Lakeside Paradise wakeboard team returns from Goodlife Cablepark in Hoogstraten and brings: 6 Belgian Champions, 4 silver medals and 3 bronze medals!
There were 120 of them this weekend, across 14 different categories, to compete in Hoogstraten for the Belgian cable wakeboarding championships.
Add to that 500 or so supporters and you know that every rider was going to give their best, after a whole season of hard training.
Among the participants were 24 members of Lakeside Paradise, competing in nine categories.
Goal: do even better than last year when the team walked away with 11 medals
The wakeskaters already set the tone: in the juniors U 18, Noah Ferson became Belgian Champion, closely followed by Elian Coosemans and Ike Vanleenhove. A full Lakeside podium!
In the open men's wakeskating, Louis Eggerickx drew the longest straw and became the second champion.
The youngest Wakeboarders followed this momentum: Lars Depauw in the U11, Vic Droogmans in the U14 and Ike Vanleenhove in the U18 all got to climb the top scaffold.
The latter in particular deserves extra credit for taking the title as a freshman and youngest U18 as a 15-year-old against 17 and 18-year-olds.
Norah Houwen further achieved third place in the U18 ladies.
And then the main bullet still had to be fired in the open men category, where world champions Louis Eggerickx and Glenn Vandenberghe came first and second respectively and thrilled the spectators with air tricks never before seen in Belgium. Axel Tack finished a creditable fifth, opting to compete with Glenn in the open men instead of making the master category unsafe.
Pauline Appelmans came a fine second in the women's race, as did Jordy Neefs in the masters, followed by clubmate Guy Van Ryckeghem, dyed-in-the-wool favourite who, however, crashed unhappily.
In the end, the goal was achieved and the team returned with no fewer than 13 medals out of 27 possible places of honour to be won.
Unlucky and also contender on duty was Nanou Lenaers who hurt herself on the local trampoline after qualifying for her final women's U14 and had to forgo further participation...
Thanks to head coaches Arno Dhont and Axel Tack, all the coaching staff and parents who made the riders give their best throughout the year.
The weekly team training sessions at Lakeside Paradise have thus come to an end and will start up again in March 2024 to get everyone ready for the World Cup manche "Cold Water Classic" over the Easter weekend.
Next weekend there is still the "King and Queen" of the lake on Saturday, counting as club championships.