Luca Kidd at the 2019 National Wakeboard Championships (Credit: Jon Shrimpton)
Wakeboard UK made a small piece of history this month as they hosted the first ever virtual boat wakeboarding competition.
Unable to host their annual National Championships, due to be held at Thorpe Park in Surrey, due to Covid-19, Wakeboard UK changed the format of the event to ensure it still went ahead.
The result was the 2020 Malibu Virtual Wake Open, open to all UK nationals anywhere in the world.
“We couldn’t see a path to organising a safe and exciting UK National Championships in 2020 in this unprecedented situation,” said Jeremy Nevill of Wakeboard UK.
“We decided to look at how we might run a competition that didn’t require large groups of riders and officials gathering at one location.”
Wakeboarders were tasked with filming a five-trick run behind their own choice of boat and at their own choice of lake.
The film was then submitted online to be judged against the other riders in their age or ability category.
The five-trick run format was shorter than a traditional two-pass run, where a rider will tpyically execute eight to ten tricks behind the boat.
This led to a high standard of submissions, with riders looking to include only their more advanced tricks.
The competition attracted 44 entrants from across the UK and further afield, with the Men’s Open category winner, Luca Kidd, filming his effort on Lake Jessamine in Orlando, Florida where he trains (see below).
Kidd, who was born in Maidstone, Kent, before moving to Weybridge in Surrey, is the UK’s most successful wakeboarder at just 19, having represented the UK across the world in competitions.
2019 runner-up Charlotte Millward from Milford, Staffordshire, won the Open Women’s event with her score of 44.11, recorded at the LDB Wakeschool at Thorpe Park in Surrey.
List of winners
Under-12s – Marley O’Toole (Camberley, Surrey)
Boys 14 and under – Charlie Lloyd (Burntwood, Staffordshire)
Girls 14 and under – Baye Hoctor Duncan (Tilford, Surrey)
Junior Men – Joseph Humphries (Geddington, Northamptonshire)
Junior Women – Emily Reid (Banbury, Oxfordshire)
Masters Men (30+) – Dale Crossley (Reading, Berkshire)
Masters Women (30+) – Emma Jane Pickard (Stevenage, Hertfordshire)
Veteran Men (40+) – Scott O’Keefe (Swindon, Wiltshire)
Veteran Woman (40+) – Kate Waldron (Ascot, Berkshire)
Intermediate – James Dodge (Pollensa, Majorca)
Open Men – Luca Kidd (Weybridge, Surrey)
Open Women – Charlotte Millward (Milford, Staffordshire)