August 2021 Pine Mountain, Georgia.
The Pavilion at Callaway Gardens bustled with excitement during the finals at the WWA Wakeboard World Championship. Like at the Center Court in a Wimbledon of Wake, the lush competition site historically hosts the most prestigious wakeboard tournaments where many athletic dreams are made and broken.
The starting dock buzzed with adrenaline as judges, photographers and athletes fidgeted around nervously. Some competitors closed their eyes, some took deep breaths, others went for a last minute dip in the water or did whatever it took to get into the zone.
Winning at Callaway is considered a grand honor and a great feat. There are always high stakes waiting from the edge of Lake Robin, whether it’s a Masters or a World title that’s being contested, it’s a tournament for champions; reserved only for the best of the best.
Culminating a busy and successful season, Meagan Ethell won her seventh world title in an exciting pro women’s final. Winning Equal Pay at the WWA World Championships was the icing on the cake for Ethell who was fresh from her win at the PWT Team Challenge. Her team, Liquid Force, included her boyfriend Guenther Oka and the mega talented Sam Brown. The trio won the top honors and the $30,000 cash prize!
A stacked heat in the Pro Women’s finals included six time World Champion Meagan Ethell and six time World Champion Dallas Friday, 2021 US Masters Champion Mary Morgan Howell, Moxie Pro runner-up Eugenia De Armas from Argentina, Australian two-time World Champion Bec Gange and Swedish Champion Carro Djupsjo.
Legend Dallas Friday continues to be an inspiration. After two decades competing as a professional wakeboarder, she stood up both passes that included brave Air Raley variations, spins and mobes and ended up in an incredibly respectable second place.
Sometimes Robin Lake can get “rolly” making it difficult to master all conditions. Dallas was the only finalist that stood both passes. Ethell made a great recovery from an early fall and grabbed most of her mobes and spins. Mary Morgan Howell landed a few mobes and spins and came in third place with Argentina’s Eugenia De Armas close behind in fourth, Aussie Bec Gange placed 5th and Sweden’s Djupsjo came in 6th place.
As the Junior Pro women got ready for the finals, coaches, parents and friends surrounded the floating starting dock at Lake Robin’s famous Pavilion. The atmosphere was lit with a special feeling while everyone nervously awaited for their turns.
For many, to participate in the finals of such a prestigious event is already a victory.
Hinano Kishida from Japan was the big standout in the Junior Pro Women’s division. She won first place with an array of amazing mobes, spins and Raleys in her pass. Kira Lewis from New Jersey rode big and clean sticking a KGB and placed second and Kitt Smith from Florida came in third.
In the Pro Men’s Final, Cory Teunissen from Australia took the win over the 2021 PWT Tour Champion Nic Rapa by less than 3 points.
Teunissen, who had a recent win at Robin Lake at the 2021 WWA Nationals, rode flawlessly, stuck the double up and took home the World Title, the World Series title and the Nautique Series title.
Tyler Higham from the USA placed third edging out Guenther Oka from the podium who came in fourth followed by Jake Pelot. Australia’s Sam Brown was the top qualifier into the finals but unfortunately fell early and ended up in sixth place.
Fresh from his big win at Parks Bonifay’s Double or Nothing, plus his ongoing celebrations for the 2021 launch of his signature Ronix RXT Boot in collaboration with Red Bull, Massi Piffaretti barely missed the final. The beloved athlete and member of @lafamilia.co focused on coaching and inspiring the youth and his fans.
In the Junior Pro Men’s final, Parker Swope stood up and took the big win over Switzerland’s Jamie Huser who came back strong but missed his last trick and placed second. SJ Comollo from Italy came in third.
In the Pro Wakeskate final Coco Mendez took top honors followed by GOAT Brian Grubb and the impossibly talented Noah Flegel in third place
Honorary mention to Kane Ward who won the Boys 10-13 World Title scoring two perfect passes landing the first double flip by a ten-year-old in a competition.
For results in all divisions and to watch the event replay visit thewwa.com.