Wakeboarder wins provincial gold

Chilliwack brothers Kory and Kaden McCann made a splash at last weekend's inaugural wakeboarding provincials in Abbotsford.

B.C.’s first provincial cable wakeboarding championship were held last weekend at Abbotsford’s Albert Dyck Park.

Chilliwack’s Kory McCann was a big winner, bagging gold in the nine and under division.

Flying over jumps, McCann earned 73.33 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Kolby Andrew (56.67) and third-place finisher Michael Freier (46.67).

Kory’s brother Kaden narrowly missed podium placing in the competitive 14-and-under division. Kaden accumulated 73.33 points to finish fourth.

The winner (Mason Shadlock) had 95 points.

The event was held on the waters of Walmsley Lake, located within the park.

The provincial championships in the traditional boat-towed version of the sport were contested on Saturday. Kory and Kaden competed in the cable-driven event, held Sunday at Valley Wake Park on the east end of the lake.

“This is the first provincial event we’ve ever had for cable wakeboarding,” enthused James Balzer of Valley Wake Park, which boasts two electrically powered cable systems and is in its second year of operation at Walmsley Lake. “Everything went really well. We had probably a dozen riders from Vancouver Island and some from the Interior, so they were coming from all over the province.”

Balzer said that the provincial championships were a “test run” for Valley Wake Park – the local facility is set to host the cable national championships in 2015 and 2016.

“We’ve got the opportunity to host a lot of big events, and it’s exciting,” he said. “This is a really good way to grow the sport. We’re getting a lot more people out on the water because the cable (version of the sport) is so accessible.”

Balzer is Kory’s coach.

Between his tutelage and a gymnastics regimen, the Chilliwack kid has Olympic dreams. Cable wakeboarding is expected to be an Olympic sport in 2025, and Kory is intent on representing Canada.

In the meantime, Kory and his brother are looking forward to nationals, which will be held in Abbotsford next summer.

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