World's best wakeboarders descend on Clarence 'playground'
WAKEBOARDING: A slew of the globe's top wakeboarding stars will be on the Clarence River this weekend as they take part in the fourth round of the Queensland Wakeboard season at the Big River Ski Lodge at Seelands.
World Championships bronze medallist Nic Rapa will be joined by the hottest properties in the sport, former world champion Harley Clifford and boom 19-year-old Australian Corey Teunissen who stole the show at the recent world titles in Canada.
The big guns will be joined by two-time Queen of the Wake Amber Wing as they showcase their talents and share their tips and tricks with junior boarders.
Thanks to Wing's major sponsors Elevated Clothing, the former gymnast-turned-professional wakeboarder provided lessons to local juniors on Friday and will run another coaching clinic on Sunday morning after the competition day.
"Having these guys up here to perform is such a good draw for the young competitors," Wakeboard Queensland vice president Paul McCarthy said.
"This is a tough sport to get into and keep achieving in but these are the people who have made it. So for them to come and give back to the sport is fantastic."
But it will not all be about the big names on the shore with about 30-50 competitors ready to get behind the boat for the fourth round competition and with plenty of points still up for grabs toward state championships McCarthy said spectators would be in for a feast of fierce competition.
"Every state title is still up for grabs in a way and a lot of these guys still take a lot of pride in winning the local tournaments," he said.
"This is also our last round before the next Australian Open in Adelaide in January and then we have World competitions and the Australanic Titles in New Zealand - so the guys will be using this as good practice."
Competitors will be towed by the team at Mastercraft boats for this round and with a Christmas party planned for after competition tonight it is expected to draw a crowd.
McCarthy has said all spectators who want to come out and witness the event are more than welcome with them providing an added incentive for the youngsters to go "massive" on water.
"These young guys really get a buzz out of anyone watching them compete, so come down and make some noise for them," he said.
Competition will be running from about 8am and the best vantage point will be from the Big River Ski Lodge at Seelands.