Very few major sporting events in the world today can attract an audience as extraordinary as that of the annual Moomba Masters. Staged in downtown Melbourne, Australia, last year an estimated 200,000 spectators enjoyed the spectacle on the Yarra River – all in the shadow of the city’s towering skyscrapers. Given good weather, the crowds could be just as impressive this year. Sunny 26C / 80F is predicted for the finals on March 10th next. The City of Melbourne and the Victorian Water Ski Association have cleverly nurtured this international waterski and wakeboard event for 54 years to again help to highlight the magnificent sporting facilities in the area.
This year the Moomba Masters will be darker! Yes, the organizers have shifted the timetable with 11:00 am starts and 10:00 pm or later finishes. This will deliver even more dramatic competition in the dark under the floodlights when the Melbourne skyline really comes to life.
Following the 2013 IWWF Waterski World Championships in Santiago Chile, and the IWWF Wakeboard World Championships in Busan Korea, the Moomba Masters will see these World Champions back on the Yarra River to continue their challenge for gold medals.
World Slalom Champion and World Record Holder Nate Smith (USA) will take on top ranked challengers Will Asher (GBR), Chris Parrish (USA) and Jonathan Travers (USA). This promises to be a very special duel.
In Tricks, world record holder Erika Lang (USA) will return to take on the Moomba Masters challenge. Since her appearance here just one year ago, 18 year old Lang not only took the title of World Tricks Champion but also set a new world record of 10,180 points.
In Jump, the World Champion and seven-time World Record holder Freddy Krueger (USA) will defend his Moomba title yet again. Straight from her wedding to Jonathan Travers (USA), Natallia Berdnikova (BLR), current World Jump Record holder, will also return to challenge for the coveted Moomba Jump title. However, Australia will be watching out for the recently crowned World Jump Champion, Geelong’s Jacinta Carroll, who will pull out all the stops to bring the expected 200,000 spectators to their feet! What a prospect. Watch out also for some great photos of the world famous Night Jump event throughout the week. Against the city’s fantastic skyline, this is a sight to be seen.
Wakeboard will also see the return of Australia’s own IWWF World Champion Harley Clifford, who will battle to retain his Moomba title. He is almost unbeatable at the moment. However, talented riders Shota Tezuka (JPN) and Tony Iacconi (AUS) get closer with every event and the Yarra River will be their next great opportunity.
Immediately following this 54th Moomba Masters, many World Champions and world record holders will then move on to the 39th World Cup Stop on March 15/16 at Mandurah in Western Australia. This is part of the annual Action Sports Games. It all certainly makes Australia the centre of attention for the recently estimated 60 million participants in the sport around the world.
Nautique will again provide the Moomba competition boats and back-up technical support, including the new G23 model which will feature in the Wakeboard event.
Visit Moomba Masters at MoombaMasters.com, IWWFed.com, Moomba Masters Facebook, IWWF Facebook or Moomba Webcast. Use hashtag #MoombaMasters2014.