Day 1 of the 2014 Australian Water Ski National Titles

Close to 200 athletes made tracks to Darwin for the 2014 Mastercraft Australian Water Ski Nationals. It’s the first time the Northern Territory has ever hosted the Nationals and although the site is isolated from a majority of the population, the numbers haven’t shown it.

The jump and trick lake of Berry Springs

The jump and trick lake of Berry Springs

It’s actually quite refreshing to have the Nationals at a new site and it is a testament that our sport knows no boundaries. It shows that tournament water skiing is truly an Australia wide sport.

Full credit to Craig Mclew and the Victorian team for organising these Nationals. The 2 lake site is at Berry Springs which is about 40 kilometres south of Darwin. It truly is an amazing site, hardly affected by wind, little to no problems with backwash and the water is unbelievably warm…even in the middle of Autumn!

The grandstand at Berry Springs

The grandstand at Berry Springs

In the first day we saw a handful of records broken.

The disabled Nationals are being run in conjunction with this tournament. Today we saw 3 records broken! The scores aren’t published yet but it’s great to see water skiing in Australia advancing in all disciplines.

Briana McGrady has a pending Australian record under her name. She booted a 32.4 metre jump to take control of the under 14 girls jump event and set a pending record. Briana was actually co-record holder before with Vennesa Leopold. They held the record with a 32.3 metre leap.

In the testosterone filled under 17 boys jump division it was the South Australian Josh Wallent who made his mark with the biggest jump of the tournament. Josh passed up his first 2 jumps which meant it was all or nothing on his final jump. He left his turn later than anyone else (well actually Archie Davis might have turned a little later) and had a strong cut into the ramp, booting a 51.9 metre monster. He didn’t break the Aussie record but he bettered his own state record.

Pistol Pete Cornale is breaking more records than I’ve had hot dinners. Pistol dominated in the over 35 mens slalom round running the tough 11.25 metre line and almost running 10.75 metre line! He scored 5@10.75m which is an Australian pending over 35 mens slalom record.

The over 45 mens slalom event is always interesting and is traditionally is the most competitive. Barry Mason put out the score of 2@11.25m for John Adams to beat, but Adams was chasing something else. The Victorian was after the Aussie record. He came up a little short with 4@11.25m but with another round in a couple of days this record is seriously under threat. Even if Adams doesn’t break the record it’s exciting to watch the competition between him and Mason who have been going tit for tat the last few tournaments.

I’ve got to mention 3 boys in the under 14 boys jump event. Jack Christie, Ethan McKinnon and Kurtis Beare. Kurtis is in 3rd spot with a jump of 27.6 metres…which is a personal best by over 2 metres. Ethan is a 2nd spot with 28.9 metres…a PB by close to 3 metres. Jack is leading with a leap of 33.3 metres…a 3 metre PB.

It’s great to see so many good scores, especially jump score after the first day. Let’s hope it’s just a taste of things to come and with 4 days left we are in for a treat.


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