Fluid Lake, a popular ski site and the headquarters of the waterski world, was proud to host the 2012 USA Team Trials. Though harsh thunderstorms had previously covered Orlando, happy and sunny skies rolled in just for the tournament. Since the recent showers had caused the water to rise to an unnaturally high level many contenders were very grateful to Fluid Ski and Sport for generously allowing practice sessions before the weekend. Though slalom proved to be a bit tricky from the precipitation, everyone enjoyed the feel of the slow and effortless Florida water, the big, crisp trick wakes and especially the slick jump ramp on which many gained or tied a personal best. On Friday, talented athletes arrived from all over the country, and the competition proved to be very thick and difficult. However, junior oriented tournaments are some of the most congenial, and the judges and officials facilitate this by concocting a friendly atmosphere, talking to and encouraging the skiers, and even giving some M&Ms at the end of a slalom pass! And though the trick judges were strict in awarding credit, they were fair towards everyone. An onsite dinner was provided Saturday night, and an awards meeting Sunday afternoon capped off the tournament. In the end, not everyone made the team, and only the top skiers were selected. Congratulations to those who were chosen for the U17 team, Nick and Erika Lang, Samuel Greenwood, Taylor Garcia and Kara Macintyre, and the U21 team, Steven Brooks, Lauren Morgan, Dylan Schaffer and Adam Pickos. Our fabulous entourage already took the gold for America at the PanAm Games and is expected to be a tough competitor at the Junior Worlds. Overall, even those who didn’t make the team would agree that the site, friendly competitors and an all-around unforgettable experience made Team Trials a worthwhile experience.