watch the new head-to-head competition format, which was the centerpiece of the multi-sport event.
First Stop of Aussie Pro Tour Rocks Extreme Sports Expo
The depth of Australian wakeboarding has shone today with the young guns taking it to the veterans of Aussie Wakeboarding.
From the 27 initial riders, only 8 riders qualified through to the main day of competition. The head-to-head battles saw the competitors being matched against only one other rider to advance through to the next round. The sudden death format included young guns Dean Smith (NSW), Chris O'Shea (VIC), Mick Hancock (NSW) and Dwayne Priestly (QLD) challenging the experienced pro veterans Brett 'Ike' Eisenhauer and Greg Falzon (QLD).
The final head-to-head battle saw Daniel Watins (QLD) and Jeff Weatherall (NZ) challenge for the top spot, but it was the Kiwi's fluceny and technical riding, which included a whirlybird 540, backside 540, nose grab crow mobe and 720 that resulted in him taking the victory.
The semi finals saw a plethera of new talent rising – the next generation of wakeboarders delivering truly inspiring performances. Jesson Vedel of Tahiti, Jesse Schipsel of Canada and local siders Jye Bailey and Raymond Dopper all displayed massive talent and stepped up the level of wakeboarding during the competition.
Final Standings from the APTW Stop 1:
1st - Jeff Weatherall
2nd - Daniel Watkins
3rd - Chris O'Shea
4th - Greg Falzon
5th - Dean Smith
6th - Dwayne Priestly
7th - Brett 'Ike' Eisenhauer
8th - Mick Hankcock