Australian Wakeboard Nationals Wrap-Up
Last weekend saw the last Wake competition for the season in Australia, rounding out a strong year that showed how strong the future of Australian wakeboarding is, particularly thanks to the quality and depth of the Junior Men's Division. Not only did we see some of our more traditional competitors placing strongly, but also saw plenty of juniors climbing the ranks and showing enough prowess to be competing in competition classes well beyond their years. In a lighter turn of events, the smallest division which usually was considered the toughest of the past few seasons was the highest level, Pro Mens with only 3 competitors turning up to duke it out for the top spot. Open Men's consisted of a semi final which boiled down to a simple shuffling of who would ride first, second and third of the dock for finals. While Parker Siegele didn't have his best ride during the semi's he proved too strong throughout the finals, posting a score of 68.32, while second and third come down to a close finish with Michael Cotton and Joel Bartley finishing with scores of 54.98 and 50.02 respectively. Junior Men's developed into a test of wills with 1st place on the podium going to New South Wales Elliott Digney, who almost picked up the highest score of the weekend with a final score of 80.57, completing a strong pass which included a double flip and a nuclear toeside backroll, which could have seen him contend strongly in the open men's division. For second place another strong up and comer, youngster Sam Brown scored strongly with a total of 72.23 as Cobe France rounded out the podium with a total of 65.55, stepping up his numbers from his semi final pass. Skiforce athlete and local Victorian Josh McConall also competed strongly in his first nationals final,holding his own against some of the best of the next generation to finish in 6th. The Open Women's division provided a heated contest, with Skiforce's own Chloe Mills narrowly beating out Zahra Kell, who both had outstanding passes and both had fair reason to stake their claim at the top of the podium, with Chloe coming out on top over Zahra by a slight 1.65 point margin with a total of 72.22 landing her signature KGB, while Zahra finished on 70.57. While the battle for the top was tight, 3rd provided almost as much anticipation with New South Wales' Ashleigh Blake nudging out Caity Bleauw by 3.33 points, finishing with a final score of 53.33 and 3rd spot. In Junior Women's we were lucky to have another Victorian as well as Skiforce athlete, Charli Shore sit on top of the podium, again showing plenty of promise in what is to come in the next generation of women's Australian wakeboarding, with a total score of 59.45 Charli beat out Holly Watt by close to 4 points, with Holly coming in second with a score of 55.58, as Georgia Sellings of Queensland stood 3rd with a score of 50.55. Finishing off with the 20-29 Mens, we saw Jordan Uren pushed out of the top seed after starting favourite through the semi's to South Australia's Matt Pearce who scored a total of 71.19, while 3rd went to the newcomer Ryan Pingree who showed he has what it take on the Australian stage with a score of 55.55, just shy of Jordan Uren's 58.87. Through the season we saw certain markers that would have indicated how the national competition would play out, yet it also showed that wakeboarding in Australia like it has in the past, continues to produce a high level of competition that in the years to come will have large implications on the world stage, with only the grass roots competitions who work on the front line to keep building our sport, continuing to provide a platform for the next generations to thank. Written by Jesse Chiminello

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