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Australia takes most gold home from IWWF Wakeboard World Championships in Puerto Escobar in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Full Press release on all the action from the worlds straight from the IWWF press release. Congratualtions to all the Irish riders you did our country proud.
Following six days of intense competition for the titles of World Champion by IWWF wakeboard riders from 26 countries, in the end, it was Australia which captured the two most coveted of all awards. With medals available in nine categories, as ever, all eyes were on the Open Women and Open Men Finals.
In the Women’s Finals, the spectators were spellbound by the Junior Rider, Chiara Virag (ITA), who somehow made it all the way to the Open Finals. In fact, her score of 48.33 was beaten only by two other experienced Open riders, guaranteeing her a bronze medal in these IWWF 2018 World Championships – an outstanding achievement.
Eventually, the Open battle boiled down to a fascinating duel between two of the most talented of all, both having made spectacular returns from injury. Dallas Friday (USA), mother of two children, who has won almost every major title available over the past ten years, was last off the dock. However, Bec Gange (AUS) had already landed a Tootsie 5 and left a score of 67.22 on the board to beat. Dallas Friday was pushed to her limit but with a score of 65.78 had to settle for the silver medal in these World Championships. Congratulations to Australia’s IWWF Wakeboard 2018 World Champion Bec Gange, Dallas Friday (USA) and young Chiara Virag (ITA)
The Open Men Finals produced some of the best riding we have ever seen in an IWWF World Wakeboard Championships. Several riders hit a trouble spot towards the end of their first pass, including Nicolo Caimi (ITA) and Shota Tezuka (JPN). Tezuka’s early score with a Toe 9 set the pace but a fall on a Double Flip probably cost him a gold medal possibility. He was followed by Nic Rapa (AUS) who brought a roar from the crowd with a Double Half Cab Roll plus a Toeside Double Back Roll. Was that enough for a Podium position?
Next out was Guy Firer (ISR), better known for his IWWF Cable Wakeboard triumphs. However two early falls spoiled his challenge. Now we were down to the last two, past IWWF World Champion and Athlete of the Year, Massi Piffaretti (ITA), and Cory Teunissen (AUS) straight from his Moomba Masters win in Melbourne Australia just a few weeks ago. Piffaretti landed a perfect Double Half Cab Roll in his second pass and looked like he was heading for gold with a massive score of 91.78.
However, Teunissen then kicked off with an extraordinary Toe 10 straight from the starting dock and rarely ever seen in World Championships. In spite of a fall on his next trick, this was enough to crown him 2018 IWWF World Wakeboard Champion. Congratulations to all three, Cory Teunissen (AUS), Massi Piffaretti (ITA) and Nic Rapa (AUS).
Other highlights included Argentina’s Ulf Ditsch in Junior Men with the first ever Dumdum 540 landed in competition behind the Centurion Ri23, extraordinary for such a young athlete, even though it was Luca Kidd (GBR) who eventually took that Junior title and China’s Yu Mei Ling the Junior Women’s medal. Other IWWF World Championships gold medals went to U14 Girls and Boys, Mackenzie McCarthy (AUS) and Maxime Roux (FRA), Vets Francesco Starita (ITA), and Masters Annalisa Di Corato and Alejo De Palma (ARG).
Finally, the Team awards delivered yet another very tight battle where Australia took the gold medal by a margin of just five points ahead of Italy and with Argentina taking bronze.
This was Argentina’s first hosting of an IWWF World titled event and also the first World Championships unveiling of the very impressive IWWF Official Wakeboard Towboat, the Centurion Ri237. IWWF President Jose Antonio Perez Priego congratulated Dr Jorge Renosto, FADEW President, on the successful completion of an outstanding championships and thanked all at Puerto Escobar in Buenos Aires for their generous hospitality.