April 29, 2015
The world’s best water ski racers gathered in Wellington, New Zealand, for the 19th IWWF World Water Ski Racing Championships. This was New Zealand’s second time hosting the Championships following Rotorua, and Taupo which hosted the event in 2007.
Represented in Wellington were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Hong Kong, New Zealand and USA. As in the previous 2013 World Championships in Tenerife, Australia once again dominated proceedings in taking home all six World Titles plus the three Team Trophies – an extraordinary achievement.
Racing on the Oriental Bay and Evan’s Bay courses was exciting. A huge variety of conditions faced all the competitors and their teams. The first race started off well for New Zealand with Adelaide Cox from Wellington winning in Open Women.
However, from that moment on, Australians won every race in every class. In the end, it was Leanne Campbell (AUS) who captured the Open Women’s Title winning rounds 2, 3 and 4. Adelaide Cox (NZL) was second and Kathrin Ortlieb (AUT) was third.
The Open Men’s category saw the week’s tightest battle. With Peter Procter AUS skiing behind the well-known “Team Hell” driven by Mark Cranny and observed by Damien Matthew, he took the World Title but was pushed hard throughout by second place Daniel Graziano (AUS) and Todd Haig, third of the USA.
In Juniors it was Australian domination of epic proportions. Both the Junior Boys and Girls classes saw Australia on all three steps of the overall podium. In Boys it was Jack Harrison who repeated his Worlds win in Tenerife, second was Curtis Horbury (AUS) and third was Cameron Osborne (AUS).
In Girls it was Australia again with Ellen Jones, Emma Barnes and Alyssa Long. In Formula 2, the World Championship’s, the controlled standardised class in racing where all boats must run a maximum 300 horsepower ‘out of the box’ outboard motor, it was also Australian domination.
In Men’s F2, Ben Gulley (AUS) successfully defended his title as did Jack Harrison in Juniors with Daniel Cotton from Sydney coming in second The 2003 Open Men’s World Champion Martie Wells (USA) returned from retirement aged 52 to take third.
In Women’s Formula 2, it was 2011 Junior Girls World Champion Kelsey Feros AUS who battled all week with 2013 Junior Girls World Champ Rachael Stapleton, both from Sydney. Although Stapleton won 2 from 4 races and Feros only one, it was Feros who was more consistent and took the title. Chelsea Blight from Victoria, Australia, took third place.
The event organisers thanked all the competitors, supporters and volunteers for making this event such a success. Special thanks were also given to many sponsors, including Mercury Marine, Wellington City Council, Hirepool, Copthorne Hotel, DMW Trailers & Trojan Trailer Parts.
Finally, all teams are thrilled with the announcement that the 2017 20th World Water Ski Racing Championships will be held in Seattle, Washington, USA.
Full details and results are here: www.wwsrc.com/index.php/results/2015-results