Home Victories Are The Best
LINZ (AUT) – In the last two days nearly 12,000 spectators came to the trading port in Linz to watch the world’s best wakeboarders. The crowd, summer temperatures and 16 international top riders turned Red Bull Wake of Steel into a super cool summer festival. All the riders were encouraged by the big audience and pushed their riding to another level. Riding this course was no easy task, even for these top athletes.
On the first run the riders had the choice between down rail, kicker or the new 15-meter-long steel girder, sticking out of the ship. On the way back they went over the uprail into the pool and from there they had the choice between huge a-frame, a 24-meter-long kinked pipe or corrugated pipe.
Ten of the sixteen riders managed to jump from qualification in the head-to-head duels. The five winners of the knock-out round made it to the super finals, including none other than the local hero Dominik Hernler, the three-time world champion Daniel Grant (GBR), Rider of the Year 2012 Raph Derome (CAN) and the German duo Dominik Gührs and Nico von Lerchenfeld.
Dominik Hernler set a very high standard, which the other riders had to counterattack in the second run. But it was the day of the young Austrian. With a 270 tailpress on the steel slider, his signature trick, the melon mobe over the kicker and a 270 pipe-to-rail transfer he put himself on top of the podium. "I'm super happy. To win in front of your home crowd is just awesome. The fans in Linz are always amazing and especially when your family and friends are in the audience it is even more motivating. My run worked out perfectly and I'm glad I could land all my tricks. I really wanted to top my last year's placement," said a super stoked Dominik Hernler.
The run, which Raph Derome put on second position, included a heelside frontside 900, a 180 on the uprail and a 360 tailpress on the a-frame. "My tricks didn’t work out 100% perfect. Dominik was just too strong. But I really enjoyed the runs on the unique obstacle infront of this amazing crowd,", said Raph.
Third place went to Nico von Lerchfeld from Germany. He impressed the audience and judges with a heelside frontside 540 and a frontside lipside 270 on the pipe. After his runs he was overjoyed and said, "The day was perfect. Weather, set-up and the crowd were amazing. I am so stoked that I performed so well on this challenging feature."
A wakeboard legend was also part of the game, Parks Bonifay (USA) judged the event and was deeply impressed by the extraordinary obstacle. "We never have such massive obstacles and especially not made of mostly steel. This ship is gigantic, a bit scary, but super exciting to ride at the same time."
This year for the first time the crowd had the possibility to follow the judging and the results live on the Red Bull MOBILE Screen as well as to vote for their favourite riders. With over 500 supporters, Emilio Epstein (AUT) was finally crowned Crowd Favourite.
The hosts of the Bubble Days, the festival Red Bull Wake of Steel is part of, also wanted to give something back to the region. Therefore a part of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross in order to support the affected people of the recent flooding. Red Bull will double this amount.
After the thrilling contest the crowd moved on the concert stage where the headliner Banana Klan feat Roots Manuva and the local artist Average MC gave a stunning performance and made the people go crazy again.
1. Dominik Hernler (AUT) - 79,33
2. Raph Derome (CAN) - 77.67
3. Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER) - 67,67
4. Dominik Gührs (GER) - 63,00
5. Daniel Grant (GBR) - 63,00
For more information please go to redbullwakeofsteel.at.