The first Australian IWWF World Cup stop culminated with the Men’s Wakeboard Finals and the standard was high from the outset. American Steel Lafferty nailed down an impressive run scorching to the top of the finals with a score of 76.57 as the other top seeds could not reach his mark. Then 18 year old Japanese wakeboarder Shota Tezuka, who seemed happy just to make the final, left the dock looking very relaxed and waving to the crowd as he came under the Mandurah bridge. The chilled approach worked for the World Cup rookie as he dazzled with a number of crazy tricks, hitting each wake with reckless abandon and posting an enormous top score of 80.21 to top the rankings.
So the stage was set for Australia’s current World Champion Harley Clifford as he hit the water to the cheers of the massive crowd lining both banks of the estuary. It turned into a walk-in-the-park for the child prodigy as he blitzed the field on his first run, starting with a backside 720, hitting a crow-mobe 540 in the middle and finishing with a toeside 900 to pretty much have the event won at his first pass. He pumped up a number of tricks for the crowd on his second pass to register a score of 90.0 before doing a lap of honour on the Mastercraft double-up run.
Clifford was thrilled to start the IWWF World Cup schedule with a win in Australia. “I knew what I had to do in the final and just got out there and did it – and things lined up,” said Clifford in an interview straight after the win. “I am super-pumped and have been riding every day this Summer while home in Australia and I can’t wait to get over to the US and attack the rest of the season.”
A summary of the IWWF World Cup Final results for today follows:
Women’s Wakeboard Finals – 1.Raimi Merritt 2.Amber Wing 3. Bec Gainge
Men’s Wakeboard Finals – 1.Harley Clifford 2.Shota Tezuka 3.Steel Lafferty
Over 60 athletes from 23 different nations competed over the weekend at Mandurah, Western Australia. The IWWF has travelled through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, China, South East Asia and now Australia. Mandurah will be home to the IWWF World Cup for the next four years, making it the first time in IWWF history that the event has been held in the same place for four consecutive years.
The EYRES Action Sport Games Mandurah is supported by the State Government through Eventscorp’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. The event also included a BMX and Skateboarding competition as well as Freestyle Motocross demonstrations throughout the weekend.