Wakeboarding championship in Belfast

Wakeboarding championship in Belfast

The inaugural all-Ireland cable wakeboarding championship has taken place in Belfast.

It was held at the Titanic slipway over the weekend.

The high octane sport sees skiers using cable technology to simulate a speed boat, which allows them to do tricks and stunts.

Organisers say the iconic slipway proved an ideal location for competitors.

"It's a vibrant place at the moment but as a site for the sport, we get winds coming from all directions here and it seems to always hold calm water here," Johnny Crawford told UTV.

As you can see it is perfect for waterboarding

Johnny Crawford

"As a sport this country tends to say it's cold, it rains, but once you get yourself a decent wet suit, you forget about that - as soon as you get the feeling, that sensation of rush on the water and your adrenaline pumping, you're good to go."

The event was the first of its kind but, despite being a relatively new sport, cable wakeboarding has already started to develop a local following.

Competitors are whizzed along the water by cable technology - simulating a speed boat - and use the tension of the cable to do tricks and flips.

Des Burke-Kennedy, from the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, said cable wakeboarding narrowly missed out on becoming an Olympic sport in time for the 2020 Games - but could be back in the running for 2024.

"It looks like they're going to put wrestling back in," he told UTV.

"That means there won't be space for us or any other sport in 2020 so we're going to try again for 2024 and obviously that would make a huge difference."


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