Over 25,000 lucky spectators were treated to four days of sunshine and spectacular wakeboarding action at the jetlake in Feldkirchen for the ONE Cable Wakeboard World Championships, presented by Nokia.
To prepare themselves perfectly, some of the participating teams came two weeks before the Feldkirchen event to take advantage of training time on the jetlake cable. By Wednesday night, 153 riders representing 20 nations from all over the world arrived in Feldkirchen to celebrate the colourful opening ceremony of the 4th IWSF Cable Wakeboarding World Championships.
Thursday was the first day of action, marked with the qualifications in all categories. The riders were enthusiastic about the spacious set up of the parcours. A great obstacle arrangement was created by the organizers for the World Championships: starting with the rainbow slider, followed by the 23 meter long pussy box and a funbox, finalizing the run with the choice of one of the two kickers, offering a vide variety of possibilities to the riders to showcase their skills.
In the Open Mens qualification, the contestants were not holding back: technical tricks such as crow mobes and double s-bends were presented continuously. Favourite riders Bernhard Hinterberger (GER), Chad Forrest (USA), Marcel Doorgeest (NED) and Daniel Fetz (AUT) made it directly to the semifinals.
After sunset the wakeboard movie ‘Statement’, produced and directed by the German Christian Grüner, had its world premiere on the big video screen. Hundreds of wakeboard fans came to watch and to check the parts of their idols. Special applause was given to the ‘obstacle part’ of Heather Johnson and to the ‘romantic part’ of Fetzy.
The next day presented more difficult decisions as the Last Chance Qualifications were held for all categories, with the semifinals of the Junior Men and Open Men taking place in the afternoon.
The session was full of surprises as the triple World Champion, Bernhard Hinterberger (GER), had to write off defending his title after a fall at the first trick in the semifinal. However, he did complete the fatest run of the World Championships on the jetlake with a crow mobe in the middle of the lake, followed by double s-bend, pete rose, tweetybird in front of the motor reel, than mobius, transfer over the funbox and a whirly 5 on the kicker. Nevertheless he missed the final, ending up in 8th place in his group.
After this shock the live concert improved the mood of the crowd, with four bands entertaining the 8,000 visitors who turned the WCH plaza into a music festival arena!
Saturday was the day to crown the seven World Champions 2006. In the afternoon the Girls (winner: Maxine Sapulette/NED), Boys (winner: Ben Corday/GBR) and Junior Ladies (winner: Ginger Pfennings/GER) impressed with their performances. The final of the Junior Men category was an impressive show. The 17-year-old British rider Nick Davies mastered the concurrence and pulled out all the stops: close to the gallery of spectators he showed a double s-bend to blind, stylish nuclear grabs and ollie spins, which even for the most experienced judge were not comprehensible anymore. Gold medal for Nick Davies, who will make very soon the big time in the Open class.
After a heavy downpour, the highlight of the WCH, the Open Ladies and Open Mens Finals, were on the agenda. French rider Laurent Peyrichou, 21, tied in with his top performances of the qualifications secured the World Champion title and won the gold medal for the first time for France. He impressed the judges with his clean and highly variable tricks, such as a backroll to blind nuclear grab and tantrum to blind and groovy obstacle skills. Favourite Rob Mapp (USA) gained the second and Emil Tzolov from Bulgaria took the third place on the winner’s podium. Austria’s big hope Daniel Fetz missed the chance of winning precious medal. He crashed in his first final run just before the first turn, performing a s-bend to blind. Despite a perfect second run including a massive KGB, spinning the kicker with 720 and Cab 900, the 21-year-old cable guy had no match for a spot on the podium and came in 8th place.
Earning the World Championship gold was Julia Bormann (GER) who won her first great title in the women’s category. The silver medal went to the Serbian rider Milica Glujavic and bronze to Kinga Horvath from Hungary.
Germany’s Thorsten Bernecker expertly managed the rainy conditions during the Masters final to secure first place and a gold medal. The best Team of the WCH 2006 was awarded to Germany, followed by Great Britain and the USA.
To celebrate the end of the games, cool crossover band ‘Dog Eat Dog’ played a live concert til 3am. For the 153 riders from 20 countries, the numerous fans, media representatives and organizers, the World Championships 2006 at the jetlake were a complete success. All of them were enthused about the event and the unbelievable atmosphere around the jetlake area. They’ll all be looking forward to another great wakeboard festival next Summer!