Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Wakeboarder defends car park antics

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A professional wakeboarding coach who enjoyed the sport in a flooded underground car park defended his actions from critics who suggested it was unsafe.

Jack Hammersley, 24, sped around on a board in the Bedford Road car park in Guildford on Sunday night, with another professional wakeboarder, Jorge Gill, 18.

The pair used a winch pulley system which pulls users in at speeds of more than 15mph and also went wakeboarding in a nearby park.

They managed to avoid concrete pillars in the car park, which was flooded to a depth of two feet.

Many people commenting on a newspaper website praised their ability to have fun among the floods, but others called them "idiots", with one person expressing the wish that they would not attend an NHS hospital if they were hurt. Another said they should be wearing helmets, another that they were trespassing, and others said the water could be a health risk.

However Mr Hammersley, from Farnborough, Hampshire, said of people's criticisms: "It's not their choice to do it - if we want to do it, it doesn't really matter what they say, we had fun."

As to the accusation of trespassing, he said: "There's no sign saying it's private property."

And as for the water being dirty, he said: "We didn't fall off, and that (dirty water) is not something we'd worry about."

As for any hospital trip, he said: "I'm sure people injure themselves doing a lot more stupid things than that."

His only concession was on the helmets. "We probably should be wearing helmets. We normally do - but we were trying to get some good photos."

He said he and Mr Gill, from Kilburn, north west London, were at the car park only on Sunday night. "But if it's still flooded, we might go back again."

The winch pulley system was supplied by Red Bull.

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