Wakefest 2018 Conquers the Lebanese Waves in its Latest Edition
Taking place in Kaslik’s famous ATCL club, Wakefest opened its gates for yet another successful edition. The event gathered people from all around the world, paying homage to the water activity that has been garnering grass-root popularity over the past couple of years. In the presence of water sports veterans, media personalities, competitors, and attending spectators, the Mediterranean wakeboard and wakesurf competition took place over the course of two days with the first day reserved for qualifications and the second reserved for finals.
This year’s edition saw Wakefest embrace a more ‘lifestyle’ oriented approach, attracting wakeboarders and non-wakeboarders alike. Open to people of all ages, the well-known ATCL seaside strip featured food and beverage stands, workshop stations, retail pop-up boutiques, sponsor booths by the likes of Alfa Telecom, and a DJ booth that kept the beat bumping and the positive mood in check. The championship hosted several categories of competitors ranging between the ages of 5 and 50, coming from Lebanon, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Thailand, Kuwait, Egypt, and Australia; participating kids, teenagers, and adults took on their boards and battled for the gold medal in the presence of friends and family members who filled the atmosphere with cheers and claps. The much-loved Madjam animated the event’s ambience, acting as the competition’s official MC. As the water activities went on, children were able to enjoy a designated arts and crafts section, while the older crowd explored the area and applauded competitors as they belted trick after trick thanks to the wakes created by Nautique Team Nine’s impressive wake boat. The event falls under the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF), hosting four international judges from three different countries: Nuno Dalmeida d’Eca, Chairman of the World Wakeboard Council of the IWWF, from Portugal, Nicolas Subjobert from France, as well as Karim Soliman and Mohammad Mohammad from Egypt.
Ziad Monla, member of the Wakefest committee and board member of the Lebanese Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (LWWF), commented that ‘the wakeboarding community is definitely on the rise and part of Wakefest’s mission is to make water activities accessible to as many people as possible. This is not a festival reserved for wakeboarders, it is an event for all those who practice, appreciate, and are entertained by water sports and this is what we worked on in this year’s edition.’
With waves crashing on the rocks surrounding the Wakefest competition area, wakeboarders battled for the number one spot and a winner was crowned. Adrenaline filled the air and attendees enjoyed the post-competition party and cocktails, in anticipation of next year’s water-filled edition.