Aussie repeats as Wakestock champ 0
Thousands of fans packed Collingwood Harbour’s Millennium Park this weekend to cheer Wakeboarders from all over the world as they competed in Wakestock 2012.
Australian Harley Clifford, rode the waves to take first place for the second year in a row.
The event is part of the World Wakeboarding Association (WWA) World Series, a five event series which riders earn points towards the championship. Judges score participants on the difficulty of the trick, as well as style points and technical execution.
Riders from all around the world compete at Wakestock. Many are from Canada, but riders come from the USA, Europe, and Australia.
Riders compete in a heat with four riders, and the top two move on to the semi finals. The top two riders from each semi final go on to form the eight-man final.
Wakeskating is an event similar to Wakeboarding, but the main difference is that the rider’s feet are not attached to the board. The Wakeskating board is like a skateboard and riders can flip the board in the air, similar to a kick-flip on a skateboard. Tricks in Wakeskating are not as high-flying as tricks in Wakeboarding, but it is a more technical sport.
Amateur and Professional riders competed in heats spaced out over Friday and Saturday. Despite the very real threat of rain, thousands of action sports fans lined the shores of Collingwood’s Harbour to cheer riders on.
The Men’s Pro Wakeskating final was held early in the day Sunday. While the water was choppy, creating some problems for competitors, they still performed.
The top three finishers in Wakeskating were Austin Polterock of California, in third, Brian Grubb of New Hampshire in second, and James Balzer of Langley, B.C. in first overall.
“It’s something you have to really work at,” said Balzer. “It’s not easy to go up there and land tricks like that. It takes lots of dedication and practice to make it.”
The Wakeboarding finals got underway shortly after 3 p.m., and thousands of fans cheered as riders did backflips, frontflips, and more spins then you could count off the wake of the brand new Nautique Super Air G23 boat, which was decked out in green and black to represent Monster Energy and Wakestock colours.
The top eight competitors from the semi-finals would compete in the finals. After careful deliberation, the judges presented their final scores. Finishing in third place was Phillip Soven of Florida. Second place was taken by Aaron Wrathy of B.C.. Finishing in first overall was Clifford of Gold Coast, Australia.
Monster Energy also had a stage set up all weekend with major headlining bands including Awolnation, Yelawolf, and Classified.