- Category: News
- Published on Monday, 01 September 2014 13:04
King Township, ON - August 17, 2014 – Canada's top Water Skiers were at Spray Lake just outside of Newmarket, ON for the Canadian Waterski Championships presented by Nautique Boats. The championship was also a 2015 Pan American Games test event.
Cambridge Ontario's Whitney McClintock defended her slalom title with a score of as 2 @ 55, 10.75 (two buoys at 55 km/h boat speed at a rope length of 10.75 metres) while coming second to 13-year-old Neilly Ross of Belleville, ON/Orlando Florida. Ross, who celebrated her birthday earlier in the month, defended her open trick crown with a score of 7,810.
"It always good to come back to Canada to ski and win some gold medals", commented McClintock.
"It was great to comeback and defend my trick championship and compete against the best skiers in Canada", added Ross. "This gives me a lot of confidence as I head to the U-17 World Championships in Peru in January."
Winnipeg's Taryn Grant won the jump event with a 42.5 metre leap.
"It was a great overall event and I am really excited to continue to get better and try and make the Pan Am team next year," added Grant.
On the men's side Jason McClintock also of Cambridge and Whitney's older brother, won the men's trick competition with a score of 10, 210.
"It felt good, I lost my last trick, which would have made it a personal best, but I am really happy with my score and walk away with a gold medal," he commented after his run.
Stephen Neveau of Calgary, AB, captured the slalom crown with a 5@ 58, 10.75 score, narrowly edging McClintock's 2.5 @58, 10.75. Alex Paradis of Quebec City won the men's open jump with a leap of 42.5 metres.
"Great to compete here at Spray Lake and against the best skiers in Canada, said Neveau. I was really excited to win the men's open slalom and hope to build on this success for next year in the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2015 Championships in Sherbrook, PQ.
The Canadian Championships are a classic three-event tournament composing of slalom, trick and jump.
I just finished an eventful two weeks of being on the road for the Malibu Open in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Mastercraft Pro Shootout in Calgary, Canada and the U.S. Nationals in San Marcos, Texas. Unfortunately now like the rest of you, I am back to reality working my desk job wishing I was out on the water.
The Pro Ski Tour puts on a great event at Veterans Park. I missed this event last year due to my friend’s wedding so I was excited to make it back to Milwaukee this year. Unfortunately I had an early exit this year as I did not make the first cut missing 11.25m for the first time in a very long time. It is never fun having to sit on the shore and watch the rest of the weekend. I made the most of it by enjoying the great skiing and taking the opportunity to really watch and break down other skiers’ technique. I started preparing mentally for the Mastercraft Pro Shootout so I could be in a positive mindset for the next event which just a few days away.
The Waterski Awards also took place in Milwaukee on Friday night. The event highlighted the past 12 months on the water and recognized the male and female athletes of the year in slalom, trick and jump as well as juniors. The Waterski Magazine did a great job hosting the event and Dano the Mano did a great job as the MC. They also honored John Worden for everything he did for the Malibu Open in years pasts and everything he did for the sport of water skiing. John will truly be missed by everyone in our sport. Here is a picture of the west coast folks at the awards banquet.
Mastercraft Pro Shootout
As I arrived in Calgaray, I was ready to bounce back from my early fall at Malibu Open. I had a great practice ride and went site seeing in Banff National Park with Joel Howley and his parents before the event.
It was tournament day and I was hoping to wake up feeling great but it was the exact opposite. I woke up with a very tight upper back and stiff neck. I was able to loosen it up a bit before I skied. I ended up tying my personal best by running 3 @1 0.25m / 41off which put me in 4th place after the 1st round. I was excited with my performance but I could barley get out of the water due to the tremendous amount of pain. I was able to see a massage therapist on site which really helped. I iced and took care of myself the rest of the night. The top two scores from the first round advanced to the finals and everyone else had to ski a second round the next day and you had to be in the top 6 to advance to the finals. Insane skiing took place in the first round with 16 men running 10.75m. This was said to be a record for the most 10.75m lines completed in one round of a pro event.
Video from Round 1
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To say that the 2014 BigDawg finals did not happen as planned would be an understatement. Until the last paring of the final 4, it was perhaps the most enjoyable webcast I have ever seen. Kudos to the great guys at WebCast-TV.
After a morning on the phone with officials, skiers, and spectators, I understand the details of last night’s BigDawg final as follows:
It was pretty dark, and visibility was a factor.
Another factor is that the officials were asked to keep things moving for the WebCast and spectators on site.
The pairing was Miller vs. Rogers. They both ran opening passes.
When it was Miller’s turn to run 39, he ran it without issue.
As Rogers was getting ready to make his deep water start and head down the lake for his 39, a VW Jetta was driving along the berm between the lakes. On the bumpy road the car’s headlights were essentially creating a strobe effect. The bouncing headlights were reported by one source to be bad enough to distract the boat driver and impact the boat path. Others on site strongly disagree that the distraction was no more than the other skiers encountered.
The G5 is O’Brien’s flagship ski for their 50th anniversary in the water ski business. The green and black graphics pay tribute to the great O’Brien skis of the 60s and 70s. The difference is that the O’Brien skis from past decades were never nearly this fast or generated this much angle.
The G5 is best suited to a skier who approaches slalom skiing with more finesse than muscle. A skier who strives to exert less physical effort and rides the center of the ski will find an extremely fast and smooth ski. A skier who is used to getting around 6 balls with aggression and strength will find more angle and load then they can practically manage.
Off Side Turns:
Off Side turns on the G5 are almost guaranteed to result in massive amounts of angle. Tempered and calm skiing will result in a fast but smooth change in direction and a controllable amount of angle. Abrupt or aggressive moves by the skier to initiate the finish of turn will result in a radical change in direction.
On Side Turns:
On Side Turns are on the G5 as good as any ski tested to date. With the skier’s shoulders high off the water and at least moderate front foot pressure, the G5 seems to automatically backside the ball every time. More than any ski tested to date, the G5 gives the feeling of apexing early, arcing to the ball, and then finishing the turn early. The G5 makes it easy to carry considerable speed back to the center of the course.
As with Off Side turns, calm technical skiing is handsomely rewarded, and clumsy skiing is poorly tolerated. Back foot heavy or impatient On Side turns will result in a stall with the tip high. The ski will still acquire more than enough angle, but the skier will find the resulting rope load to be challenging.
From the wakes to the ball
The G5 is almost guaranteed to draw a path wide and early in front of the ball. Slalom skiing fundamentals, like controlling rope tension from the wakes to the ball, are the key to better skiing, but the G5 will get out wide and early even when those skills are poorly executed. The G5 is legitimately a very fast ski.
From the ball to the wakes
The G5 needs a skier who can take the angle achieved in the turn and then resist the temptation be overly aggressive to the wakes. If the skier simply maintains their stack, the G5 will create more than enough speed to get wide on the other side. For the skier who cannot resist the temptation to be overly aggressive, the G5 may create more than optimal load, which makes the skier vulnerable to mistakes at the next ball.
Over the course of the review period, I rode the G5 up to my personal all time practice PB numerous times. In addition, I ran passes near my limit that were as smooth as any I have ever run. On days where I was not well rested or not skiing my best, I found the G5 to be challenging.
For the technical skier who can regulate their aggression, the G5 is one of the best skis available today. For the skier guilty of depending on brute strength to run the course, the G5 may work at longer line lengths but will require an attitude change past 35 off.
“The disabled life is all I know.” To some, Mark Turner may just look like a man in a wheel chair, but he is far from that. In fact, he is far from being anything ordinary. He is an extreme athlete. Despite having to do things differently than others, being a paraplegic has never stopped him.
Shortly after birth, Turner was injured which left him immobilized from the waist down. Unlike other paraplegics, Turner’s injury is considered incomplete, meaning that he can use his legs for things like maintaining balance. Thus, when Turner was twelve years old his mother persuaded him to try waterskiing.
“I initially hated it,” Turner said. “I was a punk, the water was cold and nothing my mom could suggest would be cool.”
Though Turner was opposed to it at first, he was soon captivated by the rush and thrill of skiing. By age 14, he competed in his first tournament, and from there Turner’s career took off, and he began to make history.
In 1999, Turner won the slalom title in the MP3 division at worlds in England. He also set a slalom world record in that same year and went on to set another world record in 2000. In 2001, Turner won the overall medal at worlds in Australia.
While world titles and records are indeed an incredible feat, Turner’s hunger for more took him to new and greater heights.
According to Turner, prior to 1999 paraplegic skiers used a smaller version of the full course. Yet, slaloming through the mini-course was not enough for Turner, and he soon became the first paraplegic male to win the disabled worlds on a full slalom course.
Turner’s passion to push paraplegic skiing to new levels and his continuous vigor on the water is contagious everywhere he trains.
“He is one of the most passionate people I know in the sport,” Marc Austin, a friend of Mark’s, said. “He really gets excited to be out there and doesn't seem to let anything stand in his way. I'm always impressed at his drive and positive attitude towards skiing and improving. Plus his slalom turns are absolutely sick.”
Turner’s drive has recently achieved him possibly one of his greatest successes. After competing in the South Central Regionals in Cypress, Turner took 4th in Men’s 3 overall. This placement guaranteed him a spot in the US Nationals, an accomplishment that has made him the first paraplegic and disabled skier ever to qualify for the US Nationals.
“After I had verified I was qualified for the US Nationals, it felt awesome,” Turner said. “I got a little choked up when I realized it.”
Though some may let such an accomplishment go straight to their head, Turner believes that opportunities like these are not to gain praise for himself, but rather to spread the word to others.
“This is about getting the word out,” Turner said. “I know there are people that got hurt, or will get hurt, and don't know water skiing exists. What better way to spread the word than by skiing at nationals.”
He’s a fierce competitor, and he means business. Watch out M3 skiers! Mark Turner is coming to Texas!
As athletes, we have an obligation to protect, enhance and promote the brand of our sport and the companies and products that sponsor our event. As competitors, we must remove even the perception of cheating of any type from our sport to have fair competition.
As a positive step toward promoting our sport, giving back as well as isolating any suspected users of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) we are organizing a 35+ Skiers Association rooted in the following principals:
As a first step to organizing these athletes, the Following Big Dawg finalists have volunteered and agreed to PED Testing at the Big Dawg Finals in Texas later this week.