Tristan Duplan-Fribourg injury

Injury Update: Setbacks Continue for Talented Duplan-Fribourg Siblings


Injury Update: Setbacks continue for talented Duplan-Fribourg siblings

Tristan Duplan-Fribourg injury

Tristan Duplan-Fribourg suffered season ending injuries at the 2024 US Masters (image: @tristan.waterski)

By Jack Burden

The Duplan-Fribourg brothers are arguably the most talented family in world water skiing right now. The eldest, Louis, is the world overall champion. The middle brother, Pol, a former under-17 and under-21 world jump champion, secured his first pro victory earlier this year. The youngest, Tristan, is the number one ranked under-17 jumper in the world and second only to Jake Abelson in overall. However, a series of injury setbacks will deprive us of seeing the trio contend for water ski supremacy throughout the 2024 season.

While Louis, freshly rehabbed from shoulder surgery, is returning to strong form in time for the 2024 WWS Overall Tour, his younger siblings will unfortunately spend most of this year on the sidelines.

Tristan, one of the favorites to dominate at the upcoming Under-17 World Championships, will not compete at the event after two horrific crashes at the Junior Masters left him with serious injuries. The Frenchman sustained a fractured eye, a bone tear in his hip, and serious head trauma following the event, in which there was some controversy over whether IWWF concussion protocols were adequately followed. The 17-year-old’s injuries were so severe he was temporarily placed in an artificial coma.

“Life is short and precious. This is the lesson I learned during the most horrible experience of my life,” shared Tristan, who now faces a long road to recovery.

Pol started the season in style, defeating veteran Ryan Dodd in the night jump final at the Moomba Masters, becoming the youngest to win a professional jump event since 2017. The 21-year-old, who has a history of back pain, tried to push through in his efforts to qualify for the U.S. Masters before a jump crash aggravated his injuries further and put a pause on his season.

“This incident reminds me how demanding and unforgiving the sport we love is, but also how important it is to listen to your body,” shared Pol.

Medical exams revealed a herniated disc in his back and a fractured ankle, the former of which Pol has since undergone surgery to repair. He too now faces a long rehab journey to return to the water.

Both siblings remain optimistic in spite of their setbacks, expressing their desire to heal and come back stronger. If their resilience and determination are anything to go by, we will be hearing the Duplan-Fribourg name for many years to come.

The 10th edition of the #sangervasioproam

San Gervasio Reaches Milestone 10th Edition in Style


San Gervasio Pro-Am Recap | Waterski Pro Tour

The 10th edition of the #sangervasioproam

Image: @jollyski

Waterski Pro Tour

Amongst the frenetic cadence of this current Afro-Euro leg of the Tour, it would be easy to forget to pay close attention to the unique attributes of each of these events as they pass in a blaze of activity week by week. It would be a shame though, especially in the case of the San Gervasio Pro-Am, that this weekend celebrated its 10th edition.

Looking back 10 years, the landscape of waterskiing was drastically different. Professional waterskiing had approximately half the events per season as today, nearly all of them in the USA, with none in Europe. That changed in August 2014 when Matteo Luzzeri, a youthful idealist of a pro skier, put on an event that, while initially on the smaller side, would grow over the coming years to become the cornerstone and catalyst of pro skiings expansion into Europe and beyond. As a result, worldwide event numbers have increased and therefore opportunities for pro skiers to compete and earn, consequently improving the level of the sport.

It is the view of many that, without the cosmic spark of the 2014 San Gervasio Pro-Am, waterskiing would be in a far darker place. As it is, pro skiing has gone from treading water to thriving and the San Gervasio Pro-Am is the longest running event on the Tour in the same location (California Pro-Am has moved between various lakes over its 20+ years). Only an enforced government-ruled cancellation of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has stopped San Gervasio running every since 2014.

10 years has brought its fair share of memorable moments. 2021 champion Thomas Degasperi became the oldest male slalom skier to win a tournament at 41 years old, breaking a record set by the late, great Andy Mapple 18 years prior. A very rare instance of consecutive, competitive complete 10.25m passes happened in 2016 by Nate Smith and Freddie Winter, the same year Manon Costard ran 10.75m on a borrowed ski.

And of course, with much of the world’s top slalom talent once again turning up to their favorite Italian event, this year was no different. While one could be forgiven for thinking a perfect slalom lake, custom built for peak performance, would cause few upsets, it turned out not to be the case.

Qualifying highlights from the men’s side came from the home field: the aforementioned organizer, Matteo Luzzeri, competed in his first event since an achilles tendon tear 11 months ago. His competitive score of 3@10.75m, having only just recently started training at 36mph, was heroic. More from him in due course, no doubt. Luzzeri’s countrymen, 19 year old Vincenzo Marino, made waves by qualifying for the final in a fairly comfy 7th spot with some gutsy skiing. With a similar situation at last year’s World Championships, here we have a young man who enjoys the big stage.

San Gervasio is one of the increasingly few tournaments that uses the Head-to-Head bracketed final format. Once seen as the future for pro skiing, it has more recently fallen out of fashion, only seen a small handful of times a year. However, when used it is a nice break from the norm and, as this weekend, can cause some upsets. Will Asher, the form skier on the Tour, did not get a forecast win despite dominating the first few rounds. After a huge 5@10.25m in the semi final to knock out fellow two-time World Champion Thomas Degasperi, Asher was set up against good friend Jon Travers in the final. Going first, however, he fell at 2, uncharacteristically blowing the fin on his infamously strong on-side, leaving Travers to only need a complete 2. Travers duly did what he needed to, emotionally winning his first tournament since Lake 38 Pro-Am 2018 – a win he also won directly against Asher, that time in a run-off. A well deserved win for one of the hardest working men in the sport.

On the women’s side, perhaps the story of the tournament was the return to the podium of 2019 World Champion and 11-time pro event winner, Manon Costard. Having taken a step back from the sport in recent years, Costard took 2nd, completing her first 10.75m pass since 2021 along the way. Jaimee Bull took the win, emphatically running her own 10.75m pass in the final to underline her dominance of the Tour so far this year. The two Tour Leaderboard points for best score of the event, however, went to Costard with her 1@10.25m as Bull did not attempt her return pass at 10.25 having won. After winning the Tour by just 2 points in 2023, could she live to regret this?

On that note, the top of the Leaderboards remain unchanged with both Jaimee Bull and Will Asher extending their leads with these results. They have 258 and 228 points respectively. Though Bull has more points, the gap to Allie Nicholson in second is significantly less at 69 vs 100 for Asher. Asher has close to double the points of 2nd place, perhaps demonstrating the greater number of skiers, and therefore competitiveness of the field, he has shared the podium with this year of his near total dominance. Freddie Winter, in 3rd with 114 points, has run his race in the 2024 Tour and will fall down the rankings in due course; he is looking to hit 2025 with a recovered femur after his crash at the last event 10 days ago.

And so, from celebrating a monumental milestone in Italy to breaking new ground in the UK next week. The inaugural Oxfordshire Pro-Am will offer a slalom final under lights next Saturday, something not seen in pro skiing for a decade or more. A fitting way to wrap up this intense localized leg of the Tour that has kept us so entertained these past weeks. See you there.

For event highlights, scores, replays and more visit Waterski Pro Tour.

Kaiafas Water Ski Resort, Greece

Kaiafas Water Ski Resort Reopens, Aiming for a Return to the 2025 Tour


Kaiafas Water Ski Resort reopens, aiming for a return to the 2025 Waterski Pro Tour

Kaiafas Water Ski Resort, Greece

Image: All Over Greece

By Jack Burden

Kaiafas Water Ski Resort, host of the Kaiafas Battle ProAm in 2022 and 2023, has reopened after a dispute over the site temporarily halted operations earlier this year. The resort, operated by George and Tasos Hatzis as part of Hatzis Waterski Paradise, has hosted numerous national and international events over the past three decades.

The Kaiafas Battle ProAm quickly became a fan and skier favorite on the Waterski Pro Tour in its first two editions, thanks to the event’s scenic location, large crowds, and party atmosphere. Allie Nicholson, who ran her first-ever 10.75m (39.5’ off) at Kaiafas last year, spoke glowingly of the event on the TWBC podcast, saying, “It was a party all day long.” She added, “After last year, I thought, ‘How could it get bigger?’ and it got bigger.”

Similarly, Freddie Winter, who made history in 2023 alongside Will Asher and Nate Smith when all three ran 10.25m (41’ off) in the same round, called the tournament the best event of the last two years alongside Moomba. “The standard they set is really high, and I don’t think any other event is matching it at this point.”

Many of the sport’s top athletes took to social media to support the Hatzis and expressed their disappointment when the event, planned for July 13-14, had to be canceled earlier this year. “I was planning an even bigger and more exciting 2024 Kaiafas Battle, filled with new ideas and challenges,” shared George Hatzis after announcing the cancellation. “However, since January, my efforts have been diverted due to a dispute with competitors trying to take over the Kaiafas site. As a result, the site remains closed, and there simply isn’t enough time to prepare for the event.”

The cancellation caused a reshuffling of the European leg of the Waterski Pro Tour, with the inaugural Oxfordshire ProAm moving up a weekend to accommodate athletes’ travel schedules.

However, this week Hatzis announced that the site was reopening, sharing, “We are so excited to announce to our friends that our paradise is now open to welcome you back!” The announcement was met with excitement and anticipation for a return to the Waterski Pro Tour in 2025. Current leaders Jaimee Bull and Will Asher both referred to the announcement as “the best news,” while the injured Freddie Winter expressed his excitement to return to the event next year.

Hatzis remains optimistic for the future, sharing, “We look forward to welcoming you back next year for an even more spectacular competition.” It sounds like he is not the only one looking forward to the 2025 Kaiafas Battle ProAm.

Peru's Christiana De Osma competes at the San Gervasio Junior Challenge

San Gervasio to Feature “Girls Only” Cash Prize Junior Challenge


San Gervasio to feature “girls only” cash prize Junior Challenge

Peru's Christiana De Osma competes at the San Gervasio Junior Challenge

Peru’s Christiana De Osma, current world number one, will compete at the 2024 San Gervasio Junior Challenge (image: @andrea_gilardi_fotografo)

By Jack Burden

The 10th edition of the San Gervasio ProAm, the longest-running professional event in Europe, will host the best slalom skiers in the world from July 5-7. In an exciting development, the 2024 event will feature some of the best up-and-coming female athletes in a head-to-head junior challenge.

Four of the top six ranked under-17 women in the world will travel to the event to battle it out for cash prizes sponsored by Radar Skis. Matteo Luzzeri, who organizes the event, shared the inspiration behind including the Junior Challenge, now in its 5th edition, alongside the pros: “The idea has always been to mix the future of the sport with professional skiers while skiing in a format that is rarely implemented outside professional events.”

While previous editions have featured both junior girls and boys, schedule conflicts have prevented the same high-level participation on the male side as in previous years. This prompted the organizers to prioritize showcasing some of the rising stars of the sport on the women’s side.

“We are extremely excited to host some of the very best junior girls in the world for this Junior Challenge,” shared Luzzeri. “Although we’ll miss seeing the top boys, the girls’ tournament has all the premises to be the best one yet!”

Luzzeri noted that the girls-only edition of the Junior Challenge will allow the cash prize to be doubled for these competitors. Representing four different countries, Christiana De Osma (Peru), Vittoria Saracco (Italy), Ines Sole (Belgium), and Alexia Abelson (USA) will go head-to-head in what may serve as a preview of the upcoming Under-17 World Championships in Canada early next month.

This will be the strongest field assembled in under-17 girls’ slalom so far in 2024, with the Junior Masters’ Florida-centric qualification criteria effectively excluding European juniors (four of the current top 10 live and train in Europe, compared to just two from the US).

Alongside these promising juniors, the best professional slalom skiers will chase valuable Waterski Pro Tour points as we pass the halfway point of the season. Jaimee Bull, Will Asher, and Team Syndicate are off to strong, but not yet unassailable, leads on the Tour. It will be crunch time for the other contenders to try and knock them off their perch.

The picturesque venue, Jolly Ski, located in northern Italy, is a favorite among pros and amateurs alike. The ski school is a popular training ground for some of Europe’s most promising juniors and is home to the internationally sought-out Jolly Clinics.

Asher with a HUGE 1@43off/9.75m

Asher and Lang Dominate During Water Skiing’s Busiest Week


Asher and Lang dominate during water skiing’s busiest week

Asher with a HUGE 1@43off/9.75m

Asher is now the clear leader in men’s slalom so far in 2024 (image: @hoskis)

By Jack Burden

Four countries, four tournaments, 10 days, and $150,000 in prize money—the busiest week in water skiing took the best slalom and trick skiers through a whirlwind tour of Europe.

The journey began on Wednesday and Thursday in Marrakech, Morocco, continued on Saturday and Sunday in the foothills of the Alps in eastern France, then moved to the French Riviera just outside of Monaco on Tuesday and Wednesday, and concluded near Madrid in central Spain from Friday to Sunday.

For trick skiing, the professional season has now concluded, while slalom has just crossed the halfway point, with clear leaders starting to emerge from what had begun as an uncharacteristically fragmented season.

In men’s slalom, which saw four different winners across the first four events, a clear leader for 2024 has emerged. The 41-year-old veteran Will Asher picked up three consecutive victories across Marrakech, Fungliss, and Monaco. Asher is now firmly in the lead on the Waterski Pro Tour and has finished no worse than runner-up in each of the six events he has competed in this season. Not only did the Englishman consistently finish on top, but he also did it in style, running 10.25m (41’ off) in both Marrakech and Monaco.

Another major storyline in slalom is the dominance of Team Syndicate, with skiers representing HO Skis claiming over 50% of podium finishes (12 out of 21) and all seven slalom titles across the four-tournament sprint. Jaimee Bull continued her dominance from last season, pulling ahead on the Waterski Pro Tour leaderboard. Rob Hazelwood and Allie Nicholson each won an event, with strong performances from Frenchman Sacha Descuns.

In tricks, world champion Erika Lang returned to her winning ways after a disappointing Masters. The American posted scores over 11,000 points in both Monaco and Spain, finishing her season with four wins out of five and setting a record for the highest score by a female in professional competition. In arguably the best form of her career, Lang has won seven out of nine professional events over the last two seasons, including a World Championship, Pan American Games, and an extension of her world trick record.

On the men’s side, 2024 has been anything but predictable, with intense competition in one of the fastest-evolving fields in the sport. The Chileans dominated the European leg, with 16-year-old Matias Gonzalez claiming his second win of the season in Monaco and 18-year-old Martin Labra following up his Masters title with a win in Spain.

The European leg continues through July, with the 10th edition of the San Gervasio ProAm (July 5-7), the inaugural Oxfordshire ProAm (July 12-13), and the first stop of the WWS Overall Tour for 2024, the WWS Salmsee Cup (July 27-28).

Jacinta Carroll The Mum Athlete

Jacinta Carroll: Becoming a Champion at 100 Days Postpartum | The Mum Athlete


Becoming a Champion at 100 days Postpartum [w/ Jacinta Carroll]

The Mum Athlete

At 100km/h and with 3G’s being put through her body, Jacinta Carroll was pulled into the jump at Moomba Masters at just 100 days Postpartum. If that isn’t mind blowing enough, what’s more crazy is that she won the event. This chat will blow your mind and show you that with enough research and support, getting back to sport at the highest level is absolutely possible.