JUNE FLADBORG, CHRIS PARRISH, WILL ASHER AND KAREN TRUELOVE SET THE PACE
Today we were treated to a first glimpse of which Waterski athletes show real potential to dominate this season in both Slalom and Jump – and our World Cup Stars again played a major role in the results so far.. With several surprises and some outstanding performances, there were times when it felt like Finals day instead of just Round One here in Melbourne!
Channel 7 TV broadcast their Sunrise Show live from the Moomba HQ on the Yarra River bank and then the day began with Womens Slalom. Under overcast skies and warm air, the slight tail river current caught a few skiers by surprise. With 22 athletes chasing 12 places in the next round, the pressure on the Series 2 skiers was too much for some. In Series 1, June Fladborg DEN got stuck at 3.5 buoys on the 13m line and did not make it through – so she had to wait for Jump to make her mark. An outstanding performance from Regina Jaquess of 1.5 buoys on the 10.75m line put he in the lead at this stage. She was the only athlete to score on the 10.75m line. In spite of her lack of practice time on the cold water back home in Florida, she was in dominant form and was three buoys ahead of her nearest rival and World Cup Star Karen Truelove USA. Clementine Lucine FRA, Anais Amade FRA and Karina Nowlan AUS also impressed. The battle later this weekend for the six Finals places is guaranteed to be a very tough one but all of these names are likely to make it through on today’s form.
In the Mens Slalom event, 27 skiers chased 15 places in the next round. The river current had almost disappeared by then and conditions were excellent. In Series 2, four skiers survived to ski another day. However the biggest applause was reserved for Dr Mike Morgan USA – and for a very special reason. His last competition here at the Moomba Masters was back in 1983 – 27 years ago. He set a unique record by qualifying again in 2010 – after a 27 year absence. What made the moment even more historic was the fact that Glen Thurlow AUS was the first person in the world to exceed 200ft in the Jump event – at that very same event back in 1983. The Series 1 Skiers were true to form with the slimmer World Record holder and World Cup Star Chris Parrish USA coming out on top with a score of 4.5 buoys on the 10.75m line. World Champion Will Asher GBR scored just 4.0 buoys less and a very impressive Marcus Brown USA was just another half buoy short. The qualifying 15 athletes will be reduced to 8 in the Finals.
In Womens Jump, 12 athletes chased 8 places. This time, World Cup Star June Fladborg DEN compensated for her Slalom disappointment by coming out on top in her favorite event of Jump. Her score of 48.9m was over 2.5m ahead of her nearest rivals, Anais Amade FRA and Natalia Berdnikova BLR. Belgium’s Kate Adriaensen missed out by just 0.1m and will not move ahead. So, at this stage, it looks almost certain that we will see at least some of our World Cup Stars on the Podium when we reach that stage on Monday evening.
Night Jump continues later today and tomorrow, Saturday, we move on to Womens and Mens Tricks, Mens Seeds 1 and 2 Jump and the Womens Slalom Semi Final. The weather forecast suggests that we may have some much needed rain showers over the weekend – after a 10 year drought in this general area of Australia.
For all the results, check out : http://www.moombamasters.com.au/results.htm