New Zealand-born pro-rider Jeff Weatherall is in the running to represent Australia at the World Wakeboard Association World Championships.
New Zealand-born pro-rider Jeff Weatherall is in the running to represent Australia at the World Wakeboard Association World Championships.

Setback attracts pro-riders

IT'S an event that has had many dramas and obstacles, but Daniel Watkins, the organiser of The Monster Energy Pro Wake Show, is in high spirits and insists he never considered calling off the event.

The event was postponed in January because of the swollen Clarence River.

“Having to postpone the show has actually been a blessing in disguise. The date change has let a few of the guys from the US, Canada and New Zealand come along, which will make it a better show for everyone because they are pretty good at what they do,” he said.

“I always wanted to hold this event because I truly love the Clarence as an area and firmly believe that the Clarence River is the best kept secret in Australia. It is pretty much perfect for all kinds of water sports, and we are aiming to showcase that this weekend.”

The event will also act as the Australian World Qualifiers so spectators can expect competition to be fierce.

One of the ‘groms', or young wakeboarders, who will be vying to compete against the big guys today is Cody France.

France already has a world title under his belt and he just turned 12.

He grew up on the Gold Coast but it wasn't until his dad threw him behind a boat on a wakeboard that he realised his calling.

“I started when I was six and I haven't really looked back,” France said.

Although it may seem like he is fearless as his tiny frame does aerial tricks over the wake provided by the boat, he said sometimes he did get a little apprehensive.

“Sometimes I do get scared but then when I land a trick it is the greatest feeling ever, so it is all worth it,” he said.

“My biggest injury from wakeboarding was a torn tendon in my foot.

“It wasn't that big of a deal though and as soon as I could, I got right back out there.”

His favourite trick is the ‘superman', which looks like he is flying through the air, horizontal to the water.

“That one took me a few months to learn properly, but one day it just clicked and I nailed it on the third time that I tried it.”

All of the action of The Monster Energy Pro Wake Show will kick off at 3pm when the gates open, and competition will start at 4pm.

Events will wrap up about 7.30pm and then a DJ will come on deck until about 9.30pm.

The event is strictly no BYO alcohol as there will be a licensed bar on site.

Entry cost is $15 for a group of four or $10 each.



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