24 November, 2019:
Nic Rapa – Australia
Nic Rapa produced a masterful display to round off a golden day for Australia at the 2019 IWWF World Wakeboard Championships in Abu Dhabi as Alice Virag from Italy crowned a brilliant week with her own grand finale.
Rapa, who had looked almost unbeatable ever since he took to the water in the UAE capital several days earlier, struck gold with another impeccable performance in the Open Men’s final to become IWWF Open Men’s world champion.
In a scintillating showdown to round off five days of spectacular action involving the sport’s top professional athletes, Japan’s Shota Tezuka took the silver medal, with another Aussie, Tony Iacconi, landing the bronze.
Competition was equally intense in the Open Women’s final, and 19-year-old Virag edged Sanne Meijer from the Netherlands into the silver medal spot, with Argentina’s Eugenia De Armas claiming bronze.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing week,” said Rapa. “It’s been almost effortless with my riding. Everything felt absolutely great. It was like everything was just working for me. The competition has been amazing and it’s been an awesome experience here in Abu Dhabi.”
Virag’s success produced joyful celebrations on the Eastern Mangrove Promenade as the 19-year-old was showered with water and hugged by her Italian team-mates, including twin sister Chiara who was placed sixth in the Open Women’s final.
“I don’t know what to say,” declared Alice. “I’m really happy. It was amazing. I felt all week that I could do it. I thought a lot about what I was going to do since yesterday and just changed two tricks. I can’t believe it.”
The first gold medal of the day had gone earlier to New Zealand’s Charlotte Broadbent in the Veteran Women final. Australian Travis Osborne was soon to be seen wearing one of the biggest grins in Abu Dhabi after striking gold in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s event, 12 years after winning the IWWF Masters title for 30-year-olds.
Frenchman Lucas Langlois topped the podium in the Over 30 Master Men while American Alex Albin became IWWF Under 14 Boys world champion and Mackenzie McCarthy secured Australia’s second gold medal of the day in the Junior Women’s event.
With green and gold clearly the colour scheme in fashion, Sam Brown produced another powerful display to win the Junior Men’s final and complete an Aussie haul of five IWWF world titles following Sienna Curren’s success in the Under 14 Girls 24 hours earlier.
Australia reclaimed its Team Overall title followed by Japan (2nd) and Italy (3rd).
146 riders from 31 countries competed in the 2019 IWWF World Wakeboard Championships from 19 th
to 23 rd
November 2019at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade, towed by a Centurion Ri237.
The event was organised by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC),
the Middle East’s leading organiser of marine sports events at local, national, regional and international level, having hosted rounds of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship, the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat World Championship and the XCAT World Series.
Over 40 Veteran Women: 1 Charlotte Broadbent (NZ), 2. Cathy Williams (USA) 3. Sigrid Bachler (GER).
Over 40 Veteran Men: 1. Travis Osborne (AUS), Dayle Cartwright (USA), 3. Daniel Duquesnoy (FRA).
Over 30 Master Men: 1. Lucas Langlois (FRA), 2. Yann Calvez (FRA), 3. Marcelo Giardi (BRA).
Under 14 Boys: 1. Alex Albin (USA), 2. Riito Shikai (JAP), 3. Stefano James Comollo (ITA).
Junior Women: Mackenzie McCarthy (AUS), 2. Julia Molinari (ITA), 3. Anna Maria Kushkovskaya (RUS).
Junior Men: 1. Sam Brown (AUS), 2. Maxime Roux (FRA), 3. Jamie Huser (SUI).
Open Women: 1. Alice Virag (ITA), 2. Sanne Meijer (NED), 3. Eugenia De Armas (ARG).
Open Men: 1. Nic Rapa (AUS), 2. Shota Tezuka, 3. Tony Iacconi (AUS).
Team Overall: 1. Australia, 2. Japan, 3. Italy
About the IWWF: The International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is the world governing body for towed watersports and has over 90 affiliated Federations worldwide. It was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the sole authority for towed watersports. The IWWF is an affiliate member of the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federation (ARISF) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). The IWWF’s sports disciplines include, amongst others, Tournament Waterskiing (slalom, tricks & jump), Wakeboard, Cable Wakeboard, Cable Waterskiing, Disabled Waterskiing, Show Skiing, Ski Racing, Barefoot Waterskiing & Wakesurfing
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IWWF’s Website: www.iwwf.sport