Raph Derome wins Red Bull Rising High • 15.000 spectators on site • Riders
and fans celebrate successful premiere of first wakeboard roller
Hamburg – 15,000 Wakeboarding fans at the Magellan-Terraces in Hamburg and online via live stream all over the world witnessed Raph Derome (CAN) take the trophy on the UNIT Parktech wakeboard roller. Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER) won the “Swatch Best Style Award”, voted live by the audience. 16 of the world’s best wakeboarders made for a fantastic event with tons of stylish action. The invited riders had spent a week in Hamburg to prepare for Red Bull Rising High, mostly training on “Big Willy”, as UNIT Parktech’s innovative combination of XXL kicker and landing was lovingly christened. Pulled by the SESITEC System 2.0, the setup was kept at a secret location, where the riders could test it and watch the others from their yacht, where they stayed all week. After the training sessions they enjoyed skate sessions and trips to the city.
Sunday afternoon, the Big Air showdown finally went down. Cable and setup, as well as a UNIT Street Series Rail, were ready at the Magellan Terraces, where the riders had completed their final training in the morning. Spectators started arriving in the early afternoon to get the best seats by the waterside. Eventually there were 15,000 spectators celebrating their idols, making for a fantastic atmosphere. “Mr. Wakevoice” Clint Liddy and local Patrick Unger did their part to rock the event on their mics. Local hero and crowd favorite Frederic von Osten was not able to compete, due to a lingering injury, but he did enjoy being in the crowd.
The first round was all about style and the competitors had to impress head judge Flo Meeh and wakeboarding legend Parks Bonifay with Grabs and Shiftys in head-to-head mode. Inverts and Spins were allowed to be rotated no more than 360⁰, so everything was possible in each pair-up. Raph Derome (CAN), Adam Errington (USA), Steffen Vollert (GER), Dominik Hernler (AUT), Shane Bonifay (USA), Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER), and Brenton Priestley (AUS) made the cut in this round. For some big names like e.g. Jeremia Hoppe (SWE), Daniel Grant (THA), and a few other big names this was already the end of the line.
Round two was clearly more technical; full Spins and Flips were allowed now. Brenton Priestley (AUS) missed his Double Halfcab Roll and Steffen Vollert (GER) lost the handle on landing his 720, so they were out. Raph Derome pulled the first Heelside Frontside 900 and made the finals, along with Dominik Gührs (GER), Dominik Hernler (AUT) and Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER).
Now it was about taking the crown at the first Red Bull Rising High, so no prisoners were taken. Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER) landed his Heelside Backside 700, but missed the 900. Dominik Gührs (GER) pulled his 9 and got third, and Dominik Hernler (AUT) came in second with a super clean and grabbed Mobius.
It wasn’t easy for the judges, but eventuall Raph Derome deservedly added the Red Bull Rising High Boxing Belt to his trophy collection, since he was the only rider who had a Heelside Frontside 1080 safely on lock.
The “Swatch Best Style Award” went to Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER) for his sweet Indy Crowmobe, collecting the most clicks at the digital fan voting.
Raph Derome on his victory: “The contest was dope! The roller was a lot of fun, and it will surely give kicker riding a boost in the next couple of years. Winning Red Bull Rising High was the perfect ending for my week in Hamburg.”
Dominik Gührs, the best German at third place, was very excited after the event: “The level of performance was extremely high. We trained together all week, so we kind of knew what the other guys had in store, but everybody really pushed their limits today. For me personally, Red Bull Rising High was really cool and a season highlight.”
A new era of wakeboarding has dawned, and it will be thrilling to see the new tricks made possible by this obstacle. The crowd and the riders were stoked, and the event was rounded off nicely by summer temperatures in Hamburg Port City, a true wakeboarding mecca.
Check out the highlight video at redbull.de.
1. Raph Derome (CAN) – 89.75 points
2. Dominik Hernler (AUT) – 84.25 points
3. Dominik Gührs (GER) – 81 points
4. Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER) – 79.5 points