Welcome to Abu Dhabi – World Flowboarding Championships invade YAS Waterworld
Part 2: FlowBarrel
The 2014 World Flowboarding Championships (WFC) was a special event as the stars aligned and offered the opportunity for both the FlowRider® and FlowBarrel® Championships to be held at one venue, YAS Waterworld. With the largest number of competitor entries to date and riders traveling from around the globe, YAS is no stranger to large events, as the venue played hosts to last year’s World Flowboarding Championships on the legendary FlowBarrel.
YAS Waterworld is home to a FlowBarrel Ten Double wave machine, and is one of few in the entire world. “Having both the right and left barrels provides a great opportunity for competitors to showcase their best riding” mentioned event coordinator, Greg Lazarus. As top flowboarders from around the globe occupied the FlowRider wave machines, we saw exactly that, a showcase of top notch riding all week long.
The competition consisted of six divisions – Men’s Strapped/Strapless, Women’s Strapped/Strapless, Prone Bodyboard and Drop Knee Bodyboarding as competitors and teams from USA, UAE, Asia, Spain, Chile and South Africa battled it out on the FlowBarrel not only for individual rankings but also representing their countries flag.
In the Strapless division, Clayton Barker held off top contenders Eric Silverman, Greg Lazarus and teammate Max Soklov, as he defended his title on his home wave. In a highly contested battle in the strapped division, Max Soklov and Eric Silverman went trick for trick in the Final. After finishing second in the Strapless Division, Silverman was not to be out done again as he rose to the occasion in the Strapped Final and claimed first place points for Team USA and win his 6th World Championship.
The bodyboard division provided spectators with a lot of excitement and left the judges with tough decisions to make. After local riders Mohammed Ibrahim and Humaid Ad were eliminated in the Semi-Finals, it came down to Chris Childers (USA) and Billy Tennant (SA) going head to head in both the Prone and Drop Knee division Finals. “These were some of the closer heats we saw this weekend, and could have gone either way” explained Head Judge, Rob Chalfant. After hard fought battles, Tennant claimed both the Prone and Drop Knee titles giving South Africa crucial points toward their overall total.
The women’s divisions were claimed by Asia representative, Illi Lim, as she earned top spot on the podium for Strapped and Strapless division holding off veteran competitor Amy Stevens (USA) in a close second. Isadora Ureta (Chile) gave the girls a run for their money in the Strapped Division but couldn’t quite put all the pieces together as she finished 3rd.
After tallying up the results, the event had its first tie ever. Team UAE (Clayton Barker, Max Soklov, Mohammed Ibrahim and Jennifer Robin) managed to break the tie and defend their home wave snatching the 2014 team title from team USA. Local favorites, Clayton Barker and Max Sokolov lead the way for the UAE by making the finals in the Strapless and Strapped divisions and Mohammed Ibrahim and Jennifer Mauerhofer reaching the Female Strapped Finals. “I’m super proud of Team UAE, seeing how far these riders have come over the past several years it’s truly amazing” explained Ryan Watkins, YAS Marketing Director.
As the riding level continues to progress around the world, we can only expect the 2015 World Flowboarding Championships to be bigger and better.
See ya on the wave!