The first Stop of the 2006 Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup series kicks off in Doha on April 21/22. Qatar, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It will again be the centre of global attention in December when it also hosts the 15th Asian Games and has allocated US$2.8 billion to bring the general facilities up to Olympic Games standard. This will all create a perfect backdrop for the Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup.
The International Waterski Federation has created a unique formula this year for Qatar. Only the top ranked Wakeboarders and the top ranked Shortboarders (name change from Tricks) were invited to participate. The response from the athletes has been outstanding with virtually a 100% acceptance rate. For the first time, the women will also compete in Doha and this will add further excitement to the Stop. The countries represented will be Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Belarus, Japan, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico.
The 2005 World Cup defending champions also have no less than seven Stops ahead of them in the coming months in France, China, Russia, Northern Ireland, Singapore and Langkawi in Malaysia. Qatar will show who is in top form this year. French athletes Clementine Lucine and Nicolas LeForestier took the 2005 World Cup Shortboard titles. Lucine also set a new Overall World Record late last year and LeForestier not only took the title of World Shortboard Champion in China, but also set a new World Shortboard Record. Both will be very tough to beat. In Wakeboard, the best also rose to the top. The 16 year old USA phenomenon, Phillip Soven, won every World Cup Stop last year and will be just as tough to beat in the Arabian sunshine. Britain’s Louise Moore will be under fierce pressure as the top Pro Women from the USA will now participate for the first time in Qatar and this promises to be a great spectacle.
Sponsors QMSF (Qatar Marine Sport Federation) and Aspire (Academy of Sports Excellence) have joined forces this year to encourage participation from Arab countries and details of a special programme focused on young beginners in Wakeboard and Waterskiing will be announced shortly. QMSF is supported directly by HH the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Aspire recently opened the world’s largest fully fitted indoor Sports Dome covering a total area of 290,000 sq.m. Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, declared after a visit that there is no equal in the world today. MasterCraft will again supply both the specialized boats and skilled support crews for the entire 2006 World Cup.
The stage is now set for a first class 2006 Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup series, starting on April 21/22. Doha in Qatar will be the perfect setting. The calm blue Persian Gulf waters at the Corniche will once again be the stage for the best Wakeboard and Shortboard athletes in the world.
Web Sites :
IWSF : www.iwsf.com
WORLD CUP : www.iwsfworldcup.com
QMSF : www.qmsf.com
MasterCraft : www.mastercraft.com
MEDIA CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy etc