History was made as Raphael Trinidad of Cebu debuted on the world stage and gave the Philippines its first ever medal finish at the IWWF World Wakeboard Championships held last February 23, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 17-year old competed against the best in the world including three-time world champion Lior Sofer of Israel who went on to defend his crown with a final run score of 78.0, just 2.67 points ahead of Trinidad who ended up with a proud silver.
He shook off a disappointing 5th place finish at the Junior Men Under 19 Category in the same tourney but went on to fight gallantly for a podium spot in the senior category.
Trinidad, riding under the banner of Team Republ1c, also gained a lot of confidence off his stint in the Philippine Cable Wake Nationals last February 2-3 at the Deca Wake Cable Park in Clark, Pampanga, where he pulled off the first ever double half cab roll in Philippine wakeboarding.
He’s been a dominant force in the national championships since he was 13 years old, competing in the Pro Men Wakeboard division.
This feat establishes him as a favorite to win a gold medal in the 2019 South East Asian Games later this year wherein wakeboarding is among the 56 approved sports. This accomplishment also puts Trinidad and the sport on the radar for the country’s quest for that elusive gold in the Olympics, potentially in the 2024 Paris games.