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The Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series is now celebrating its 26th Stop. The Doha Stop was one of the very first when this World Cup Series began. This time, it is the last Stop of the 2008 season. Finishing in perfect weather with just a slight tail breeze in the Slalom / Shortboard / Wakeboard courses has added a little extra challenge to all the Skiers and Riders. This made today, Semi-Finals day, a really fascinating one with all kinds of surprises from 09.00hrs this morning.

It is now 3.45pm on Friday as we begin this report. Here is an update after Shortboard / Tricks. Watch out for the Wakeboard details later as they will continue till sunset tonight. In Ladies Tricks, the star of the show today was Maria Camila Linares. She scored a new Personal Best of 8060 points. Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE and Clementine Lucine FRA were also in a league of their own. Ageliki scored 7730 points in a great stand-up performance on both passes and pending World Record holder Clementine was close behind with 7670 points. Mandy Nightingale USA, our past World Record holder, came in with 6870.They will progress to the Finals.

1. Maria Camila Linares 8060

2. Ageliki Andriopoulou 7730

3. Clementine Lucine 7670

4. Mandy Nightingale 6870

Doha spectators turn out to support the World Cup

Doha spectators turn out to support the World Cup

In Mens Shortboard / Tricks, the World Cup performances were truly outstanding. The crystal clear emerald green waters of this Gulf Canal at the Diplomatic Club in Doha brought the best out in almost all. It took a score of over 10,200 to win a place in the Finals ! Top of the pile was Aliaksei Zharnasek BLR with 11,390 points. He came fourth in Putrajaya last week and responded here in Doha with a vengeance. Nicolas LeForestier FRA has beaten all the odds in his extraordinary recovery from his serious arm injury of last July. His 11,120 score told all that he is back in fighting form. In Putrajaya he scored 10, 570 to take second place in that World Cup Stop. The others to make it to tomorrow’s Finals are : Jimmy Siemers USA, Oleg Deviatovski BLR, Jaret Llewellyn CAN and Javier Julio ARG.

1. Aliaksei Zharnasek 11,390

2. Nicolas LeForestier 11,120

3. Jimmy Siemers 10,710

4. Oleg Deviatovski 10,670

5. Jaret llewellyn 10,360

6. Javier Julio 10,240

Chris Parrish USA takes Putrajaya title to Doha

Chris Parrish USA takes Putrajaya title to Doha

In Slalom, the performances were equally interesting. There were eleven contenders for the six Finals places. Chris Parrish USA took the Putrajaya World Cup Slalom title last weekend in Malaysia with a score of 2 buoys on the 10.75m / 39 off line . Today, he joined a four way tie to win a Finals place with Jonathan Travers USA, Aaron Larkin NZL, and Jodi Fisher GBR. All scored 2 buoys on the 11.25m 38 off line. The one who impressed all the enthusiastic Doha spectators was 20 year old Jonathan Travers USA. At this time there was a tricky tail wind. Jonathan kicked off on the 14m 28 off line – and then skipped the 13m line to return on the 12m line and finish with 2 on the 11.25m line. That strategy was repeated later by Degasperi, Fisher and Parrish and all are in the Finals. Congratulations Jonathon. Having the World Recodr breaker Chris Parrish on the dock tomorrow certainly adds to the glamour of the Finals. Tomorrow will be a cracker her in Doha !

1. Chris Parrish 2 x 11

2. Jodi Fisher 2x 11

3. Aaron Larkin 2 x 11

4. Jonathan Travers 1 x 12

5. Thomas Degasperi 1 x 11

6. Glen Campbell 1 x 11

MasterCraft X2 arrives for this evening's Wakeboard round

MasterCraft X2 arrives for this evening's Wakeboard Round

The Ladies Slalom Semi-Finals were also a thriller. As in Tricks / Shortboard, Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE put in another great performance. Her 2 buoys on the 12m 28 off line set the pace. It was very, very close at the top with just four places available in the finals – and the scores were about as tight as possible. Danyelle Bennett USA equalled the lead score, Claire Lise Welter FRA was just a half buoy lower and Clementine Lucine FRA squeeked in a quarter bouy less at 1.25 on the 12m 35 off line. This is a great Finals line-up for Saturday.

1. Danyelle Bennett 2 x 12

2. Ageliki Andriopoulou 2x 12

3. Claire Lise Welter 1.5 x 12

4. Clementine Lucine 1.25 x 12

It is now 16.25 hrs and there are about 60 minutes of daylight left as the Riders battle it out for places. Jeff Weatherall NZL, Phillip Soven USA, Dallas Friday USA, and all the great World Cup stars are chasing those Finals slots right now. More later.

Doha World Cup welcomes Jeff Weatherall NZL

Doha World Cup welcomes Jeff Weatherall NZL