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Worlds – Final Press Release

Brad Dutton writes …The 4th and Final Round of the New Zealand Community Trust 15th IWSF World Water Ski Racing Championships took place on Saturday with 6 new World Champions crowned at the Final Presentation Banquet on Saturday night. 

Highlights of Round 4 – By Brad Dutton

With 5 out of the 6 classes still to be decided on the last round there was some great action in all 3 races on Saturday. First of all was the battle to be resumed between Ann Procter of Australia and current World Champion Kim Lumley from Great Britain. With only 2 points separating them going into Round 4. The conditions were flat unlike the previous round in Taupo which would suit Procter, and suit her it did. She stormed out to a decent lead in the first 5 laps with Lumley in 2nd and Lauryn Eagle also of Australia in 3rd. At about the 25 minute mark Eagle passed Lumley to slot into 2nd and was on the hard charge to catch Procter. She took time out of Procter’s lead for 4 or 5 laps but the gap was to large, and Procter took the win and the World Title to go with her Junior World title in 1997 and her Women’s F1 World Title in 2001 and 2003. Lumley and her team had mechanical issues late in the race which forced her to retire pushing Katelin Wendt of USA into 3rd with New Zealand’s Hannah Humphreys having a solid run to end up 4th.  In Women’s Formula 2, the dominant display of skiing by Aussie Tania Teelow continued. With her taking 4 from 4 for the championships with fellow countryman Emma Carson taking 2nd and Lori Dunsmore of USA taking 3rd.   Both the Women’s classes were sponsored by Thermal Heart – Windows and Doors and we thank them for their generosity and support.

The Junior Boys and Girls racing was 2 of the most hotly contested classes of the champs with the Boys’ division having 3 different round winners in the rounds so far and 6 of the 8 competitors managing to make it onto the podium at some stage. This set it up to be a fantastic finale with 5 of the boys still capable of stealing a world title– and it did not let us down. Luke Keys – one of the main contenders from Australia missed his start but fought back through the pack to finish a credible 5th in the race. Jaaron Fritz from New Zealand was 2nd in the early stage behind Australian Rory Brien. Fritz who was playing a very tactical race in order to do enough to win the world title then slid back to 3rd with American Cameron King moving to 2nd in the standings. With 10 minutes in the race to go the quickest man on the track was the other kiwi Michael Witheford skiing behind Australian boat The Gun. Witheford on the hard charge came from no where and passed Fritz on the last lap and King on the last strait to snatch an awesome 2nd place effort with Brien taking the 1000 points. Other contender Brady Hoggins from USA had a fall on lap 1 which hurt his chances of taking the title and he took 6th in the race.  In the Girls division it was still up to anyone of 3 girls out of Mallory Nordblad from USA (current world champion) Trudi Stout of Australia and Adelaide Cox from New Zealand who could take out the title. Nordblad lead early on with Stout 2nd and Cox 3rd. Cox then momentarily slipped into 2nd only to be relegated back to 3rd within 10 minutes. Nordblad then slowed allowing both Stout and Cox to storm past and take 1st and 2nd respectively for the round with Nordblad coming home 3rd. 

Both the Junior’s classes were sponsored by Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and we thank them for their generosity and support. Both the Mens’ categories had been very close throughout the competition with Jason Walmsley taking rounds 1 and 2 with current world champion Todd Haig of USA reveling in the bigger water in Taupo in round 3. This set everything up for a huge encounter in the last race and again it didn’t disappoint. Haig needed to beat Walmsley by 15 points or near on a minute to reclaim the world title. The pace in the early laps was frantic with Haig, Walmsley and the other Australian skier Daniel Campbell running 3 abreast for more than half the race. Haig then managed to get a slight lead and finished with a 13 second win but not enough to remain world champion. Campbell came home with another solid 3rd place with the 3rd ranked Australian Grant Turner a very credible 4th.

In the Formula 2 it was between Chris Stout of Australia and Brad Raine to battle it out for the title and battle it out they did. Again it was side by side action for half the race before the Australian, Stout (Brother of Trudi) broke Raine – USA and ended up winning by half a lap. Rick Powell again proved himself to gain his second 3rd place position of the champs just over taking Dave Sewell of Great Britain on the final Lap.  Both the Men’s classes were sponsored by Mercury Marine and we thank them for their generosity and support.

Overall World Rankings

In Women’s Formula 1 Ann Procter’s 2 wins and 2 very close 2nds were enough for her to reclaim her title from Kim Lumley by only 10 points. 3rd was the consistent Lauryn Eagle from Australia. In Formula 2 as it was said earlier Tania Teelow absolutely dominated her opposition with Lori Dunsmore consistently placing the top 3 to gain 2nd with Emma Carson’s 4th round second place bumping her up to 3rd in the overall standings.

The Junior Boys was the most tightly contested class of the entire champs with Jaaron Fritz of New Zealand becoming only the 2nd person from his country to secure a World Title. This was a huge result for the kiwi team on their home waters and everyone was very proud of young Jaaron. In second place only 7 points back was Luke Keys of Australia with fellow countryman Rory Brien only half a point back in 3rd. 

In the Girls Division it was again an Australian who managed to take the title with Trudi Stout who dominated in the rougher water in Round 3 and then backed up with a solid win in round 4, who took the overall world title. 2nd was Adelaide Cox from New Zealand who at only 14 years old is a serious contender for the next world titles in 2009. 3rd was the 2005 World Champion, Mallory Nordblad from USA. 
In the 2 Mens’ Divisions it was again very close with Jason Walmsley taking the title off of Todd Haig with very consistent results with 2 wins and 2 2nd places. Haig of USA also had 2 wins but would of liked more rough water to help his campaign but competed very closely with Walmsley to be only 11 points behind after over 4 and a half hours of racing. In 3rd was the ever impressive Daniel Campbell skiing behind Mark Cranny’s Hell Razor machine. 

Men’s Formula 2 was another USA vs Australia showdown and again Australia proved the victor, with Chris Stout taking the world title by 8 points with a win and 2 very close 2nd places. Brad Raine of USA was 2nd with 2 round wins as well as a 2nd and a 3rd but it was not quite enough. 3rd was Glen Anderson who had a fantastic performance in Round 3 with a close 2nd to Raine and was consistent throughout the champs. Rick Powell of Taupo was the best of the kiwis finishing a very credible 4th in the class with 2 3rd positions in rounds 2 and 4. 

New for 2007 World Champs was the inclusion of the Teams trophies in each of the Juniors, Formula 1 and Formula 2 Classes. Australia with their dominance won both the Formula 1 and Juniors Trophies with USA taking the Formula 2 

Overall it was dominance all around by Team Australia sweeping the awards with 5 out of the 6 individual World Champions and 2 of the 3 teams titles. New Zealand picked up the other world title and 2nd place to go with 3 3rd places in the Teams events.

Many have said that the 2007 World Water Ski Racing Championships were the best ever, not only because of the competitiveness of the racing but great conditions and the best organisation we have seen at a champs so far. This has been a sensational achievement by such a small association in a small country. We are very proud of what we have achieved.  This would not of been possible without Emma Duckworth and Greg Dutton – Chairperson’s of the organizing committee as well as its other members. 

Thank you to all our sponsors – New Zealand Community Trust – our Naming Rights Sponsor. Mercury Marine, Thermal Heart – Windows and Doors and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust – our Gold and class Sponsors and FiGlass Boats, Destination Rotorua, Destination Lake Taupo and SPARC – our Silver Sponsors. 

Here are the final results from the week

Also check out for some of the podcasts that were recorded with the different skiers and teams during the event and for other info. 

There will be a DVD of the event produced with some of the awesome footage taken from throughout the event. You will have to order this through your countries respective team captains/managers. Each federation will have to commit to an amount of DVD’s which they will distribute to competitors. It will cost NZ$50 and will be at least 2 hours long. With helicopter footage, big lense footage – as seen on the big screen at the worlds, in the parc ferme, interviews, presentations, opening ceremony etc etc. Like the world champs it will be the best ski racing DVD ever.  This will be properly copyrighted so don’t expect to buy one copy and duplicate it for your friends. 

Please watch out for the Rollo’s Marine Bridge to Bridge Classic on the 28th and 29th of October 2007, this will be our next major race weekend and a huge event. Thank you being apart of this event and if you want any more info. Please call me. 

Brad Dutton
Marketing, Media and Promotions Director
2007 World Water Ski Racing Organising Committee
WK: 0064 7 8494809 ext. 820
MB: 0064 27 4102383
AH: 0064 7 8541944

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