Strong winds on Thursday,10th May 2018, cut short practice for the 57 riders competing in the IWWF Jordan Ayla Cable Wakeboard World Cup 2018, at the Ayla Cable Wake Park, Aqaba, Jordan.
Forecasts for Friday were likewise not looking promising so a 2-hour earlier start at 0800 was arranged.
Fortunately conditions on Friday morning 11th May 2018 proved ideal and the preliminary rounds were completed without disruption although the wind was beginning to build when the last rider Koki Toyoshima (JPN) completed his Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) round.
First off were the three Open Women’s Qualifiers. In Heat A Reina Kurata (JPN) topped the leader board after her first round. Steph Callar (GBR) improved on her first round score to finish second with both advancing straight into the finals. The remaining six in the group including Sanne Meijer (NED) had one further chance to qualify through the LCQs.
In Heat B, third off the dock Courtney Angus (AUS) set the benchmark with a score of 64.33 only to be topped by Mari-Lils Siimon (EST) with 67.67 and then by Maxine Sapulette (NED) with 70.67. Angus improved on her first round score to move into 2nd place after her second round only once again to be beaten by Siimon 73 and Sapulette 72.
In the final Open Women’s Qualification Heat C Duan Zhen Kun (CHN) finished with a Toeside 540 off the kicker to take the lead with 48. It was a shock therefore when reigning world champion Julia Rick (GER) fell on her second trick. Fortunately in her second round a huge Vulcan and a Toeside 540 off the kicker put her in the lead with Alena Rogacheva (RUS) improving in her second round to take 2nd place and relegate Duan to the LCQ.
It was straight into the Men’s qualifiers with the first of six heats for the 29 invited men riders and the six qualifying through the pre-qualifiers.
First off the dock was Jahir Lopez (PAN), second, Pedro Caldas had a monster ride including a backside 720 and a huge S-Bend finishing with a score of 73.33 with Philipp Turba finishing 2nd with 65.
There were further upsets in the first round of Heat B when last off the dock Ricardo de Tollis (ITA) fell on his second trick, leaving Patrick Hanes (CZE) lying 1st and Daniel Araujo (BRA) 2nd. Marc Shuster (USA) improved on his first round score but not enough to make the top two. De Tollis made amends in his final pass to take the number one spot, relegating Araujo to the LCQs.
History was made with the first Jordanian Cable Rider, Tarek Ziad, taking to the water in Heat C. Hong Kong’s Alvin Louie finished in 3rd place after the first round but was relegated to 4th after Dimas Vanini (ARG), Hamid Khodsiani (IRN) and Louis Mistaudy improved on their first round scores, with the later finishing with a Backside 900 off the kicker.