After my first Pro Tour ride, I couldn’t wait to get back to Orlando and get ready for Worlds.
I went back to the Wakeboard Camp at Clermont for a couple of nights to chill with my good mate Corey Turnbull. I t was also good to see all the staff again and the Aussie Girls Crew of Amber, Hayley & Bec. My new Watson Classic got shipped in from liquid force in time for me to get used to it before the Worlds and we headed straight out behind one of the camp boats Malibu v-rides and rode awesome the board had so much pop it was actually surprising and that board has now seen me through to landing a bunch of new tricks that I can do now.
Mid week I went out with Aaron Brown for a couple of days having fun little jet ski sets at night hitting his rooftop and see what stupid stuff we could do off the little wake that the Seadoo put out. I also got to ride with Bennet Spartz behind his Nautique 230 on Lake Minnehaha which was awesome. Then it was off to chill at Nick Galotifiore’s house on Lake Irma. Nick was pretty pumped fresh from his US Pro Tour Win. Mick, myself and Tony Carroll spent a lot of time adjusting the ballast to try and replicate a Supra Wake behind Nick’s Nautique 230. I think we did a pretty good job and over the next 2 days we knocked out about 5 or 6 sets. I just grilled myself on my pass and some of my bigger tricks making sure I was riding confident enough and consistent enough to be able to do my run at worlds.
Arrive in downtown Orlando and checked in to the Hotel for the main event – the WWA Wakeboard Worlds at OWC. It was a crazy event; there were people everywhere and a lot of familiar faces especially from the huge Aussie contingent that had travelled over to Orlando for the competition.
|WWA Wakeboard Worlds at OWC|
When the heats for the Quarter Final were published, I had been put up against 2 good mates, and 2 of the best Junior Pro Men in the World. US Pro Tour Champ Nick Galitifiore and Freddie Wayne. I didn’t ride my best falling on my first trick and struggling to recover after that. Nick & Freddie knocked me out of contention for the Semi’s, but Nick went on to win and Freddie also got to ride in the final, so it was a couple of quality riders to get rolled by.
It was so thrilled to see a legend in the Australian wakeboarding world Dean Smith take out the competition for his first US competition win. And what a place to do it, at the last event of the season with every Australian there to see. Dean was just going insane when they called Phillip Soven’s name out for 2nd place. Every Aussie and everyone else for that matter forming a circle around him clapping and whistling and yelling his name, it was just unreal! Dean is a super nice guy, and as he said “for the next 365 Days, I can say I am the World Champion”.
I learnt a lot in my two big Pro Tour Events. As a rider I am not far off the pace and have enough tricks to be a serious competitor. I just need to learn to be a better competitor. These two comps are the first 2 I have ever been in without my Dad there. He is a great influence on me and always gets my head right for events. However, I need to learn to do that on my own. My plan is to be back next year, to do all 5 Pro Tour Events and the Worlds again, and Dad can’t spend 5 or 6 months over here with me.
|Just chilling and thinking!|
For the next couple of weeks I will be chilling with Nick, Tony and Freddie and continuing to ride every day. We are planning to make a nice little video before the Surf Expo. We will film on Lake Irma on Nick’s Nautique 230 and on Lake Whippoorwill on Freddie’s VLX. Freddie has a psycho rail which is the same dimensions as the Pro Tour rooftop and he has an amazing trampoline to practice new tricks on before taking them to the water.
Freddie has the best wake on the lake and it is really cool to ride the same boat on the same lake where I landed my first Moby Dick 5. I am missing my family and friends back home, but this journey will end soon enough. Straight after the Surf Expo, it’s back home from some sleep and then off on the Monster Energy Tige Tour!