The UAE plays host as $50,000 in prize money goes out at Wakestock Abu Dhabi
Alliance UK and the WWA were proud to play host to the first ever Wakestock Abu Dhabi over the weekend. The first class event was held at Corniche Beach in Abu Dhabi, and $50,000 in prize money was passed out to the worlds top wakeboarders. During the three day festival that included live performances by Maximo Park and De La Soul, the top riders competed in boat, system 2.0 and rail contests.
The rail jam kicked off on Thursday with 20 riders in the qualifying round, and most were just getting acclimated to the rails set up by the Alliance UK crew. The top 16 out of that qualifying round moved on to Friday, where the format then went to head-to-head battles. The crowd saw some of the best rail riding in the sport in the 8 head-to-head heats, with some stand out hits by Parks Bonifay, Aaron Rathy and JD Webb.
Due to heavy winds and a mild sand storm, the boat portion of the event on Friday was postponed until Saturday. Instead, everyone rode in a system 2.0 best trick contest. The boys went out and faired the conditions and had some of the most fun of the weekend. Three riders came away with the best tricks of the session, with JD Webb landing his first ever Pete Rose, Adam Errington landing a switch double s-bend to blind, and Padiwat Jaemjan of Thailand landing a massive tail grab front to blind.
Saturday was the most action packed day of the event, and the quarter final round behind the boat took twenty riders down to ten. The semi finals then knocked it down to the top 4 finalists. It was Harley Clifford that wound up on top of the podium on the main stage before De La Soul’s headline set. Rusty Malinoski, Phil Soven, and Aaron Rathy followed respectively. The finals for the Pro Women put Dallas Friday on top, Amber Wing in second place and Nicola Butler in third.
The Rail Jam on the System 2.0 pool gap was the round up for the entire event Saturday night. The head-to-head semi finals saw JD Webb battle it out with Aaron Rathy, and Parks Bonifay going against Marc Rossiter. In one of the closest heats of the event JD edged out Aaron Rathy, and the cinderella story Marc Rossiter took out legendary Parks Bonifay. The final saw the best trick of the entire weekend by Webb when he did a switch toeside 270 to back lip, gap to front board on the angle to angle rails.
Check out all the video from the contest on the Alliance UK site.