Young Aisling Deegan kicked off each day on what has become her usual form, landing all her inverts and big spins in every run and riding out on at least ninety percent straight from the dock. This was the biggest consistency step up from any of the riders over the nine days. After narrowly missing Finals at the World Championships this year without any of these high-end maneuvers, she is certainly on track for big things in the future and will be going into South Africa with the strongest competition run every achieved by an Irish girl of her age. Throughout the nine days the only downturn was one set on day eight when fatigue got the better of her but returned to form on day nine after a good night’s sleep and landed her run to perfection.
Sian Hurst was on cloud nine after her raley on day six and was eager to continue this form. She began to work on a few more style based maneuvers during day seven however the front edge of her board became best friends with the water and after two double ejections trying her first mobe she opted to rest up on day eight. Day nine saw her hit her best runs and go back to work on her wrapped mobes along with hitting another massive raley. Despite her front edge taking her down more than anybody else on the trip she was still thoroughly consistent for what will be her Championships contest run in South Africa. With her talent she certainly has her sights set on taking a spot on the podium during the Europe and Africa Championships next month.
Lindsay Whelan moved from strength to strength for the duration. After focusing on spins more than inverts she was able to land four back to back toeside backside 180’s with a heelside 360 between each one showing true consistency. This shone through during her one off day on day eight as, similar to Aisling, fatigue got the better and, similarly, was back to amazing form on the final day. Of all the riders at Xtreme Gene Lindsay has altered her run and advanced the difficulty more than any other rider with her technical spins and grabs on every other trick in her run. After reaching the Finals at the Worlds in Italy last Summer and the prospect of stepping up to junior ladies during the next season Lindsay is looking determined to leave her mark on the girls category in South Africa and now has the tools at her disposal to do it.
David Coates managed to get his hardest run to almost 100% along with being able to fall back onto his pass that won the UK Pro Tour. He is therefore looking strong heading into South Africa with this great deal of versatility behind him. He also managed his runs on day eight despite feeling the same fatigue that was showing in the younger riders earning a rider of the day nomination. David also opted for a few extra days in Xtreme Gene to try to get an extra 720 worked into his run which would severely increase his prospects at the coming Europe Africa Wakeboard Championships.
David O’Caoimh stormed into day seven after worrying that the nominations for rider of the day had become a little sexist and was determined to set the record straight by landing all his mobe 5’s and hitting four different 720’s two different backside 5’s and going to work on a new mobe 5. This just pipped Lindsay for rider of the day as it was just ridiculous to watch him spinning like a crazy person and putting in so much effort to hit every trick to perfection. He also opted for a few extra days and with little effort hit a KGB third attempt after doing his first roll to blind in six months. His only comment on this was: ‘I should really just learn it switch as i need another trick from that side.’ Second at the 2011 World Championships, Wakestock Champion, Irish National Champion, Chill & Ride Champion, the list goes on for our outstanding youngster. He is certainly looking towards a great Championships with excellent prospects of a podium finish for the Irish Team next month.
With all of the riders performing to their best throughout the trip a day nine rider of the day wasn’t needed. It was a pure team performance from start to finish with each of the riders personality coming through and complimenting the unit as a whole on and off the water throughout the whole trip.
Riding as a team gave all the athletes focus and drive to achieve what we had been aiming for at the beginning of the trip. Without the positive progressive environment the advancements that we have seen in the last nine days would not have been possible in such a short period. Everyone worked for each other and it was great to celebrate each individual’s achievements as a team. Special thanks must go to our Federation Treasurer and avid Team supporter Brid Deegan! During the whole trip she prepared the teams cooked breakfasts along with their lunches and had them ready to feed the hungry team as they stepped off the boat after morning sets along with a great deal of organization for the whole trip from the word go.
Rick Deegan must also be thanked for his numerous trips to Decathlon to assist all the teams sporting nutritional needs, (the man does love his power bars!) and also for ferrying the team to and from the nearby village for the occasional night of fine dining. Also thanks for the permission of Jose Gonzalez for coming down and doing a photo shoot with the team and giving permissions for free use of his photos for websites and sponsors.
Xtreme Gene is due to re-open for the season on 27th February shortly after the Europe and Africa Championships in South Africa.