Our tools rise with the tide at the Red Bull Wake Capital wakeboarding competition in Hamburg powered by Bosch Professional.

Building the ultimate track

The track designers of the Red Bull Wake Capital wakeboarding event were given our 18V cordless tools and one job: Make it epic. The result? A stomach-churning 240m-long track with nine obstacles that rise and fall with the tide of the Elbe river in the middle of Hamburg city. Two weeks, 20 tonnes of material, 2,000 screws later, the track played host to the world's top 16 wakeboarders and a very familiar-looking oversized angle grinder.

Building on water is tough work. But it's easier with the right tools – from Bosch Professional.

Red Bull Wake Capital Venue Elbphilharmonie

The scene

HAMBURG, 2021 It's the day of the Red Bull Wake Capital superfinal and pro wakeboarder Liam Peacock tells the host: "When I first saw it, I was petrified." He means the track at the heart of the competition. Around them, crowds lean over the rails to enjoy the spectacle and catch the occasional splash of water. Designed for the crème de la crème, the track is built to push wakeboarding to its limits. " It's a perfect combination of heaven and scary as hell," says Peacock, one of 16 pro wakeboarders invited from all around the globe to Hamburg, where the track lies in the shadow of the Elbphilharmonie.


The track builders

"We've created a real playground here on the water," says track designer David Vervenne, with a twinkle in his eye. The obstacles alone weigh over 20 tonnes and look like a massive construction site on water. Floating on pontoons that rise and sink with the Elbe river, the track is never the same twice. Due to the tide-change of four metres, the project was so complex that the team spent months planning the technical execution. "Things may look easy on paper, but at the jobsite, we had to freestyle a lot and adapt on the fly," says Vervenne.

David Vervenne, Track Designer, Unit Parktech
There's nothing normal about this jobsite. It's floating on water. It's got no electrical sockets. All our tools were cordless. We just had to freestyle our way through it.

David Vervenne, Track Designer, Unit Parktech

GWX 18V-15 SC in action

The obstacles

Building started two weeks before the event. "It was a huge amount of material," says Konni Lehndorf, one of the track builders. "The obstacles alone weighed 20 tonnes and we used up 2,000 screws." The obstacles pay homage to Hamburg: massive freight containers, diggers, industrial pipes, and other gigantic features usually seen at construction sites and at the port. Fun fact: The first obstacle is the "Bosch PRO Grinder" – a set of kickers and a massive uprail made to look like a larger-than-life version of our BITURBO Brushless GWX 18V-15 SC Professional. At the jobsite, the real angle grinder is busy at work making sparks fly.

Mitre Saw

Building on water

There wasn't enough room to build the track on-site next to the Elbphilharmonie, so they were forced to set up the jobsite at a second location at the container port. "There is nothing normal about this jobsite," says Vervenne. "It's in the middle of the water. It's got no electrical sockets. All the tools we used were cordless." To work efficiently, the team relied on our impact wrenches , angle grinders, drill drivers and mitre saws with BITURBO technology all conveniently powered by ProCORE18V batteries. "The batteries work with everything," says Vervenne. "Switching tools is easy because the same battery just works anywhere. It makes work twice as fast." Finally, all 20 tonnes of material were hauled over to the final location just before the event.

Konni Lehndorf, Track Builder, Unit Parktech
We're dealing with a lot of material here. The obstacles alone weigh about 20 tonnes and we used up about 2,000 screws.

Konni Lehndorf, Track Builder, Unit Parktech

The sport

Wakeboarders are rated based on three criteria: technical difficulty, intensity (height, distance), and execution or composition of their tricks. Thanks to the challenging features of the track, riders rose to the occasion to perform spectacular flips and spins all in a class of their own. "The high and low tide is a water-change of a few metres," says Felix Georgii, who co-designed the track and competed at Red Bull Wake Capital. "Even the obstacles move a little bit. It makes riding on the cable system super different. You have to eyeball it." Only the best of the best would make it to the victory stand.

Red Bull Wake Capital 2021
A surprise victory

"It was the run of my life," says Austria's Timo Kapl, the surprise winner of the Red Bull Wake Capital. Beating out 15 other world-famous pro wakeboarders, the 24-year-old underdog shredded his way to the top and into the hearts of the audience with a flawless final run. "I gave it my all and put in the run of my life," said Kapl. "I had a very bad injury two years ago and didn't know if I could come back again and now this." As champion, Kapl can now look back on the hugely challenging course that has made his comeback – and his name.

David Vervenne, Track Designer, Unit Parktech
The batteries go with everything. Switching tools is easy because the same battery just works everywhere. It helps us work twice as fast.

David Vervenne, Track Designer, Unit Parktech

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