On weekend August 18–21, Europe's biggest wakeboard boat event was one of the top priorities for water sportsmen as many of them trooped up for the Chill and Ride 2011 in Freistett am Rhein. Although the summer had been more than lousy before, the sun showed up and smiled right on cue for hot temperatures and hot people – every now and then some of the spectators surely would have loved a short leap into the cold blue.
Once again Organizer Daniel Butzerin-Schütze and his wife Tanja were able to put up an event that was a complete success. Not only the 50 wakeboarders and 20 wakesurfers from Germany, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands and Austria were a reason for excitement, also the 40 boats that would pull them over the water were real eyecatchers.
First up was the wakesurf lady's competition where favourized Korina Smyrek could live up to the expectations. She got the victory without too much of an effort riding her massive wave with her MasterCraft x25. Besides numerous grabs and cuts Korina also showed the biggest airs of the weekend which probably even made the male contenders a bit jealous. The second place was taken by Saskia Groenewegen from the Netherlands right in front of young Hannah Schramm from Germany, who can be very pleased with her third place.
The Team Challenge
The true highlight of the day was the Team Challenge in which seven different teams were registred. The well-deserved third place went to Team Flex with Katja Eibelshäuser, Sascha Lagerin, Jeffrey Lagerin and David Vervenne. Alex Neuwirth with his Team from the Get-High-Boarding School alongside teammates Pete Reissmann, Conny Schrader and Tobias Dammith earned the silver medal. All of the teams were giving their best but there was no cure against the team of MasterCraft Germany that was packed with some European top-riders – Sian Hurst (IRE), Ricky Lukassen (NED), Yann Calvez (FRA) and David O'caoimh (IRE). After the hard fought competition the riders would all get together to celebrate throughout the night.
Sunday – The Grand Finale
But not all of them would party that long, at least not who wanted to get a share of the 4.000 Euros of price money that were given away on Sunday. In the late morning hours it was time for the first final in the category Wakesurf Men. Alan Frei (SUI) had to live with the most ungrateful fourth place because Harry Döpfert (GER) was able to catch the lowest step on the podium to earn the third place. Between the first and second place there was a very close competition. But the German Champion Tobias Reissmann was able to overtake Pascal Zimmermann from Switzerland. The german earned the sympathies of the judges with smooth floaters and agile cuts paired with big airtime.
Right after that it was time for the Pro Women category where young Sian Hurst from Ireland would give the other competitors no chance whatsoever. She showed a Backroll and a smoothly-landed Tantrum with big airs that were just too high to be topped by anyone in the rest of the field. Pete Reissmann (GER) came in second right before Korina Smyrek (SUI) in the third and Lisa Traverso (ITA) in the fourth place.
The final eight would become the highlight of Sunday considering the high degree of difficulty in which the tricks were performed. In the third-last start position it was Dominik Hernler's turn – He is one of the big names in the European boat-scene. He knew how to convince with a Tantrum Blind and a TS Backroll as well as some well grabbed Spins. Unfortunately he crashed during his Wildcard-Trick, a HS FS 720. That was the chance for Conny Schrader who just a week before has been named the German champion for the fifth time. He showed a Nuclear-Tantrum, a Whirlybird, a HS FS and a TS FS 540 and for the icing on the cake he pulled out a KGB over the Double-Up that took the breath away from the audience as well as the judges. And then when everybody thought that this was it, there came the little Irish boy. 17-year-old vice-world champion David O'caoimh would not be distracted by anything – Switch Tootsie-Roll, Crowmobe, Tantrum Blind Whirlybird to name just a few of the tricks from his arsenal. He was so on-fire that nothing could have stopped him. So the Victory in the Pro Men category of the Chill and Ride goes to Ireland for the first time – Congratulations David O'caoimh.
After a weekend of nice weather, a lot of action on the water with 8.000 spectators and great party nights the Organizer just wanted to give big thanks to everyone who has made this event such a big and all around success once again: Nissan, Relentless Energy Drink and MasterCraft Germany.
So we're looking forward to next year's Chill and Ride as should you!