Successful Season for RAF and Army Water-ski and Wakeboard
Early September saw 50 RAF personnel from bases all over the UK and Europe train and compete in the week long Royal Air Force Championships behind the boat in Wakeboard, Water-ski Slalom and Jump. Hosted at SUWWC and working closely with OWSC, the championships week is designed to develop Service personnel of any standard, including absolute novice, to be able to compete competently in the sport by the end of the week, with the added station team challenge encouraging all participants to compete in all disciplines.
The summer Cable Championships continues to see a growing cadre of competitors. The full system at Boxend hosted the event and saw 46 airmen hitting rails, boxes and kickers for 3 days before the champion male and female were decided.
In late September the Army and Royal Air Force battled out the Inter-Service championships once again at Boxend. The 3 day event saw the two services compete in Water-ski Slalom, Cable Wakeboard and Boat Wakeboard with both Male and Female categories. With some very close results the final standings were:
Slalom – RAF Win
Cable Wakeboard Men – Army Win
Cable Wakeboard Women – RAF Win
Boat Wakeboard Men – RAF Win
Boat Wakeboard Women – RAF Win
The overall Inter-Service trophy was won by the Royal Air Force with the Army still having grounds to celebrate as the service have formally granted the sport recognised status.
Not wanting to keep all the activity behind ‘closed doors’ the RAF team has been out climbing the steps of podiums at events throughout the UK, notable names include Sgt James ‘Cookie’ Cook, Cpls Ross and Rich Phillips and Flt Lt Emma Phillips. AOD’s throughout the season and the UK nationals have seen the team put out a competitive show and reinforce the level of sport within today’s Royal Air Force.
The Phillips brothers set the standard early in the summer; travelling to Portugal to compete in the Portuguese nationals the brothers claimed 2 of the podium steps for the UK. Out again at the UK nationals, Ross claimed 4th before entering the European championships and moving on to the World Champs, where he was knocked out in the semi-finals.
One last big event to finish the season was the ‘Grass Roots Development Day’ held in October; working with Oxford Wakeboard and Ski Club (OWSC), SUWWC held a day to offer introductory sets to RAF personnel from across the southern region. 48 planned sets to cover water-ski and wakeboard saw 2 boats working flat out all day; there was a great turn out and it was encouraging to see such a phenomenal level of interest during the final push of 2015.
The Southern Units Water-ski and Wakeboard Club operates at Queensford lake in Berinsfield, which is just south of Oxford. The club is run by the Royal Air Force but welcomes members from all three services. We work in partnership with Oxford Wakeboard and Ski Club and can offer competition standard facilities for Wakeboard, Slalom, Trick and Jump with coaching from experienced national level riders and coaches.
We like a challenge, next year the aim is to introduce more people to the sport, achieve more representation at competitions and get some shortening’s in on the competition.