Success as Royal Navy makes its debut at wakeboarding championships

Topic: Fighting armsRoyal Marines

A Royal Marine picked up an Inter-Service title as the Royal Navy Wakeboarding Association made its debut in a national contest.

Lance Corporal Tony Evans, based at Chivenor, won the men’s boat contest with ease – helping him towards an overall silver medal and is now in line for a call-up to the Great Britain squad.

The Green Beret provided the icing on the cake for the RNWA, which was only formed earlier this year, and which enabled the Senior Service to take part in the Wakeboard and Water ski Inter-Services competition for the first time.

Wakeboarding developed from a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing. 

The rider is either towed behind a motorboat or closed-course cable system. 

Largely a ‘freestyle’ sport, edging techniques are used to move the board and perform jumps, either using the natural wake of the boat or artificial features such as kickers or sliders.

Lance Corporal Evans, originally from New Zealand, first strapped into a wakeboard in 1999 and, prior to joining the Marine Corp in 1999, had consistently been on NZ National podiums and represented NZ at the World Champs achieving third and fifth positions. 

However, prior before the Inter-Services, he had almost retired from the sport, having barely been on the water over the past five years.

Despite this his flawless repertoire of huge spins and inverts (going upside down), impressed the judges and other Services alike. 

He topped this off with a forth position in the cable event meaning he took the overall silver medal at the championships, which were held at Box End Park in Bedford.

Chairman of the RNWBA, Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Stephanie Ingram said: “The interest in RN wakeboarding has been astonishing.

“In addition to winning an Inter-Service title at our first competition, the progression and development of the riders throughout the season has been incredible to watch.”

The interest in RN wakeboarding has been astonishing.

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Stephanie Ingram RN