SOUTH CERNEY’S Harry Eames has returned from the Philippines with two silver medals from the IWWF World Wakeboarding Championships at the Deca Clark Park, near Manila.
Eames, 15, who has been competing in the sport for just three years, finished runner-up in the Boys’ Wakeboard Final and also helped GB pick up a silver in the team competition which was contested by 32 countries and won by Germany Eames, a pupil at Kingshill School in Cirencester, beat the eventual gold medallist Hegedus Akos of Hungary in both qualifying and the semi-finals to become one of the favourites for the title, but he fell when trying to perform a difficult manoeuvre in the second and last run of the final.
Eames’ best previous efforts were to be runner-up in the 2012 UK Boys National Championship and third in the 2011 Boys European Championship.
James Harrington, from Swindon, who like Harry trains at WMSki in South Cerney, also put up a personal best to finish fourth in the Junior Men’s Wakeskate Final. The last member of the travelling WMSki trio, Steph Caller from Cheltenham, finished a respectable seventh in the Open Ladies Wakeboard Final.
The results are a terrific boost for the WMSki Club and coach Steve Dyer.
“What Harry has done, given the length of time he has been riding, has been pretty extraordinary,” said Dyer. “All the riders go for a ‘safe’ display on the first run, and then step it up a level and go all out on the second run.
“Unfortunately, Harry fell trying a 540 degree Railey (difficult trick), but for which he may have won the gold.
“James had a fantastic result in the wakeskate – another personal best for him.”
Harry returned with the team from Manila on Tuesday and now has next year’s European Championship in his sights.
“It was really fun and I totally exceeded my expectations in Manila, as I was hoping for a top-five finish,” he said.
“The worlds come around every two years, so the aim in 2013 is the Europeans in Switzerland.”