World title tilt
Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018
By Callum Marshall
A roof plumber in Broken Hill has started his training for an international wakeboarding competition he’ll be taking part in next year.
The International Water-Ski and Wakeboard Federation World Cable Wakeboard and Wakeskate Championships will be held in Argentina in February, and Craig O’Meara said he’ll be arriving at the event with plenty of experience.
“My first world title (event) was twenty years ago and I’ve competed in about eight (of them) and finished in the top ten in the world at each one,” he said.
“Now I’m 40, I’m in the Veteran’s Class. Last one I competed in was two years ago in Mexico where I was in the Masters category.
“That category ranges from 30 to 40 year olds and I was the oldest Masters there (with) the next youngest 35.
“I crashed all my runs but managed to get through to the final. But I crashed in the final as well and ended up (placing) sixth in that one.
“Next year I’ll have the opportunity to compete in Masters, Veterans and Open. So if my training’s good and my trick runs are up to standard I’ll be competing in all three categories hopefully.”
Craig said there was about 45 countries competing in the cable-wakeboard titles.
“The (events) been going for 40 years. They have boat world titles and cable world titles,” he said.
“The one in February is a cable-ski and then there’s a boat world title in March, which I’ll be going to as well.”
Craig said a lot of his early training had been preoccupied with ground work, with last weekend marking the first time in a while he’d been able to get on the water.
“Basically, I’m training on the ground now because there’s no real water out here,” he said.
“They’re opening the ski season out at Menindee Lakes so I’m heading out there for the weekend for my first ride in basically about three or four months. I’ll wakeboard out there as many weekends as I can.
“I met a couple of locals who were kind enough to let me come and ride their boat. I teach their kids and they let me ride it.
“I’ll (also) be going back home to the Sunshine Coast in about three weeks and be riding there fora bit, and then I’ll head off to Argentina.
“So most of my training will be yoga, calisthenics and ground training, not so much on the board.
“Because I’m 40, I’ve been wakeboarding since I was 15 and I’ve had multiple surgeries. The more you learn your tricks, the more impact it takes and the quicker your joints start swelling up.
“I know my tricks, I’ve done them for 20 years or so. I’ve got a couple of extra ones that I’m going to work on for the three weeks I’ll be on the Sunshine Coast.”
Craig, who’s been in Broken Hill since May when he joined his Brother David’s roofing company Kor Roofing, said the work was helping him get ready for the titles as well.
“I came down because my brother’s here and he’s got the Kor Roofing company and he put me on for work,” he said.
“I roofed five years ago in WA for a couple of years. It’s really good for my knees because you’re always on an angle, an incline and decline as you walk up and down the roof.
“I do find after I roof for a few months that my knees start (to feel better.) Today I was running and I haven’t run in a while because my knees are so knackered and (have) had a few surgeries on them.
“It’s all about building up the joints and roofing helps with that, plus I’m earning a little bit of money doing it.”