Slalom skiing at the US Masters

Quiz: Men’s Slalom Winners at the U.S. Masters this Century


Quiz: Men’s slalom winners at the U.S. Masters this century

2024 will be the 64th edition of the Masters Waterski & Wakeboard Tournament (image: Water Ski Company)


3 minute play

In this quiz, you need to name every male skiers to have won the U.S. Masters slalom title since 2000.

The list has just eight skiers, all of whom have won the title at least once. While the quiz might seem easy, there’s a catch – you have to guess them in chronological order. We’ve given you the skiers’ country as a hint. Good luck!

Let’s go take up some space on that masters start list

Slalom Invites Finalized: Are the Best Skiers Truly Represented at the Masters?


Slalom invites finalized: Are the best skiers truly represented at the Masters?

Let’s go take up some space on that masters start list

Image: @pato.font

By Jack Burden

What makes the best skier in the world? Is it talent, skill, and record-setting scores? Or is it the ability to perform under pressure, to excel regardless of the lake or conditions, and to beat the rest of the field when it counts?

If you were fortunate enough to be on the banks of Sunset Lakes yesterday, you were treated to an exhilarating day of slalom as many of the world’s best skiers vied for qualification into the 2024 Masters Waterski and Wakeboard Tournament.

By the end of the day, the Canadian duo of Stephen Neveu and Cole McCormick had punched their tickets. However, an eight-way tie for the last spot forced another intense runoff. It was the European contingent of Sacha Descuns and Adam Sedlmajer that led the pack, each securing 3@10.25m (41’ off). In a second runoff, former world overall champion Sedlmajer emerged victorious to clinch the final spot.

The Masters has long billed itself as the world’s “most prestigious watersports tournament,” where “only the world’s most elite athletes compete.” However, this image is hard to reconcile with a men’s slalom field selected based on a single score at one of two amateur tournaments held this month.

In men’s slalom, only four of the top 10 finishers on the 2023 Waterski Pro Tour standings qualified for the 2024 Masters. The rest of the field, while undoubtedly talented, placed 11th, 13th, 14th, and 19th last year. Collectively, they have finished on two professional slalom podiums in the last 12 months, both courtesy of Joel Poland, and have placed in the top eight at less than half of the events they’ve entered.

Meanwhile, four men who placed in the top seven on the Waterski Pro Tour last year were not invited to the Masters. Between them, they have 11 professional slalom podiums in the last 12 months, including one victory, and have finished in the top eight at over 75% of the events they’ve entered.

In the current competitive landscape, we see logjams at 3@10.25m almost every weekend. The skier who makes it past three on any given weekend is a lottery, but over a long enough period, the cream rises to the top.

That’s why a season-long measure of consistency and performance is the most accurate way to determine the best athlete in water skiing. The Waterski Pro Tour offers this, with 12 professional slalom events in 2023. Who could argue that their year-end standings aren’t a fair reflection of the current elite?

This isn’t to take away from those who did qualify through the two ‘LCQ’ events; they had to beat the best in the world to earn their spots and at times battled challenging conditions to do so. However, it’s tough to say the current qualification criteria is truly “an acknowledgment of achievement for reaching the pinnacle in a given watersports discipline,” claims from the Masters website notwithstanding.

Qualified Men

Freddie Winter1st at Worlds, Moomba, & Botas ProAm
Nate Smith1st at Masters & CA ProAm
Charlie Ross5@10.25 (LCQ #1)
Joel Poland4@10.25 (LCQ #1) – Runoff
Will Asher4@10.25 (LCQ #1) – Runoff
Cole McCormick4@10.25 (LCQ #2)
Stephen Neveu4@10.25 (LCQ #2)
Adam Sedlmajer3@10.25 (LCQ #2) – Runoff

Qualified Women

Jaimee Bull1st at Worlds & Botas ProAm
Regina Jaquess1st at Masters, Moomba, & CA ProAm
Whitney McClintock Rini1@10.25 (LCQ #1)
Allie Nicholson4.5@10.75 (LCQ #1)
Neilly Ross2@10.75 (LCQ #1) – Runoff
Venessa Vieke3@10.75 (LCQ #2)
Paige Rini2@10.75 (LCQ #2)
Luisa Jaramillio2@10.75 (LCQ #2)

Swiss Pro Slalom Recap | Waterski Pro Tour


Swiss Pro Slalom Recap


Who would bet against the 9-time winner taking her 10th title? (image: @waterskiprotour)

By Jane Peel

Waterski Pro Tour

The Swiss Pro Slalom is always eagerly anticipated – the first professional contest of the season for most competitors and a chance to test out their early form. But what we experienced at the 10th anniversary edition of the event at Florida’s Swiss Waterski Resort, was something very special and a fitting way to start the 2024 Waterski Pro Tour’s series of slalom competitions.

A stacked field, including veterans and a host of new kids on the block, kept us entertained through two preliminary rounds and finals, all packed into one day.  By the end, we had witnessed more than a few shocks, crowned a new champion and seen a glimpse of the future of professional slalom skiing. 

Full article at Waterski Pro Tour.

GB Waterskiers in Historic 1-2-3

British Water Skiers in Historic 1-2-3 at Swiss Pro Slalom | BWSW


GB Waterskiers in Historic 1-2-3

GB Waterskiers in Historic 1-2-3

Image: Tiare Miranda

British skiers took all three podium spots at the Swiss Pro Slalom held in the USA on Sunday 5th May.

It is the first time GB athletes have swept the board on the Waterski Pro Tour and they did so in the first slalom competition of the 2024 Tour, held at the Swiss Waterski Resort in Clermont, Florida.

The winner was Will Asher, whose 4 buoys at 10.25 metres in the first of two preliminary rounds, was the highest score of the day. As the last skier off the dock in the 8-man final, he did just enough to win, scoring 3.5@10.25m.

Earlier in the final, Will’s cousin, Rob Hazelwood, and Joel Poland both scored 3@10.25m but Rob took second ahead of Joel by virtue of his superior back up score.

Full article at British Waterski & Wakeboard.

2024 Swiss Pro Slalom

Asher, Bull Win Swiss Pro Slalom Titles | USA Water Ski


Asher, Bull win Swiss Pro Slalom titles

2024 Swiss Pro Slalom

Men’s slalom podium (image: Conner Pesek)

By Scott N. Atkinson

USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

Great Britain’s Will Asher and Canada’s Jaimee Bull won the men’s and women’s slalom titles, respectively, on Sunday at the 10th Swiss Pro Slalom at the Swiss Waterski Resort in Clermont, Fla.

Asher scored 3-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off to win the men’s title. It was his first victory at the Swiss Pro Slalom since 2019. Great Britan’s Robert Hazelwood (3 at 41 off) and Joel Poland (3 at 41 off) placed second and third, respectively. Canada’s Charlie Ross (2 at 41 off) and U.S. athlete Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.), who scored 2 at 41 off and was seeking his fourth consecutive Swiss Pro slalom title, rounded out the top-five placements.

Bull won her first career Swiss Pro Slalom title after scoring 1 at 41 off in the finals. Canada’s Whitney McClintock finished second (5 at 39-1/2 off), followed by U.S. athletes Allie Nicholson (Gallatin, Tenn.) and Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), who scored 3 at 39-1/2 off and 2-1/2 at 39-1/2 off, respectively. Jaquess had won nine consecutive Swiss Pro titles.

Canada's Jaimee Bull has had success on the Waterski Pro Tour

Quiz: Most Women’s Waterski Pro Tour Wins


Quiz: Most women’s Waterski Pro Tour wins

Canada's Jaimee Bull has had success on the Waterski Pro Tour

Image: @jmommer2


2 minute play

In this quiz, you have to name every female skier to win a Waterski Pro Tour event.

The Waterski Pro Tour began in 2021 and is at the beginning of it’s 4th season now in 2024. The list contains 13 skiers, all of whom have won at least one tournament on the Waterski Pro Tour. The woman at the top has won titles in multiple disciplines for almost 25% of all possible wins. We have mentioned their country and the events of their wins.

Includes all Waterski Pro Tour events through December 31, 2023.

Men's slalom podium with Freddie 1st, Joel Howley (r) 2nd & Lucas Cornale 3rd.

Freddie Winter Wins Moomba Masters | BWSW


Freddie Winter wins Moomba Masters

Men's slalom podium with Freddie 1st, Joel Howley (r) 2nd & Lucas Cornale 3rd.

Image: Sporting Moments by Shaun

The GB slalom specialist has won the Men’s Slalom title at Moomba for the first time. He topped the podium at the prestigious competition held on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Jack Critchley was second in Men’s Jump.

It’s the best possible start to the new season for Freddie, for whom this was the first competition since he became Men’s Slalom World Champion for the second time in Florida, USA, in October 2023.

It marks the start of a busy year on the water in which he’s hoping to build on the form that took him to his most successful ever season last year.

“I’m so very happy to have managed to take a very tough win here at one of the few events where the water is as difficult to beat as your opponents,” Freddie said.

“It feels wonderful to start a long season on the Waterski Pro Tour this way.”

Full article at British Waterski & Wakeboard.

Nautique Athletes Shine at Moomba Masters!

Scorching Success: Moomba Delivers Yet Another Unforgettable Event


Scorching success: Moomba delivers yet another unforgettable event

Nautique Athletes Shine at Moomba Masters!

Image: Nautique Boats

By Jack Burden

Water skiing’s coliseum. Nothing quite compares to the roar of the crowd, standing shoulder to shoulder along the banks of the Yarra River. Here, champions are tested, legacies are crafted, and the sport basks in the spotlight.

Moomba Monday, a public holiday in Melbourne for the annual festival, holds a significant place in the sport of water skiing. This year’s finals added another compelling chapter to the rich history of the longest-running professional water ski tournament.

A heatwave kept the crowds slightly lower than usual, as fans and festival-goers sought shade from the searing Melbourne sun. However, as evening descended, the banks were packed with spectators, especially for the night jump events.

In the trick event, the showdown between Canadian Neilly Ross and American Erika Lang ended with tied scores after the preliminary round. Ross stuck with a conservative run in the final, earning a solid 9,780 points. However, this left the door open for Lang to secure a comfortable margin of victory for her sixth Moomba Masters title, despite falling at the end of her toe run.

The men’s trick final promised to be a spectacle, especially after Jake Abelson and Matias Gonzalez set the two highest scores ever recorded on the Yarra River during Junior Moomba earlier in the week. The final was closely contested, with only 70 points separating Abelson and the reigning world champion, Patricio Font. In the end, a tight timing call decided the winner, giving Font his third Moomba title.

The women’s slalom event was dominated by the Florida contingent, with Elizabeth Montavon and Whitney McClintock Rini putting up solid scores. However, they fell short of world record holder Regina Jaquess, who claimed her first Moomba Masters slalom title on her first visit to the Yarra since 2012. Jaquess’ victory filled the only discernible gap in her long and illustrious resume.

Lucas Cornale, a rising star in world slalom skiing, made waves by becoming the first junior to run 10.75m (39.5′ off) on the Yarra earlier in the week. He continued his stellar performances in the open division, securing his first professional podium by beating seasoned professionals such as Thomas Degasperi and Corey Vaughn. Although Joel Howley set the bar with 0.5 @ 10.25m (41′ off), it wasn’t enough to fend off reigning world champion Freddie Winter, who claimed his first Moomba Masters title.

In the jump event, although the scoresheets may have suggested everything went to script, they failed to capture the exhilaration of the event. The women came out strong, sensing an opportunity to put pressure on an underprepared Jacinta Carroll, who was competing just 100 days after giving birth. All six finalists improved on their preliminary scores, some by several meters, but it was still Carroll, the greatest female jumper of all time, who took the win on her second jump with 51.8 meters (170 feet).

In an emotional speech following her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters victory, Jacinta announced her retirement from professional water skiing, sharing, “I started my professional career here in 2011 when I won my first Moomba Masters, so it was only fitting that I come back this year for my last professional jump event.” When asked if there was any chance we could see her back in 2025, Jacinta responded, “there’s a glimmer, and that’s why I sold my boat before this event,” marking an end to one of the most decorated careers in our sport.

The men’s jump final was equally gripping, with Jack Critchley and Pol Duplan-Fribourg posting solid scores over 200 feet but probably feeling that they had left the door open for a one-and-done Ryan Dodd victory. The 39-year-old Canadian stumbled, slipping out on his first two attempts before finally ripping off the biggest jump of the tournament on his third and final to win his fifth Moomba Masters jump title.

In the night jump finals, the younger competitors took center stage, with Critchley recording the biggest jump off the 5.5-foot ramp in the first round. Ultimately, Duplan-Fribourg emerged victorious in a one-jump shootout with Dodd, becoming the youngest to win a professional jump event since Critchley’s first title in 2017.

Overall, the 2024 season kicked off in spectacular fashion, with drama, intrigue, first-time champions, and record-breaking performances on the Yarra River. Once again, Melbourne has delivered an unforgettable event, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next edition in 2025.

Regina Jaquess wins the 2024 Moomba Masters

Jaquess Rises Up Down Under For First Moomba Slalom Title | USA Water Ski


Jaquess rises up down under for first Moomba slalom title

Regina Jaquess wins the 2024 Moomba Masters

Image: Moomba Masters

Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), the No. 1 ranked skier on the IWWF World Rankings List and current women’s world slalom record holder, has now won every major slalom tournament in the world during her legendary career. Jaquess won her first career Moomba Masters slalom title on Monday at the 63rd Nautique Moomba Masters, presented by GM Marine, on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia.

Jaquess, 39, scored 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in the finals, edging Canada’s Whitney McClintock, the defending champion, who scored 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. Elizabeth Montavon (Lake Worth, Fla.) scored 4 buoys at 38 feet off to place third.

Jaquess, who works full time running her own business, last competed at the Moomba Masters in 2012, when she finished third in women’s slalom. But she is no stranger to the top of the podium Down Under. She also won women’s tricks at the 2003 Moomba Masters to go along with her now 2024 Moomba Masters slalom title. Jaquess also placed third in women’s jump (162 feet) in this year’s event.

Full article at USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.