Welcome to Abu Dhabi- World Flowboarding Championships invade YAS Waterworld
Part 1: FlowRider
Flowboarders from around the globe experienced the trip of a lifetime as they gathered at one of the largest waterparks on the planet, YAS Waterworld, located in the heart of YAS Island. YAS is most known for its numerous world record-breaking waterslides and attractions. The waterpark, led by Ryan Watkins, welcomed competitors and travelers with open arms as they hosted the 2014 World Flowboarding Championships (November 6-8th). “It’s a great opportunity to host events of this caliber at YAS. It brings a lot of excitement to our country and to the waterpark.” Said Watkins. “I can definitely see our venue putting in bids for future FLOW sanctioned events” he added.
The waterpark is home to both the FlowRider® Double and FlowBarrel® 10 Double simulated wave attractions, and the top riders in the world were fired up and ready to compete at the highest level. With a great crowd on hand, the FLOW Championships had the largest competitor turnout we have seen to date.
The World Flowboarding Championships (WFC) is both an individual event and team event. The top riders from the USA, Asia, Europe, Spain, Chile, UAE and South Africa who qualified through their regional FLOW competitions, were geared up to represent their countries. In addition to the representing teams, there were numerous wildcard entries from all over the world, including Australia, who stirred up the pot and took on top seeds.
The FlowRider contest kicked off the action packed weekend, where current World Champions, Sean Silveira, Nick Nguyen and Xana Nash were put the test. “Over the years we have seen riders take the sport to the next level and it is great to see all of the global competitors challenging the world’s best,” mentioned head judge, Rob Chalfant.
Nash, the current two time consecutive World Champion rose to the occasion and completed her Three-Peat, barely holding off a serious threat in Dee Spencer, who had the run of the heat while landing a clean kick flip, which put the pressure on Xana going into her third and final run. Adam Muller, FLOW Events Coordinator explained, “Nash has become a veteran on the wave at a very young age and she utilizes the entire riding surface and executes a high level of tricks in both regular and switch stance positions.”
The Pro Bodyboard and Pro Flowboard divisions featured a new format, bringing riders head to head in a man to man situation giving event directors Adam Muller and Greg Lazarus exactly what they were hoping for. “It created a great deal of suspense, not only for the spectators but also for the competitors.” Said Lazarus.
In the Pro Bodyboard division Nick Nguyen, a legend in the sport of flowboarding, put together an excellent showcase of riding as he secured a victory over friendly rival and the future of the sport, Nick Sanchez, who also displayed a very high level of technical riding. Team Qualifiers Nazri (Asia) and Adam Wildman (Europe) were not far behind and finished in 3rd and 4th place respectively.
The Pro Flowboard division provided an abundant number of fierce match ups, creating a very exciting show for spectators and waterpark guests. With several matchups leaving riders missing advancement by just a hair, it came down to Quincy Vlijtig, European Champion, taking on defending Champion and number one seed, Sean Silveira. Both riders put together a solid showcase of riding throughout the event but Silveira was not to be out done as he came firing out of the gates combining various high level maneuvers such as the superman and pterodactyl,which earned him the 2014 title and bragging rights for another year.
As for the team results, USA claimed top honors, followed by team Europe in second and Asia in 3rd. “Flowboarding may be the fastest growing board sport today and it’s very encouraging to see the rider bases and skill levels continuing to increase in all regions of the world.” said, Muller.
Looking forward to 2015, the Flow Movement is going strong and can only expect bigger and better things to come as the sport of flowboarding reaches new heights on and off the wave!