O’Brien Pro Tour Stop 1

O’Brien WaterSports hosted the first stop of the South African Pro Wakeboard Tour at Germiston Aquatic Club on Victoria Lake in the East Rand on the 22 and 23 January 2011. This first stop of the Pro Tour brought many excited riders to the banks of Victoria Lake, marking the beginning of an exciting season of wakeboarding. South Africa’s top riders ascended in full force exhibiting their talent and passion for the sport, giving the crowd a wakeboarding exhibition to remember. Joining SA’s top riders in the competition were international riders Sean O’Brien and Josh Palma. Sean is currently in South Africa hosted by O’Brien WaterSports SA to conduct training clinics nationwide and was more than happy to display his talent on the water.

The Pro Men’s division had everyone on their feet with Sean O’Brien and Josh Palma showcasing their abilities. They were pitted against some of SA’s top riders. Saturday’s qualifying round ruffled a few feathers with junior new-comers Ryan Durham and Dylan Mitchell both qualifying for the finals on Sunday. Dylan Mitchell managed to top the Pro Men Qualifying on Saturday with a toe 720 followed by a heel backside 540 to end his run.

Sunday’s finals would see some changes. Two times Junior World Champion-South African, Morgan Krause finished in 3rd place, setting the bar very high for the rest of the Men’s division with his explosive array of tricks. Josh Palma took 2nd place stepping up to the challenge with a good composition of switch tricks and a switch toe side 720. Sean O’Brien took top honours in the Pro Men’s division matching Josh’s pace but bringing his own style and intensity to the wake with a grab heel side 720 and a massive heel side Indy roll to blind landing far in the flats.

The Ladies’ division welcomed new comer Tamarin Liebenberg on the scene as well as the top two ladies in the country, Gina Faccio and Deidre van Niekerk riding for Team O’Brien. Candice Bacon took 3rd place on the podium in the Ladies’ division. Deidre van Niekerk rode with flair and control landing a perfectly timed back roll to take 2nd place with Gina Faccio amazing spectators yet again with a range of tricks including a Tantrum, a Scarecrow and a Back Roll that had her finishing well ahead of the competition.

The Open Men’s final saw some surprises with the two favourites, both members of Team O’Brien, Kevin Goosen and Cameron Graham finishing in 4th and 7th respectively. Taking to the podium in this division was Craig Eggenburger in 3rd place, Darryn Ridgway in 2nd place and the number one spot went to Brendon Tucker. Taking podium positions in the Novice category was Olivia van Rooyen, the youngest female competitor in the event, who had the crowds’ full attention during her run in 3rd place. Jarrod Grabe came in at 2nd and Austin Stuart coming in 1st. The Wakeskate podium positions saw Dale Nieuwstad in 3rd, Matt Buys in 2nd and Dylan Mitchell taking top honours. Junior Men’s showcased some of our local
up-and- coming stars with Xerxes Spears taking 3rd, Leighton Barnard finishing 2nd and Clayton Faccio finishing 1st.

The famous Chad Award, otherwise known as the biggest bail which was sponsored by Premier Auto Germiston, was given to Justin Selby after doing a Scarecrow landing in a board slide, claiming the trick, but going straight into a front edge leaving him fishing.

As a whole, the first stop of the Pro Tour was an immense success. The sponsors, O’Brien WaterSports, Premier Auto Germiston and Tige Boats as well as the hosts, Germiston Aquatic Club, can hold their heads up high on a very well orchestrated event.

“We are very happy with the outcome of this event and we look forward to future events in this tour. Our compliments to Team O’Brien on an outstanding performance throughout the weekend,” said Sean Hartlett, Marketing Director of O’Brien WaterSports.

Novice: ( Boys & Girls No Age Group) – SUN
Final Results
1 Austin Stuart  20
2 Jarrod Grabe  18
3 Olivia Van Rooyan  17

Final Results
1 Dylan Mitchell  65
2 Matt Buys  60
3 Dale Nieustad  55

Junior Men: 15 – 18
Final Results
1 Clayton Faccio  55
2 Leighton Barnard  50
3 Xerxes Spears  48

Final Results
1 Gina Faccio  43.3
2 Deidre Van NieKerk  33.33
3 Candice Bacon  30

Open Men
Final Results
1 Brendon Tucker  50
2 Darryn Ridgway  40
3 Craig Eggenburger  38

Pro Men
Final Results

1 Sean O’Brien             USA  90
2 Josh Palma               USA  89.5
3 Morgan Krause          RSA  69
4  Dylan Mitchell            RSA  67.5
5 Shaun Faccio            RSA  66.5
6 Clayton Krause          RSA  63.5
7 Jono Joseph              RSA  61.6
8 Ryan Durham            RSA  60