Major anniversary celebrations, fireworks displays, floating stages for musical entertainment, Rock Concerts, live national TV coverage on NTV, 28,000 spectators on site and some great Waterski performances !  This World Cup Stop in the City of Dubna, north of Moscow, had it all.
Dubna was founded as a Nuclear Research City 50 years ago. The International Water Ski Federation was founded 60 years ago. Both distinctions were recognized in the official World Cup Opening and Closing ceremonies. Mayor Valery Prokh of Dubna also announced major plans to construct a new national watersports centre for Russia in this City and looked forward to the return of the World Cup athletes soon again.
And now to the Volga River waterski arena ! The Preliminary rounds of Slalom, Shortboard and Jump for men and women were dominated by the weather. Wind and unseasonally cool temperatures of 14C tested all involved. The crowds were also lower with many choosing to watch the event at home on NTV ! Surprises in Slalom were the early exits of Natalie Hamrick, Jill Knutson, Rhoni Barton Bischoff  (USA), Irene Reinstaller (ITA), Will Asher and Glen Campbell (GBR) and Thomas Degasperi (ITA). In Shortboard, similar surprises were Anais Amade (FRA) and Jimmy Siemers (USA). Jason Seels (GBR) and Mark Lane (USA), also suffered similar fates in Jump.
The Sunday Finals were greeted by a different 22C climate with flat calm water, blue skies, warm sunshine and 28,000 spectators. Four women and six men competed in each Final. One and only one athlete qualified for all three and that was Clementine Lucine (FRA). Women’s Slalom was true to form with Karen Truelove (USA), ranked number one in the World, taking the Dubna World Cup title – but by just a half buoy ahead of Sarah Green (GBR). Lucine took third place. Men’s Slalom was a very different scenario. World Record holder Chris Parrish (USA), failed to complete his opening pass. Only three athletes actually completed the 11.25m line. Then Aaron Larkin (NZL) and Jamie Beauchesne (USA) tied with a score of two buoys on the 10.75m line to take the lead. This left just Jodi Fisher (GBR), winner of last season’s World Cup Stop in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, on the starting dock.  He “appeared” also to tie with the score of Larkin and Beauchesne. However, after a dozen video reviews, the Judges finally awarded him a score of 2.25 buoys and that extra quarter buoy gave him the 2006 Dubna Slalom title.
In Shortboard, the Women delivered a major upset. World Record holder, recent Beijing World Cup winner and defending Dubna World Cup champion Mandy Nightingale (USA) was first into the arena and secured 7320 points. Often this would be a winning score. However, Clementine Lucine (FRA) feeling tired from her earlier Slalom Final, somehow found enough energy to score 8510 points and take the title. The Men’s event was more predictable. Nicolas LeForestier (FRA) took the World Cup titles in Northern Ireland and Beijing and with a score of 11,500 points, he added this Dubna World Cup Shortboard title to his many achievements. His constant and close competitor, Aliaksei Zharnosek (BLR), scored 10,870 to take second place with Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) just 310 points behind.
Jump began in glorious sunshine and very calm conditions as the NTV Cameras were loaded into the MasterCraft competition boat. The packed stadium was already chanting Freddy, Freddy, Freddy even as the Ladies were lining up on the dock ! With reigning Dubna champion June Fladborg (DEN) first into the water and the World Champion, Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE) last off, Fladborg was expected to set the target distance. She did not disappoint with a score of 48.5m. At near exhaustion point, Clementine Lucine (FRA) took on her third Final today and scored a massive take second place.  Now all eyes were on the two Greek ladies, Andriopoulou and Maria Vibranietsova. However, neither could challenge Fladborg’s score on this occasion.  The Freddy, Freddy, Freddy, chant continued from the capacity crowd. Ryan Fitts (USA) was the first of the men to get the cheering raised a few notches with a distance of 65.0m. Nobody could equal this till the same Freddy, Freddy, Freddy Krueger (USA) responded to the continuous chants. As so often happens, he left a distance of 67.0m for the last competitor, Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) to challenge. Llewellyn was roared on by every man, woman and child present but finally had to settle for a distance of 63.9m to take second place to Krueger. The crowd was satisfied today !
This was the third World Cup at the magnificent Dubna City site on the Volga River. The perfect arena setting with 28,000 / 30,000 eager spectators makes this a very special venue for the World Cup Series. In thanking Mayor Valery Prokh, Kuno Ritschard, President of the International Waterski Federation, wished the City every success with the development of its new watersports centre.
1.Karen Truelove (USA) – 2.5 Buoys at 11.25m
2.Sarah Green (GBR) – 2.0 Buoys at 11.25m
3.Clementine Lucine (FRA) – 0.5 Buoys at 11.25m
1.Jodi Fisher (GBR) – 2.25 Buoys at 10.75m
2.Jamie Beauchesne (USA) – 2.0 Buoys at 10.75m
2.Aaron Larkin (NZL) – 2.0 Buoys at 10.75m
1.Clementine Lucine (FRA) 8510 points
2.Mnady Nightingale (USA) 7320 points
3.Danyelle Bennett (USA) 6560 points
1.Nicolas LeForestier (FRA) 11,500 points
2.Aliaksei Zharnosek (BLR) 10,870 points
3.Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) 10,560 points
1.June Fladborg (DEN) 48.5m
2.Clementine Lucine (FRA) 47.7m
3.Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE) 45.9m
1.Freddy Krueger (USA) 67.0m
2.Ryan Fitts (USA) 65.0m
3.Jaret Llewellyn (CAN) 63.9m
The next World Cup Stop will take place in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on August 12th / 13th

CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation

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