The riverside 12th century mediaeval Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland witnessed a spectacular final conclusion to the 2005 Waterski World Cup series of the International Waterski Federation. This venue had everything – a historic setting, a picturesque natural arena in a downtown location, a very appreciative and large spectator audience, an experienced management organization and a welcoming atmosphere. This brought out the best in all involved. After a cool and misty autumnal start, even the weather cooperated throughout the Finals !
Just back from the successful Waterski World Championships in Tianjin, China, the newly crowned World Champions, Nicolas LeForestier (FRA), Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE) and Jarret Llewellyn (CAN) continued their impressive winning streak in Enniskillen.
Le Forestier dominated Men’s Tricks with a score of 11,280 points – and that was more than 1,000 points ahead of the runners-up, Javier Julio (ARG) and Olivier Fortamps (BEL). His recent leg injury did not hamper his very impressive performance. With his new World Champion title, his new World Record and this Enniskillen World Cup Tricks title, 2005 has been a vintage year for the Frenchman. In Women’s Tricks, Marina Mosti (ITA) set the standard with a flawless 6050 points score. Only Clementine Lucine (FRA), last off the dock, managed to better this with a dominating 7690 score. Ageliki Andriopoulou (GRE) took 3rd place with 5600.
Andriopoulou later continued her battle with June Fladborg (DEN) in Women’s Jump. Having taken the World Champion title in China, she again forced Fladborg into second place with a score of 46.9m – with only one meter in the difference between the two. This battle will certainly continue in 2006 when the injured Emma Sheers (AUS) will also return to the circuit. Clementine Lucine (FRA) rarely fails to reach the Podium and she picked up a well earned third place with a distance of 44.3m.
Men’s Jump also saw the newly crowned World Champion rise to the top also in Enniskillen – but not without a moment of heart stopping drama. Jarret Llewellyn has had a year long battle with Freddie Krueger (USA) and has come out on top in several recent major events. This extra pressure forced him to push the limits in the Men’s Jump Finals. Krueger already was in the lead with a distance of 62.5m. A spectacular crash saw Llewellyn rocketed off the Bemman Jump Ramp surface into the nearby marshy reeds. The Enniskillen Rescue crew reacted quickly and extracted him from the vegetation. Now the pressure was even greater. His final jump behind the flawless MasterCraft boat saw him take the title with a distance of 63.4m. The standing ovation was well deserved as the bruised Canadian waved to the spectators. Mark Lane (USA) took third with 59.7m. These distances were a little lower than usual due mostly to the strong cross wind. Again, this duel between Llewellyn and Krueger is destined to continue in 2006.
With World Champions taking these top honors, the Slalom events saw some truly great personal battles. The spectators were also so close to the Skiers at this unique site that at Buoy Two, a drenching was guaranteed !  In Women’s Slalom, Jill Knutson (USA) had a nasty crash and her tight double high wrap bindings may have caused her to pick up an ankle injury. Little did she know that minutes later she would have to get back into the water for a run-off for the last Finals place with Lori Krueger (USA). On this occasion Krueger made it through. Karen Truelove (USA) – number two in the IWSF Rankings, took the Enniskillen Stop Slalom title with a score of 3 buoys on the 11.25m line – a half buoy ahead of Texan Michelle Simpson and 1.5 buoys ahead of Sarah Green (GBR).
Men’s Slalom was full of surprises. The past co-holder of the World Record, Jeff Rodgers (USA), just barely made the Finals with a score of 2 buoys on the 12m line but a cut foot was the price of entry. He was fourth off the dock in the Finals but could not get beyond 1.5 buoys on the same rope this time to take fourth place. Glenn Campbell (GBR) had to endure a run-off to take the silver medal in the recent 2005 World Championships in Tianjin, China. Here in Enniskillen he took the lead with 2 buoys on the 10.75m line – but yet again was forced into a run-off with Jodi Fisher (GBR). History repeated itself for Campbell as Fisher took the Enniskillen Stop of the World Cup Slalom title.
As Waterski sites go, this Enniskillen site in Northern Ireland is the discovery of the year. It is one of those perfect examples of what can be achieved when a town unites to make a success of a major international attraction. Northern Ireland Events Company, Fermanagh District Council, Waterways Ireland and MasterCraft showed all with ambitions to attract large events to their areas how to make it happen. Their combined efforts were impressive. Their natural amenity site is also a hidden treasure !
With athletes from 16 countries in this final Stop of the Waterski World Cup series, live broadcasts on BBC and Downtown Radio, Broadband transmissions throughout and a 26 minute TV Special to follow, the International Waterski Federation President, Kuno Ritschard confirmed that the Waterski World Cup will continue and a new action packed 2006 World Cup calendar will be announced before the end of the year. The 2005 Waterski World Cup Series Winners will also be announced in the coming days.

CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation

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International Waterski Federation
Northern Ireland Events Company
Waterways Ireland
Fermanagh District Council

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for 2005 World Cup