A Cranbrook wakesurfer captured a gold medal at the 2016 Centurion World WakeSurfing Championships in Florida at the end of September.
Gabrielle Hockley nabbed first place in the Outlaw Surf division of the championship, beating out Trisha Giguere (USA), and third place Nadezda Ilinich (RUS), who finished second and third place, respectively.
Riders get two passes over a straight line each 45 seconds in length to throw down their best tricks before judges mark down a score on a points system, with two falls allowed both ways.
“We planned out our run in practice quite a while before the competition,” said Gabrielle, “so that we’d have kind of an idea of what we were going to do if we crashed during our run [and] what I’ll get up and do right away in that situation.
So before my run, I went over in my head exactly the run I wanted to do and I imagined myself doing it perfectly.
But then when I actually did my run, I fell on my first big trick and I just got up and tried it again and got it the next time and then pretty much after that I did my run perfect.”
Husband Isaac Hockley was watching from afar alongside Gabrielle’s parents.
“When she fell on her 360 it was like, ‘Oh no, is she going to be able to come back from this?'” Isaac said. “But when she got up, she started throwing things in her routine that we’ve never seen before. She just stomped the whole last part of her run.”
The Hockleys have been competing at events on the World Series of Wakesurfing this year, including a local stop at the Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge on Lake Koocanusa.
Other appearances on tour events this year included competing at the Wake Shredder Throwdown at Quarry Lake in California and the Nautique Canadian Wake Surf Nationals in Toronto.
With Gabrielle’s success in the outlaw division, which is essentially a semi-pro category, she will step up into pro competition next season, having moved into the top-10 ranking in the world.
Isaac also competed in the amateur division but had a tough run, however, that’s the way it goes on the circuit sometimes.
“The guy that got third, I’ve never lost to him in two years of competition,” said Isaac, “so that was kind of frustrating, but at the same time, that’s competition, that’s the way it goes sometimes, but I’m stoked to move to semi-pro.”
The Hockleys weren’t the only locals competing on the water; Montana Rousselle of Cranbrook and Cassidy Boehm from Jaffray also got on their boards to represent.
Both qualified to compete at the World Championship at the Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge and got the chance to watch the surfing pros in action.
“The girls had a blast,” said Mike Rousselle, Montana’s dad. “They don’t get exposed to that kind of thing around here. To meet the pros and see their mentality — they were pretty excited.”