The rapid growth of Cable Wakeboard was clear for all to see at the weekend at the 13th European Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships. An estimated six new Cable Parks are opening each month at the moment 51 countries already have the facilities in place. At a time when environmental issues are headlined almost daily, this sport offers much to city authorities around the world today.
Then venue chosen by the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) for the 2011 European Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate was the picturesque Aqua Ski Cable Park located right in the Centre of Belgrade, Serbia’s capital city. With hot 32°C sunshine and perfect calm water, the surrounding lakeside beaches were packed with enthusiastic spectators all weekend.
Following the recent decisions by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to shortlist Cable Wakeboard for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, a special IWWF taskforce was immediately established entitled WAKEBOARD 2020 VISION. Their task is to provide the information required by the IOC to assist in their final Olympic decision. This added an extra dimension to these Championships in Belgrade.
A record of 156 athletes from 21 Countries took part in these 2011 Championships, with the largest numbers coming from Germany, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Israel and Sweden. With separate categories for Boys, Girls, Junior Ladies, Junior Men, Open Ladies, Open Men, Master Men and Veterans, the Public enjoyed three full 12 hour days to satisfy the record number of Riders taking part.
As the sun set over Belgrade and the floral garlands were presented to the winners, the loudest applause at the lakeside podium cam for both Denise de Haan NED and Lior Sofer ISR. In taking the Open Ladies European title, Denise the Haan showed her full recovery from past injuries but had to fight hard to take this close called victory. Cosima Giemza GER and Kirsteen Mitchell GBR took silver and bronze medals. In the Open Men’s division, Lior Sofer was really in a league of his own and a clear winner with his outstanding performance. Mike Ketellapper NED took silver and Szebasztian Szolath HUN took bronze. The European Team prize went to Germany. The highlights were broadcast on primetime Serbia’s Channel 1 TV.
For all of you who couldn’t made it to the Europeans you have chance to watch wakeboard report from Dawid Balas… Check it out…