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Ski Paradise Invitational Day Two - By Andy Mapple


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Ski Paradise Invitational Day 2


Well, Toby Keith was right!!


Day 2 with side-by-side finals. Lots of anticipation as to how this all was going play out. 9:30am and conditions are perfect, with guests having been ripping it up since 7:30am. Seeding for today’s second round was based on yesterday’s scores, which put TGas out first followed by CP, Nate, Will and Andy (not where I expected to be, but fun to be there). Again, there was a quiet over the Palapa, as everyone went into their own world with preparation. It is the best four scores from either round that will advance to the side-by-side, so at this point nobody was safe.


TGas was out first with Coni driving a red Nautique 200. He stroked 38 with no problems. Coming back at 39, again a great start through 1 and 2 ball, but slow on the exit of 3 ball put a lot of pressure on 4. A wicked turn on 4, but too much speed was scrubbed off, and then had to build all the way to 5. A turn on 5 ball, but inside 6. You can tell what a competitor TGas is and he will be motivated at Moomba in a few weeks. This score then also put the next four skiers through to the next round, so all the skiing would be for seeding and the cumulative event.


Next out was CP, and after he spent time in the water with his ski cleaning it, he was ready to go. He looked very serious and focused today, and I figured the giants would be awakened. As always CP looked strong, with his gate setup better and looking confident off both sides. Into 41, the prediction on the dock was 4. CP nailed the start and looked like he was going down town when he came up narrow at 5 ball and had to settle with 4.5@41.


Nate was next out. With the formalities of 32, 35 and 38 out of the way, he again makes 39 look way too easy, however a touch later through 5 ball and 6, gave me the feeling that he would be ready to attack 41 and chase CP’s top score. A great attack at the start at 41 was an understatement! Man this guy hammered the gate and one ball, and I don’t think he got the pull out of 1 ball until he was in the white water, as he carried so much speed. Finally though, I guess with going that hard he was able to get a better swing into 2 ball and get on his way to 3. Although that was all she wrote for this round, but I am sure getting out of 2 will help his confidence going into the next round.


Will is next up, and being down in the Acapulco water for almost two weeks now, had a nice tape job on the hands! Will is so focused when he skis though, I am not sure it would matter. Again a very strong, early and powerful 39, was setting up for something special at 41. A much more controlled 1 ball today and carried great speed into 2. Watching from the dock it looked like a great turn, but then a little narrow and late to 3 he went for the whole buoy. Will is a true competitor, and does not wear too much of his feelings on his sleeve!! He will be tough through the rest of the event!


For me I had mixed feelings as to how this round would be. I was already through to the next round, and not having too much 36 skiing, my thinking was whether I should conserve energy, or go hard at it? After 32, I would make my decision. The body was not feeling strong, and sometimes the best way for me to deal with that is to get really stuck in, so an opt-up to 38 off it was! The start was a bit of a shock having not done that at 36mph for a while, but out of 2 ball it all came back together and the rest was fine. 39 from the dock end of the lake probably was the best option for me anyway, since I was hoping for some help from the very slight head wind. 1 and 2 were fine, but the headwind I thought would help me….got me. I clipped 3 ball and got yanked out. 2.5@39 was it. Next time I will try and plan my set better!


Anyway, I was very thankful to make it to the next rounds and be able to play at the side-by-side slalom final.


Brackets for the side-by-side held for CP and Andy to go back out first, with Will vs Nate second.


We had a brief break while we waited for Corey Humberg to get in his seat to take pictures. That seat just happened to be in the back of an ultra light taking off from just over the road on the beach. I was glad to be skiing rather than draw the short straw for that ride! I was grateful for the extra time as I needed ice on the ankle after being yanked out of the ski in the last pass.


High seed had the opportunity to choose their course or their boat. The other skier chose the option that remained.


After the ice I was feeling fine, so we headed out. CP was the high seed and chose to stay on the inside course we have been using, so I had a choice of a blue or red Nautique. I chose Mapple Skis blue!


Skiing side-by-side is really fun, but it changes the whole dynamic of the competition. Even though you are out there together, you really have no idea of what is happening, and you just have to go all out. The typical strategy of being able to think and plan on a competing skier’s strengths and weaknesses go out the window.


I obviously knew going into this that all of these guys would be into 41, so “nothing could be left on the dock”. At 38, I was a little too ambitious in the middle of the course and got myself late out of 4 ball, but when I looked across to head to 5, I could not find it. What I was seeing was the other boat and spray in my line of sight…..a very strange feeling. When everything is going well, you never see the other boat. I did get to 5 ball, but was too late to do anything with it. So, I guess if I had been on my game in the pass, I would never have seen the boat!!! Obviously I did not see CP ski, but I am sure it was his usual cruise!! Good job CP.


Next up was Will and Nate. Will was high seed and made his choice first. He also went with the inside course, leaving Nate to pick a red Nautique. This was going to be a very close battle, as these guys were only separated by half a buoy in the combined scores of the first two rounds. Will made it very interesting at 39 around 4 ball, but the strength to weight ratio I mentioned yesterday was in full force. It looked from the dock that he was actually doing a side slide down course out of 4, then all of a sudden he hooked up and flew into 5, with a patient turn, then under control to 6 ball. No problem! Nate’s was just another boring 39!! 41 off, this would be all about the start. Neither guy got what they had in the earlier round, but Will powered through 2 and out around 3, while Nate had to go for it at 2 ball and again it was too much to hang onto. So Will advanced and it was 3rd place for Nate. Great skiing by both guys.



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Part 2


OK…so the grand finale, CP vs Willy. A 35 off start for these guys meant that a tail wind would make 41 interesting (not too bad, but enough to play a role at these line lengths). Watching these guys through the first couple of passes we knew it was a 41 battle coming up. 39’s first and no issues, not even any hiccups. 41 and we knew they both would be attacking. Neither of them got a very good start, even CP with his onside, so serious pressure on 2 ball. He was on the tail out of 2, but his strength and determination kicked in and a full 3 it was. I was watching to see what happened with CP, when I could not watch Will at the same time (this is the hard part of side-by-side competition). Tgas told me that Will’s start was not that good, but a very safe full 3 is what he went for. A TIE! There was some momentary confusion as to whether they should go again from the same end, or from the opposing end where they just finished. The skiers decided among themselves that the longer entry at the far end was better.


So in the rematch at 41, CP nailed 1 and 2. I looked over at Will and I think he played it safe for the full 3 again, but CP was not done. The big lefty was turning 3 ball this time, and outside 4. A quick look over to see how he did, then the arms are in the air!!!


Congratulations to CP for the win and to Will for some great skiing. 2013 is going be epic!


Full results of main event:


CP, Will, Nate, Andy, TGas


Full results of combined:


CP, Will, Nate, Andy, TGas


After the event there was a big ski switch side by side challenge. Guys all tried each others skis……..there will however be NO report on this!!


A very special thank you to Gordon and Gabriella for arranging and hosting, all the guests who made this Dream Week happen. Good news is, there is planning for next year already!!



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