Reigning champion Raimi Merritt won her fifth consecutive world cup title this past weekend at the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Wakeboard World Cup in Kuching, Malaysia. With thousands of spectators lining the Kuching Waterfront, the 18-year-old Florida native ran a nearly flawless ride in the finals to beat out fellow pro rider Amber Wing.
“The entire week in Malaysia was an amazing experience,” said Merritt. “The crowd was so supportive and the competition was very intense.”
Merritt had trailed Wing in points on the Pro Wakeboard Tour for much of the 2011 season. But Merritt’s win at the IWWF Wakeboard World Championships in Italy in July helped Merritt regain her confidence and propelled another win at the final stop of the Pro Tour in Knoxville, Tenn., in August.
For the World Cup, Merritt won her heat in the semi-finals and was the number-one seeded rider going into the finals. She electrified the crowd with several of her signature tricks, including her S-Bend, and earned 68.79 points. Wing finished in second place with 67.23 points. Japan’s Miku Asai finished in third with 65.22 points.
The riders will compete again September 23-25 in China for the final IWWF Wakeboard World Cup stop of the season.
Merritt grew up in Lantana, Florida and began competing when she was 11. She lives and trains in Orlando. She is sponsored by Hyperlite, MonaVie, and R3Global. For more information about Merritt, visit: www.raimimerritt.com