Under the motto "get wet anyway", 110 participants signed up at DE SPIN cable park near Cerfontaine on Friday to take part in the Belgian Wakeboarding Championships.
Among them 35 enthusiasts from the Lakeside Pro and Rookie team at Knokke-Heist.
The aim: to have a sporting weekend and to win as many places of honour as possible as a team.
A lot of hard work had therefore gone into it: since April, every Saturday morning, under the guidance of experienced coaches, completing a personalised programme, depending on your own ability and age of course, with the necessary dose of FUN.
Among the caravan participants a lot of parents , ready for a weekend of "barrage de l'eau d'heure" and packed and loaded with energy bars, food and, above all, plenty of waterproof clothing, party tents and umbrellas...
On Friday, first qualifying rounds were still sunny but towards the evening the wind picked up, and at night it rained cats and dogs accompanied by stormy gusts.
On Saturday morning, the wind dropped but there were frequent showers, which did not make wakeboarding any easier: skimming across the water at 31 km/h while looking through raindrops while performing all kinds of jumps and braving obstacles is no mean feat.
Still, the quarter-finals and semi-finals progressed to the extent that on Sunday the entire day only finals had to be sailed, with around 25 Lakesiders still in the running.
Sunday turned out to be the wettest day, but this was partly made up for by an almost windless race schedule.
12 Finals, good for 36 medals....spanning trump and a five-member international jury that faced difficult choices on several occasions.
In the U11 boys competition, Vic Drooghmans lived up to all expectations and scored a clear-cut gold medal. His level was such that he could have easily competed in the U14. In this event, it was mainly Ike Vanleenhove and Emiel Lauwers, and it was the latter who scored first place: second gold medal a fact.
Then again, Ike Vanleenhove made up for everything by becoming Belgian U14 wakeskating champion: number three.
Of course, the Lakeside ladies did not fail to impress either, with Kaat Bastiaans winning ladies U14 and Pauline Appelmans taking the top spot in the ladies category openladies: gold 4 and 5.
Then the biggest spectacle, and there Louis Eggerickx showed his best side: after winning wakeskate U18, he dragged the ultimate title in the open men as a junior: gold 6 and 7, with lots of silver and bronze medals on top.
It is also worth noting that for the first time there was a "seated wakeboarding" category for the disabled and that Frank Vanleenhove achieved 4th place in Men 40+, as the oldest ever participant in a BK Wakeboarding event.
Ike Vanleenhove (Lakeside Paradise)
Robbe De Pauw (Lakeside Paradise)
1)Louis Eggerickx (Lakeside Paradise)
2) Victor Zanette
Wakeskate Open Men
Tor Van Eysendeyk
Laurent Op de Beek
Billy Danaut (Lakeside Paradise)
Vic Drooghmans (Lakeside Paradise)
3)Lars De Pauw (Lakeside Paradise)
Emiel Lauwers (Lakeside Paradise)
Ike Vanleenhove (Lakeside Paradise)
3) Robbe De Pauw (Lakeside Paradise)
Wakeboard U 18
Wakeboard U14 girls
1) Lowa Vancutsem
2) Norah Houwen
3) Victoria Vander Veken
Wakeboard U 18 ladies
1) Kaat Bastiaans (Lakeside Paradise)
2) Chloë Allegaard (Lakeside Paradise)
3) Alexine Mathieu
Wakeboard Open Ladies
1) Pauline Appelmans (Lakeside Paradise)
2) Iris Laurijssen
3) Lucy Niclaus
Wakeboard Open Men
1) Louis Eggerickx (Lakeside Paradise) 2) Rolf Devrieze (Lakeside Paradise) 3) Wim Kooij
As the wakeboard season draws to a close, we still note the annual "King and Queen of the Lake" on 22 October, after which the cable park at Lakeside Paradise will remain open daily until the autumn holidays.
From then on, there will be the "winter shredding" : open every Saturday, Sunday and holiday from 1-4pm.
Low-cost winter passes are now on sale, in addition to single-day sales.
All info: 050/606035
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org