This coming weekend will see the very best in the sport of Wakeboard from eleven countries competing for the coveted International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) World Cup title in what will be the 46th Stop of this highly successful global series. The series includes Dun Laoghaire based wakerboarder David O'Caoimh from Killiney. Afloat.ie readers will recall O'Caoimh's training exploits at Dun Laoghaire Library last March.
The World Cup programme kicks off this Friday at Noon with Pro Women’s Wakeboard Practice followed by the Pro Men. The magnificent Linyi Waterfront Stadium was purpose built five years ago for the World Cup Series. Located in Shandong Province on the banks of the Yi River between Beijing and Shanghai, Linyi City’s history dates back over 2,400 years. Today it is a major Wholesaling centre in China.
On Saturday, the Riders will attend the Official Opening Ceremony on site at 09.00hrs – always quite a spectacular display on both land and water. This will be followed by the Quarter-Finals and Last Chance Qualifiers rounds. The following nations will be represented: Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico and USA.
Weather forecasts are good with 26C / 80F and sunny skies predicted.
Australia and USA have certainly fielded top quality Riders with both experience and past performances on their sides. Included from Australia will be Cory Teunissen, Dean Smith, Tony Iacconi, Nicolas Rapa, Chloe Mills and Amber Smith. Cory Teunissen has to be a hot favourite having taken the previous World Cup title plus the 2016 Nautique Wake Series in Toronto a few weeks ago. The very strong contingent of USA Riders will include Steel Lafferty, Daniel Powers, Mike Dowdy, Daniel Thollander, Tarah Benzel Mikacich and Taylor McCullough. Both Taylor McCullough and Tarah Benzel Mikacich are rarely off the podium and expected to push hard for honours at this World Cup Stop.
On Sunday, a Waterski Show will start the day at 09.00hrs, followed by the Wakeboard Semi-Finals and Finals. The Awards Ceremony at the Grandstand is scheduled for 15.45hrs.