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Sports Wakeboarding

A debut on the podium


natalia grabowska

Another success of Nobile team members. On 29th November Natalia Grabowska won the bronze medal of the Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard Championships, held in El Gouna (Egypt).

Another success of Nobile team members. On 29th November Natalia Grabowska won the bronze medal of the Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard Championships, held in El Gouna (Egypt). Today Natalia covers her story live, sharing few thoughts about the event.

When it comes to wakeboarding, this season was very intensive for me. February – Thailand, May – Italy, while the whole Polish summer – in the newly-opened lift in Brwinów. In the meantime, I made few short trips to Hel for kiteboarding. In September I decided I had enough of wakeboarding and I’d like to go to Brazil to have some kiteboarding! Everything was planned, my boss let me go, I was going with my friends. Everything but the ticket which turned out to be too expensive. In the meantime someone suggested Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard Championships at the end of November. Hmm... maybe it was time to visit Egypt after a six-year break? There I could ride a kite, when the wind blows, ride a wake when it doesn’t and last but not least, try my hand in the first international contest! A quick e-mail to Camel from the Polish kite base – Red Sea Zone. The had a room for me. The following day I was buying ticket and here was a plan – this November I would spend in El Gouna.

Egyptian fairytale!

On the spot I was welcomed by the sun and 28 degrees. First two days I spent in the Sliders Cable Park, because there was no wind. Another three weeks is the long-awaited kite, kite and kite once again! Riding in the beautiful Red Sea and going for a trip to fabulous Tawila island! Finally I felt fulfilled with kiting, however I started to become stressed and felt some remorse for not having properly trained for the championship yet. “Fortunately”, it stopped blowing, so I could focus fully on Sliders training. The lift was demanding and muscle sores were getting all the more painful. The championships were approaching rapidly, so were contestants from all around Europe and the atmosphere in the wakepark became very international. It was a lot of fun but also a little nervous before the starts. Finally the rest of Team Poland arrived – twelve people in total – as well as my German friend from the Nobile team – Joelina Gerards. We support each other.

Among the greatest

There were nine girls from seven different countries who entered my competition – Masters Ladies! Best of them, just like myself, start in Open categories on a daily basis, and they’re most often the best in their countries. I knew it won’t be easy! We were divided in two qualifying groups. My Polish friends got to the easier one, while I – to make matters worse – found myself in the harder and larger one. Only two persons from each group advance directly to the finals. The rest must fight in an overtime, called LCQ (Last Chance Qualifications). Great... There would be no time for rest – I would find myself in overtime which is very stressful, because there’s only one ride and if something goes wrong, you loose chance to enter the finals. I knew I had nothing to loose and must do my best. The stress was even bigger, as I frequently felt over during the trainings. But I made it! I rode as planned and what’s even more important – flawlessly. After the results had been announced, it turned out I advanced from the group in first position! Advancing to the finals of Europe Championships was a huge experience and success to me. These finals were on the day after tomorrow, at eight in the morning! Such early hour didn’t dishearten my colleagues from Team Poland and Red Sea Zone, who appeared in the dock to support me. Joelina came as well which was a very nice surprise for me!

Emotions near the boiling point

My first ride was quite safe, as I planned to go crazy in the second one. In the meantime I dropped from third to fourth position and was loosing only by one point. On the one hand, I wanted to go all out and try few tricks which not always came out as I wanted them to, in order to fight for the medals. On the other hand, I had to make good this single point, in order to find myself on the podium. I choose the safer way and I made it. I won the bronze in Europe Championships!

Of course, I feel slightly unsatisfied and I know I can do better. But for my first international competition, a third place is a great result! The same place took our Polish competitor in wakeboarding under 19 – Martyna Andrzejczak, whom I congratulate with all my heart! Here I’d like to thank all people who supported and believed in me, but most of all I thank the Nobile Wake company which manufactures the best boards in the world and enabled me to take part in the Europe & Africa Cable Wakeboard Championships! See you in the water next season!

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Windmagedon 2018