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High Risk, High Reward! Suksan Tongthai wins his third Flyboard World Cup Championship (Pro Division)
He kept the ski upright even while going after his quad, side flip thread the needle, numerous combo triples, and overall executing the aggressive style we’ve come to love from the 2013, 2014 and now 2016 Champ. Looking very relaxed and confident in his finals run the under-hose side flip was beautiful and cork supermans clean as they can be. Congrats Suksan, we look forward to breaking down your highlights in stunning 4K video soon!
Steve Palma threw everything he had a the eventual champ but after a lot of flying over two days looked a little fatigued in his final run. Even with a few more clean landings on the bigger tricks Tongthai looked almost unbeatable out there.
Damone Rippy crushed his run for 3rd place against Ashton Beukers nailing his 720 double thread the needle, pulled a quad attempt and overall put his best on display for the CBS cameras. We continue to see progression with Rippy as his doubles four feet off the water are completely insane. Hydroflight fans are longing for another head to head showdown between Rippy and Tongthai!
(May we just say that one flip DQ’s are a cutthroat rule for sure. How about your scoring stops immediately for your first flip and 2nd is the DQ?)
Ashton Beukers doing Canada proud by throwing down his best run we’ve seen him deliver in competition against eventual champion Suksan Tongthai. Three big clean triples and more variety than in past runs. The podium was certainly within reach but that’s what happens when battle rounds have you meeting Tongthai one round too early.
Pro Watercross may have some action on this Live Stream on Saturday/Sunday
CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY RECAP
While the Ladies and Veteran Divisions have shaken down in expected fashion it is the Pro Division that has produced some unexpected but exciting results. Young gun Jesse Nickell defeating Caleb Gavic is a total shocker but having reviewed Jesse’s run he really delivered his biggest tricks with great control. Caleb was looking for his triple mid run but ended up doubling out which may have been the difference. David Soldato taking out Petr Civin was also a bit of a surprise. Petr had such a strong 2015 XDFWC showing that we had high expectations for him coming in. A battle round at 1 minute and thirty seconds in duration leaves no time to recover from missed tricks. You certainly have to fly clean and ensure you get your biggest moves in before the horn.
Looks like Team Canfly teammates are going to be taking each other out in the round of 16 which is bittersweet. Some seriously interesting match-ups coming on Championship Sunday.
Photos courtesy of G Christopher Photos
PRO DIVISION – Final Rankings
1. Suksan Tongthai – Flyboard World Champion
2. Steve Palma
3. Damone rippy
4. Ashton beukers
PRO DIVISION – TOP 4
Rippy versus Palma (Rippy flips his ski)
Beukers versus Tongthai
PRO DIVISION – TOP 8
Rippy versus Riggs
Palma versus Ibrahim
Hulet versus Beukers
Andrews versus Tongthai
PRO DIVISION – TOP 16
Rippy VS Bragg
Soldato VS Riggs
Nickell VS Palma
Bean VS Ibrahim
Skar VS Hulet (Skar hyper extended his knee)
Wells VS Beukers
Gazzola VS Andrews
Gavic.J VS Tongthai
LADIES DIVISION FINAL
Kristen Smoyer – Champion
Gemma Weston – 2nd Place
Oceane Corbet – 3rd Place
- Gemma Weston on her signature Koru / Backflip combo crashes and looks to have a very severe left knee injury.
VETERAN DIVISION FINAL
Todd Sawisch – Champion
Brandon Samuels – 2nd Place
Sean Shaver – 3rd Place
- Riders voted 20 – 2 at the riders meeting in favor of keeping the ‘Thread the Needle’ trick in the competition
- Flying under the loop will be treated like an add on (ex: board grab) by the judges
- FlyDive sponsored athlete Curtis Pangrass has joined the Pro Division
It was good to see strong crowd numbers early in the day before the thunder/lightening chased some away. A little drama brewed during the Qualifying Round as athletes were asked to execute the same set of pre-determined qualifying round tricks but some that didn’t, most specifically Suksan Tongthai who threw a double thread-the-needle, still finished (Suksan was 2nd overall) well above those that followed the rules. Suksan is a killer flyer but it’s hard to think having only four scorable tricks against other riders five tricks still allowed him to finish 2nd.
- Sounds like Curtis Pangrass and Rush Bragg had a pretty epic battle with Bragg coming out on top. Props to Pangrass for nailing his 720 Universal against the guy who invented the Universal.
- Really liking the board grab spin dolphin by Jason Gautheir during the round of 32. (Can you say H2RO Instagram Video!)
- There has been great support for our friend Iris Vasconez’s mission to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research!
Connect with her to make a donation or buy her ‘Pink’ tees.
Steve Palma and Jason Gauthier battled to almost a tie with initially Jason being named the winner. 45 minutes later that decision was reversed to Palma. Judges are meeting with both athletes today to discuss the situation.
Flyboard Air is even more incredible in person and has everyones imaginations racing.
Pro Division Qualifying Round Scores
|Country||Last Name||First Name||Qualifying Round Score|
|CZECH REPUBLIC||CIVIN||Petr||#Rank 24|
Qualifying Day Photos Courtesy of friends at WetRacer Magazine
Flyboard World Championship Competitor Profiles
Image courtesy of Pro Watercross
PRO RIDER DIVISION
Fernando SPINELLI (ARGENTINA)
Looking to get back into our top 50 H2RO World Rankings, Fernando has an exciting style but needs to show control on all of his landings in order to see multiple rounds in Florida.
Corey EGAN (AUSTRALIA)
One of the ten Pro riders added to the roster extending it from 32 to 42 total, Corey is a fun rider but at this time will likely only enjoy a Qualifying Round experience.
Aleks SKAR (AUSTRALIA)
The Hydroflight world has quickly taken notice of this dynamic Aussie for the Gold Coast. Aleks impressed at Hydro Fest and recently won the Louisiana Hydroflight Invitational. A background in gymnastics and tower diving, this new blood could find the podium at his first World Cup.
Tyler BAGSHAW (CANADA)
We like what we’ve heard about this first time competitor from Canada. Having recently flown as part of the Niagara Fly In event all we can say is his pics looked great!
Ashton BEUKERS (CANADA)
Ashton is a world class Jetboard athlete who likely would have found the podium at the Flyboard European Championship had he not flipped his ski. Keeping the ski upright and mixing up his runs a bit more with different directions and a wider variety of tricks will be necessary to achieve the result he desires.
Geoff HULET (CANADA)
He’s a beauty! In between acting like a father figure to his fellow Muskoka teammates, Geoff will need find the perfect balance between his aggressive style and a clean run. If the power is there with the skis expect Hulet to go extremely big for the crowds.
Casey LENTSCH (CANADA)
More new blood! Don’t know Casey but wish him all the best. Go Canada Go!
Brody WELLS (CANADA)
A veteran of the Hydroflight game, it was evident at Hydro Fest that Brody’s flying had found another level. One of the few athletes who has competed since the very first 2012 Flyboard World Cup expect a great result from the Team Canfly captain.
Petr CIVIN (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Love us some Civin! This guys joy on the board is infectous and his skills should have him top 16 bound and beyond. Hopefully he is healthy and coming in having had a chance to train up.
Miika TOURUNEN (FINLAND)
Front Flip! Front Flip! Front Flip! yeah we’re calling for it! When you’re only one of a few people in the world who have come close to landing this trick it has to be mentioned. Hopefully Miika won’t let his runs degrade down to a freakshow exhibition of trying to land this one unique move.
Alexis BAIKOGLU (FRANCE)
New addition to the Pro roster and we don’t know much about Alexis except that these athletes from France know how to fly!
Jeffrey GAZZOLA (FRANCE)
A very solid result in his first competition the Flyboard European Championship, Gazzola could be a disruptive force in this division. There are some big tricks that ultimately distance the top eight from the field at these World Cup events and so it will be interesting to see if Jeffrey has the firepower to hang at that level.
Anthony GILLET (FRANCE)
Again another athlete from the birthplace of the Flyboard who we look forward to seeing in action.
Jonathan JULIEN (FRANCE)
Great to see Jonathan getting some practice runs in down in Georgia prior to the event. Another guy who has been around since the beginning expect Jonathan to stretch that hose to its max on a dive or two.
Steve PALMA (FRANCE)
Second at the Flyboard European Championship behind Sonnie Bean, Palma has been one of the most consistent performers in the Pro Division since his competitive debut at the 2015 North American Flyboard Championship. Steve flies with great speed and has the big trick combinations necessary to challenge for the title.
In Hyuk CHOI (KOREA)
Apologies if we mixed up your name but all the best in Naples. Korea has produced some Hydroflight Champions and so who knows maybe this guys next?
Ibrahim HUSSEIN (MALDIVES)
3rd place at the 2016 Flyboard European Championship last June, Hussein has really impressed us with his rapid improvement since seeing him for the first time at the 2015 North American Flyboard Championship. Always training hard on the water and spreading the Flyboard gospel off we would love nothing more than to see the dreadlocks back on another podium.
Armando DOORNINK (NETHERLANDS)
Welcome to the Flyboard World Cup Armando. Let’s see what you got!
Bo KROOK (NETHERLANDS)
Bo is known for his amazing Flyboard shows and demonstrations. He had a very good 2015 World Cup showing but will once again need to up the intensity at which he flies in order to have success at this level of competition.
Aleksander KHOMOV (RUSSIA)
Russia recently held their first national competition and we look forward to seeing what Aleksander has in his trick repertoire.
Sergei PHILIPPOV (RUSSIA)
We know Sergei has a ton of skill and the ability to execute some tricks like his cork superman in ways that will have the judges throwing some solid points his way.
Anton POPOV (RUSSIA)
We’re not sure what to expect but wouldn’t be surprised if the Russian contingent have a strong showing in Naples.
Suksan TONGTHAI (THAILAND)
The most explosive talent in the competition Suksan was the 2013 and 2014 World Champion. He is the perfect definition of natural talent and has tricks that defy physics. Why is Suksan not a sure thing to find the top of the podium, lack of strategy. He can be his own worst enemy having flipped his ski at the Flyboard European Championship last June. He goes so BIG all the time which is great for the audience but sometimes more than he needs to do to move into the next round.
Abboud NASER (UAE)
Abboud made an impressive competitive debut in Dubai last year and could shock some of his peers who may not have him on their radar of guys to watch out for.
Sonnie BEAN (UK)
Cocky, yes. Back it up, yes. The Flyboard European Champion should be coming in to Naples full of confidence. Bean has been finding ways to take big tricks and add elements like lower height on his triples, inverted superman’s (similar to Caleb Gavic) and an improved ability to flow from trick session to session. The field is much stronger in Naples than in Cavalaire so don’t announce your victory too soon my friend.
TJ ANDREWS (USA)
Riding a wave of momentum out of the Louisiana Hydroflight Invitational, TJ seems to finally have locked in his big tricks which should allow his attention to detail to shift to putting longer combinations together. An athlete who is comfortable flipping over either shoulder, TJ will be one of the athletes that will max out all the points available for amplitude.
Rush BRAGG (USA)
Superman isn’t feeling so super hot going in as Rush is dealing with a very sore, possibly broken rib. That aside he’s fully prepared to let adrenaline take over and if the jet ski gods provide the power watch for him to unleash a Universal or two ( a trick he invented). Bragg is an athlete whos best flying is strong enough for a top five result but it all has to come together and be clean not just in one round but every time out.
Jason GAUTHIER (USA)
Some thought, including Jason, that we may have shorted him in the H2RO World Rankings after Dubai last year and he may have a point. His result was exceptional finishing 5th. The one thing we noticed as we edited his highlight reel together was the repetition in the big flip tricks. They were clean and well executed but the variety of tricks wasn’t as vast as the other top competitors. Very excited to see if Jason has added a little more flavor to his big bread-and-butter manuevers.
Caleb GAVIC (USA)
We are happy to see that Caleb is able to compete after both he and his brother Jesse dealt with ear drum injuries during training. Caleb was fractions of a point away from taking out eventual 2015 Champion Hunter Verlander last year in Dubai. His willingness to throw tricks from the very top of the hose will leave fans in Naples with kinked necks and their hearts in their throats. A very solid technician on the board, Gavic executes everything with intent and that means he doesn’t have to rely on happy accidents to occur for his run to be successful.
Jesse GAVIC (USA)
Like his brother Caleb, Jesse likes to go as big as possible, unlike his brother he can get out of control and lose points because of it. The other issue wtih missed landings is the lack of flow it causes in a run. We hope Jesse has had enough training coming in that we can see what he is fully capable of and his runs will likely get better as the rounds go on.
Jermaine ANUGWOM (USA)
Another competitor H2RO is unfamiliar with but looking forward to seeing compete. Good Luck!
Alexander MARAVEGIAS (USA)
Repping the bigger men, Alexander brings his great vibe and spirit to competitions both on and off the water. Watch for the ZR shaved into his head if you’re at the event. Not sure how much flying he has been doing but he’s always had a solid foundation from which to build his trick repertoire on. Miami Flyboard is one of the awesome companies allowing H2RO Magazine to once again bring you World Cup coverage. We can’t thank him enough!
Jesse NICKELL (USA)
Super talented, Jesse made his flights look like a walk in the park at Hydro Fest. Flips are effortless and so it’s easy to see that his athleticism should allow him to progress very fast and it may be that we see a significant increase in the number of big combinations he throws this weekend.
Sean RAY (USA)
He’s coming for yeah! Had the pleaure of seeing Sean rip during Hydro Fest and he really seems like a guy where no stage is too big. To have success it takes being a student of the game coupled with an intrinsic drive to push oneself past perceived limits. Sean seems poised to redifine what his limits are over the next few days.
Cooper RIGGS (USA)
See that, you miss one competition and you get f*ck#d in our World Rankings don’t ya… lol! Coop is a perenial top Hydroflight performer who should be flirting with everything BUT a ranking outside of the top ten Jetboard athletes in the world. Don’t let his World Ranking at #10 fool you in any way Riggs remains a podium contender and unlike many of his fellow competitors who rip in training and then freeze up on the competitive stage Cooper saves his best flying for the most opportune times. This will be his first home court advantage as he resides in Florida so let the party (partying) begin!
Damone RIPPY (USA)
Always one of our favorite competitors, Damone has been one of the most influencial (if not THE MOST influential) athlete in our young sports history. He has been a trend setter since his 2013 Flyboard World Cup debut at 15 years old. His appearance on America’s Got Talent was huge for our sport and it’s time Rippy stand on another podium. You never want to take your eye off this guy when he’s out there you might miss something you will never see again!
David SOLDATO (USA)
Likely rocking his bright pink superman tee and signature baseball cap Soldato flies with a casual expertise. He throws the big tricks but is also out to have fun and enjoy the moment. Maybe he turns on a little more killer instinct this weekend and knocks a few competitors back… along with the bevys.
CANADA – CAMBRON VALENTINE
CYPRUS – WIJNKER PETRA
FRANCE – CORBET OCEANE
JAPAN – ASANO HARUKA
JAPAN – YAMAGUCHI HONAMI
KOREA – KIM DA YEOB
MEXICO – VILLENEUVE FERNANDA
NEW ZEALAND – WESTON GEMMA
USA – SMOYER KRISTEN
USA – VERLANDER TANYA
CANADA – EAGEN CHRIS
CYPRUS – OZBILIR OZGUR
SPAIN – MARTINEZ ANTONIO
USA – HAGLUND BRUCE
USA – NELSON RODNEY
USA – SAMUELS BRANDON
USA – SAWISCH TODD
USA – SHAVER SEAN
Flyboard World Championship Prize Money
- Pro Division – 1st Place $5000, 2nd Place $3000, 3rd Place $2,000
- Ladies and Veteran Divisions – 1st Place $2,000, 2nd Place $1200, 3rd Place $800
- Beautiful 60-acre lake
- Lakeside beach
- Paddle Boat rentals
- Walking path around the lake
- Picnic areas
- Paddle boarding Classes & Rentals
- Sailing & skiing lessons – Water skiing and sailing classes for able bodied and special needs individuals are offered throughout the year at this park.
Sugden Regional Park
4284 Avalon Drive.
Naples, FL 34112
FLYBOARD World Cup Championship COMPETITION RULES
(copied from the Zapata Racing competition Facebook page)
Participants must fill out and return the application form with cover documents and pre selection video link at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration will be validated at the reception of flight ticket and passport copies.
Participants must pay attention to the passport validity.
A selection of riders will be exempted from sending a pre-qualifying video as their ranking in the previous competitions will allow them to enter the competition without it. These riders will be contacted via e-mail by August 19th 2016.
Other riders must submit a video by sending a YouTube/Facebook Link along their registration form and documents.
The video will be assessed upon receipt and the participant will be informed if they have qualified or if they are on waiting list depending on the quality of the execution.
Rules to follow:
- One video only per participant
- Video should last 2minutes maximum and be filmed in one sequence shot (no cut or editing allowed)
- Compulsory figures: 1080, double back flip (back flip for Ladies and Veteran Categories), superman, and spin backflip.
- Send a link (i.e Facebook, YouTube …) to email@example.com
32 (maximum) pro rider contestants, 10 (maximum) veterans and 10 (maximum) ladies will take part in the competition. There is no restriction based on nationality.
Veteran category is a male-only category, for 40+ years or disabled (upon jury’s decision).
The organization team may allow an extra 5 riders to join the competition upon jury’s decision.
The organizer reserves the right to reject the application of anyone who would be harmful to the image of Zapata Racing and / or anyone who would damage the spirit of the competition.
The competition area will be se on a lake, in a square of 100 by 50 meters delimited by buoys. A pontoon will allow contestants to equip and take off.
Contestants will be judged by a jury of 6 professionals (including one Head Judge)
Contestants will run individually in front of the jury where they will have to perform 5 different tricks in a time limit of 1 min 30.
The contestant must choose one trick per category, as per the list outlined below:
Rotation: Back-flip, double back-flip, front-flip, side-flip
Spin: 720 and 1080 with locked board, 720 and 1080 with unlocked board
Diving: Dolphin, reverse dolphin and spin dolphin
Combo: 360 back-flip, 720 back-flip, 360 double back-flip, Superman to back-flip, back-flip to dolphin
Other: Slalom, Superman, layout back-flip, or a trick from a category above
Each judge will score each trick on technicity on a ten-point scale which results in a global grade on 50 points.
Perfect point: if the contestant performs 5 perfectly executed and landed tricks, a bonus point will be added to the final score.
The final mark (minus penalties) will rank contestants for the next stage.
If the rider performs more than 5 tricks, the five 1st tricks will be scored only.
If the rider performs more than 2 combos, the 3rd combo will count as two separate tricks.
If the rider performs more than 2 tricks in a combo, the subsequent trick will count as a standalone trick and will be graded as such.
If the rider performs a trick which isn’t in the list, I won’t be counted and the final mark will be strongly affected.
As the qualification run is scored solely on technicity, it is strongly advised that the rider focuses on landing clean tricks only.
At the end of this stage, the 32 top pro riders, 8 top Ladies and 8 top Veterans will qualify for the next stage.
Round of 32 – Round of 16 – Quarter final – Semifinal – Final:
Participants are divided into battles at the end of the qualification round and according to their score.
Battle groups are made as follow: the contestant with the highest score will compete against the contestant with the lowest one and so on.
Contestants will run individually in front of the jury where they will have to perform a freestyle run within a given time limit (see “RUNNING TIMES” for details on time limits).
If the rider falls during his run due to a genuine failure of the equipment, the time will stop and the contestant won’t be penalized. However it is not the case if the rider falls and loses time due to a pilot error.
Each judge will cover one of these categories:
- Technicity (figures execution, difficulty of figures and innovation) – 2 judges
- Variety/diversity of figures – 1 judge
- Showmanship : presence, facial expression, interaction with the audience, coherence of the run (flow with an escalating difficulty and a grand finale) – 1 judge
- Energy (number of figures, execution speed, execution rhythm) – 1 judge
Each judge will vote for the best contestant within their criteria, the winner will be the contestant that gets the most votes.
For the final, the two finalists will face each other on a 4 minutes challenge where each contestant will have to present the best choreography on music*. The best performance will establish the Flyboard® World Champion 2016.
*Music must be provided on MP3 format on a USB drive.
Qualification round: 1:30 min
Round of 32: 1:30 min
Round of 16: 1:30 min
Quarter final: 2 min
Semifinal: 3 min
3rd Place face-off: 3 min
Final: 4 min
PRIZES AND AWARDS
At the end of the competition, the jury will award the following prize money:
Pro Rider Category:
Any contestant whose PWC goes out of the perimeter during the demonstration will receive a yellow card. If it occurs a second time, the contestant will receive an elimination red card.
If the PWC flips, the contestant will be disqualified.
All contestants will be required to perform on the following equipment:
- Flyboard® (Pro Series, Sport, or Legend 2014)
- X-Armor 23m hose
- Wireless EMK (not pilot allowed)
- ZR dual impeller
Equipment provided for all contestants (exclusively during runs - no training sessions) :
- Flyboard® Pro-series 2016* with Shoes (S/M // M/L) and X-Armor 23m hose
- ZR Dual impeller
*Set up of the Flyboard® provided:
- ZR boots with assembly angle following the natural curve of the Flyboard® deck (slightly open)
- Ability to spin both sides
- Maximum spinning angle : 20°
- Nozzles directing the water flow towards the back of the contestant (7.5° back)
- Nozzle rings : Ø57mm
If contestants want to use their own set up, boots or equipment, they will be required to bring the following items:
- Flyboard® deck 2014 (including Y-pipe and boots of their choice)
- Flyboard® deck pro series 2015 (including Y-pipe and boots of their choice)
Additional compulsory equipment:
- Wetsuit or board short (no swimwear allowed)
Devices that allow communication between the rider and the audience / coach / pontoon is strictly forbidden.
In the event that a contestant disagrees with the jury’s decision and wants to make a claim, they will have 30 minutes to bring their claim in person to the member of staff using the radio on the pontoon. They will have to deposit 250$, that will be returned if the claim is genuine and accepted by the jury.
Please note it is not allowed to speak to the judges during a run.