Red Bull Wake the City was something totally new – a doubles contest where teams competed against other teams. For most of the summer, through the qualifiers and social media posts, hype was starting to build up about the comp. When the first weekend in September finally came around, Wake the City definitely lived up to all the expectations!
For two days teams got about 30 minutes each to practice. The setup for the event was perfect thanks to Wakeparadise Milano and Unit! Once teams decided which partner was going to ride in the front and which partner was going to ride in the back, they got to work. Many teams, including my own, drew out pictures of the setup and wrote down the runs/different tricks that each teammate was going to do.
Usually, this isn’t something everyone does before a contest, but with two people and three up and backs to plan for, it helped out a lot. Writing everything out was especially helpful for teams with language barriers! A lot of groups had two people from very different places.
Though most everyone can speak English, it gets hard when you’re both riding together and your brain is totally focused on something else. For example, I know Maryh and I went through this along with some other teams like Guenther and Loic! Even though it can be a struggle, it’s always awesome to see how wakeboarding brings all kinds of people together!
When comp day started it was sweet to see the amount of people starting to fill up the riverbank! The contest was located in such a cool part of the city and the people of Milan were so supportive and excited about the event. When you have a good crowd the riders get excited to put on a show. Every single team showed up that day and did exactly that!
Unfortunately, some injuries occurred that took two ladies teams off the water. Ile was ollieing into the backside of the pool and took an unlucky fall. Her and her partner Joelina Gerards were absolutely shredding the whole week so it was a massive bummer that they couldn’t compete, but Ile is now on the road to recovery!
Another damper on the day came after Anna and her partner Rivers took the top spot during the comp’s opening round. Anna was riding up one of the rails on the backside of the pool and ended up coming off to the outside where these two pyramids were setup. A couple people had fallen into them, but Anna definitely got the most unlucky. She did her best to avoid the collision and to continue riding after the fall, but sadly she couldn’t keep going without endangering herself. Thankfully Anna is also working towards recovery at the moment! We all would have loved to see what these teams had in store for later rounds and hope they’re back for more next year!
Right before finals, the river glassed off and the conditions were epic. The crowd was pumped too! Every time you stopped down at the far end the people on the riverbank would cheer you on. Three women’s teams and three men’s teams fought it out for the title.
For the girls, it was an epic showcase between myself and Maryh, Elena and Claudia, and Meagan and Nicole! Everyone rode amazing and it was honestly one of the coolest finals I’ve ever been a part of. For the guys, it was between Jules and Clem, Leo and Victor, and Guenther and Loic. The riding from the guys was insane all week and finals were no exception!
In the end, the winners were Maryh and I (yay!) and Jules and Clem! Dommy and Dan got best trick which was very much well deserved. It was sad that the event had to come to an end because it was such an epic week – the vibes and camaraderie between all the riders were awesome! I know that everyone is already so pumped for next year! Massive thanks goes out to Massi, Red Bull Italia and everyone else who had a hand in making Wake the City possible! We appreciate you and can’t wait to see you all again soon!