ACTION on the Shoalhaven River promises to be spectacular as preparations for the return of the Shoalhaven River Festival ramp up.
The latest addition to the line-up for the October 26 festival features three world champion wakeboarders.
Brothers Cory and Brad Tuenissen from Brisbane will be joined by young Picton rider Sam Brown, with the trio set to take to the Shoalhaven River to give at least three demonstrations throughout the day.
All three are world champions, with Sam taking out the under 10 crown, Cory the under 14s and Brad the under 19s.
Organised by the Shoalhaven’s own former world champion wakeboarder Josh Sanders, the trio promises an incredible show.
Sanders, who won the King of the Wake pro title in 2005, has also hosted the Australian Wakeboarding Open title on the Shoalhaven River for three years.
He said it was great to once again have his sport showcased in the Shoalhaven.
“These three young guys are incredible,” he said.
“They are as good as any of the pro riders you will see. What they can do on a board has to be seen to be believed.”
Cory Tuenissen is the youngest ever, and one of only a handful of competitors, in the world to have successfully landed a 10-80 – an extremely difficult trick where riders perform three 360s in the one manoeuvre.
“It is one of the hardest tricks out there,” Sanders said.
“For anyone into wakeboarding or even if you are not, these demonstrations will be amazing and certainly well worth watching.”
Sanders said it was fantastic to see the Shoalhaven River again being used for a major event.
“We have such a special asset in the river and we probably don’t appreciate what we actually have,” he said.
Sanders said he has wakeboarded all over the world, including spectacular locations like Antarctica, Tahiti and the Kimberleys but rates the Shoalhaven River among the best.
“It is just such a special and beautiful place,” he said.
“You cross that bridge and it just doesn’t do the river justice.
“I’ve waked in the Kimberley a few years ago and that was pretty special but we have certainly got the equivalent of that, possibly even nicer right here in the Shoalhaven River.
“I have brought mates from around the world here to the river to shoot footage and they are blown away when we take them up the river – the huge cliffs, the scenery is amazing and it’s just so quiet.
“It’s fantastic to see a festival honouring our beautiful river.”
Sanders had the Tuenissen brothers and Brown in the Shoalhaven last year shooting a series of 10 YouTube clips, which showcased the river and their skills. They have attracted more than 150,000 hits.
Sanders has just relaunched his business Ride Australia locally with a retail outlet selling both Supra and Moomba boats at South Nowra.
“I saw getting involved with the river festival as a great way of putting something back into the town that has supported me so much,” he said.
“A number of people are doing a lot of work to get the festival up and running, so it is great to be involved and I think it is can evolve into something very special.”
Each show will last around 30 minutes, with Sanders offering commentary throughout to allow spectators to know what the young stars are doing and what tricks they are performing.
The October 26 festival will include the return of the popular street parade.
It will start at 11am from Nowra Showground and will head down Junction Street, then Kinghorne Street, North Street and finish in Graham Street, a route of approximately 1.3km.
Following the street parade other events planned for the day include dragonboat and stand-up paddleboard races on the river, a boat show, sail-past of vintage boats, a concert on the riverside stage, jumping castles and market stalls.
There will also be a Queen and King of the River competition and the evening’s big finale will be a fireworks display on the river.
For more information go to the website: www.shoalhavenriverfestival.com.au
or Email: info@shoalhavenriver festival.com.au.
You can also find the Shoalhaven River Festival on Facebook.