sport

Ozzie notches world championship win

By Jared Loughnan

Wakeboarding professional coach and Yarrawonga P-12 teacher Travis ‘Ozzie’ Osborne has turned back the clock 12 years winning the IWWF World Wakeboard Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Emirates.

Travis won the open world title at the same event in 2007 at Doha, Qatar but this time won the veteran’s division. 

“It was an honour to be picked in the Australian Wakeboard Team but to win and be crowned world champion for a second time was beyond all of my expectations and pretty surreal,” Travis said on his return from the United Emirates. 

The talented wakeboarder said it wasn’t an easy path to the final after a tough qualifying round where he fell at the end of his first pass. 

“This meant I had to take a massive risk in my second pass. I successfully landed a trick called a ‘313’ that none of the other riders do (the pro’s included)! 

“It came off and put me into the semis. The semis went well, and I finished second in my group and successfully progressed through to the final.

“I was really excited to make the final and decided right from the beginning to go ‘all or nothing’ for the win. I was so stoked with my run and nailed a couple of big tricks in my second pass.”

Travis said the standard of riding at the event was amazing for a “bunch of old blokes”! 

“To put it in to context, my winning run was equal to or better than anything I ever did as a professional rider. The level of riding just keeps getting better and better every year. 

“I knew after standing up such a strong run that I was in the hunt for a medal and that there would be a heap of pressure on the competitors after me, they weren’t able to execute their key tricks and the rest is history.”

Australia dominated at the event, which was held from November 19-23 and featured 32 countries, picking up four other gold medals giving the team the overall team’s gold.

“Having not competed for eight years, it was a huge commitment to train and prepare for the event,” Travis said. 

“Having my family there to share the experience made the win really special, especially for my wife Jess who was still recovering from major surgery prior to the event.” 

Travis said the event was a much different experience since his last win in Doha, Qatar in 2007. 

“It was very different this time round because the event was livestreamed around the world on youtube. 

“The level of support online was amazing and really humbling. I’d like to thank everyone that tuned in and sent me messages of support, it really spurred me on to get the win. I’d also like to thank Skin Ski and Surf for their ongoing support.

“I’ll be back on the water in the lead up to Christmas, coaching and enjoying the calm before the holiday rush.”

Travis said that anyone that is interested in lessons or wants to see some of the action from the 2019 IWWF can go to @wakecoach on Instagram or Facebook.