08 Dec IWWF Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships El Gouna, Egypt
Germany’s Julia Rick created history in El Gouna, Egypt, in taking her fifth consecutive title of IWWF Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard Champion. With nineteen countries represented, fourteen divisions and 183 Wakeboard and Wakeskate athletes, this was one of the toughest contests of the year with the highest standards ever seen. As a potential Olympic discipline, this was a perfect example of what low cost environment friendly Cable board sports can deliver.
The venue for the 19th Europe and Africa Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships is regarded as a market leader – Sliders Cablepark in El Gouna, Egypt. This premier Red Sea holiday destination is one of the biggest Olympic standard man-made eco-friendly Cable Parks in the world. Built beside a 10km sandy beach with 17 first class hotels, the Egyptian Sailing & Water Ski Federation welcomed 183 athletes here for the first time. The impressive Cable installation was built in 2014 – a five Pylon Rixen System, 460 meters long with 6 towers, each 10 meters high.
Open Men Wakeboard Champion – Ariano Blanik (GER)
The countries represented in these championships included Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland, Republic of South Africa and Russia.
With fourteen gold medals available, German athletes captured a total of eight, the others going to Russia, Spain, Great Britain, Denmark, Slovakia and Italy. The Wakeskate element of the championships included Junior Ladies and Junior Men, Open Ladies and Open Men. Wakeskate gold medals were awarded to athletes from France, Slovakia and Spain with Open awards going to Zuzana Vrablova (SVK) and 22-year-old Clement de Premonville (FRA).
In Wakeboard, the large entry greatly increased the challenge of achieving a Finals position. A special welcome was given to Seated Riders where eventually the gold medal was presented to Emanuele Pagnini (ITA) by Mr Amr Abu Soud, President of the Egyptian Sailing & Water Ski Federation.
In Open Ladies, Germany’s Julia Rick was unbeatable right from the start. Her wins this season included the IWWF World Cup in Shanghai China, Corona Wakeboard Cup, Golden Wake Tour and a victory in Berlin. Only Sanne Meijer (NED) got close but Rick had the perfect finish to her outstanding 2017 season.
In Open Men, it was a much closer battle. Florian Weiherer (GER) had a fantastic battle with Timo Kapl (AUT). Both looked like gold medal contenders till Germany’s Ariano Blanik took to the water. With three major titles under his belt so far this year, all judges awarded him their top marks as he received his gold medal from Mr Mahmoud EL Baroudy, Mayor of El Gouna.
Without a doubt, this Sliders Cablepark in El Gouna will see many more major International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation events over the coming years. With clockwise and anti-clockwise cables, pro shop, beach club, restaurants, swimming pools, playground and party facilities, all just 25 minutes from Hurghada Airport, few venues could offer more.