Following the recent Waterski and Wakeboard World Championships in Mexico, the current global boom in Cable Waterski and Wakeboard Parks and also celebrations of the 45th World Cup Stop, the IWWF announced in Switzerland today the appointment of a new Executive Director, Paul Fong from Singapore. He will work closely with IWWF President Kuno Ritschard and the Executive Board. The appointment will commence on March 1st 2016.
Paul Fong, aged 50, married with two children, is currently based in Singapore and is the President of the Asian Waterski & Wakeboard Confederation. He studied economics in the USA at the University of South Florida and Rollins College Florida where he was also a waterski team member. He was a member of the IWWF Tournament Council from 2000 to 2008, a member of the World Cup Committee and Wakeboard Council. Working closely with HSBC Bank, he organized successful World Cup Stops sponsored by the Bank in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and others in the region, including China. He has also been involved in Wakesurf, Cable Wakeboard and Barefoot skiing.
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U.S. water ski athlete Regina Jaquess is one of five finalists for the United States Olympic Committee’s Female Athlete of the Month honors for November. Regina won her second consecutive and third career world slalom gold medal and her second consecutive and unprecedented fourth career world overall gold medal at the 34th Water Ski World Championships, Nov. 17-22, in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Vote for Regina by clicking here: http://www.teamusa.org/
Three well established records fell last weekend at the Boca Laguna Waterski Club in Chapala Mexico which hosted a thrilling 2015 Waterski World Championships of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF). Glorious sunshine and perfect water conditions prevailed all week long.
Athletes from thirty countries faced two unusual challenges in Slalom, Tricks and Jump. At an altitude of 5,000ft/1,500m, both the skiers and MasterCraft boats battled well with the thinner air. The water in the beautiful man-made lake also contained more natural yellow sulfur than many had previously experienced. This created slippery surfaces on gloves and equipment. To be better prepared some athletes trained in advance for these challenges. Throughout the weekend, the younger athletes coped well and made an enormous impact on these Open Championships often causing a sensation in defeating some well-established household names in the sport.
In Slalom, 62 men were whittled down to twelve finalists. Many surprise disappointments included Nick Parsons USA, Carlo Allais (ITA), Martin Kolman (CZE) and Ivan Morros (ESP). Unusually, past World Record holder Chris Parrish (USA) was first in the water. His score of one buoy on the very short 10.25m line immediately created an almost impossible challenge for those eleven skiers who were to follow. This was Australia’s Joel Howley’s first Open World Championships. He adapted quickly and pushed the lead score further to two buoys on that same 10.25m line. Freddy Winter (GBR) then thrilled the spectators by equalling Howley’s lead score. Soon after, two-time World Champion Thomas Degasperi (ITA) did likewise. Now we had a traffic jam of three skiers with the same 10.25m score. Nate Smith (USA), current world record holder and also the defending world champion, was last out. What a prospect! Altitude and yellow sulfur water proved no obstacle for him. With six major titles already achieved this season, this extraordinary athlete from Indianapolis, Indiana, successfully defended his 2013 title here with a score of 2.5 buoys on the 10.25m line. Thomas Degasperi (ITA) took the silver medal and following a run-off, Freddy Winter (GBR) beat newcomer Joel Howley (AUS) for the bronze medal.
The Women’s field of Slalom Skiers also saw many disappointments in the elimination process. These included Makayla Haw (USA), Natallia Berdnikava (BLR) and Sandra Botas Medem (ESP). As in the Men’s Final, the first skier on the water Kate Adriaensen (BEL), set a challenging score of five buoys on the 11.25m line. Coming fifth off the dock, past World Overall Champion Clementine Lucine (FRA), then stunned the fans with a score of two buoys on the shorter 10.75m line to take the lead. This was immediately equalled by 25 year-old Geena Krueger (GER). None of the four skiers to follow could beat this. However, the super-star of the decade, Regina Jaquess (USA), then responded by equalling the Championships Record with a blistering score of one buoy on the 10.25m line – just 2.25 buoys short of her World Record! Canada’s Whitney McClintock was last out. As the 2011 World Slalom Champion, could she topple Jaquess? Despite a huge effort, her score of 2.5 buoys on the 10.75m line was not enough for gold and she had to settle for silver with the young challenger Geena Krueger taking bronze.
In Tricks, the young guns really caused a sensation. The Women’s Final included all the super-stars, World Record Holder Erika Lang (USA), Natallia Berdnikava (USA), Whitney McClintock (CAN), Regina Jaquess (USA), Clementine Lucine (FRA) and Alex Lauretano (USA). Only one of these actually made it to the World Championships podium. Clementine Lucine set the pace early with 8,560 points. At the half-way point, Natallia Berdnikava beat this with 9,420 points. Nobody else could do better till 15 year-old Anna Gay (USA) and 14 year-old Neilly Ross (CAN) entered the Boca Laguna Waterski Club arena. Anna Gay not only set a new personal best score of 10,010 points but also set a new World Championships Record at the same time – all at just 15 years of age! Her close friend, fourteen year-old Neilly Ross was last out. Her score of 9,500 points was enough to take the silver medal with the bronze going to Natallia Berdnikava with 9420 points. These two teenagers are destined to dominate this sport for a generation to come.
Half of all the Men’s Tricks finalists scored more than 10,000 points with enormous surprises along the way. Aliaksei Zharnasek (BLR), the most talented tricker in the world today, saw his score of 10,410 points achieve only fifth place. Canada’s Jaret Llewellyn is capable of exceeding 11,000 points but he had to settle for sixth place with 10,360 points. Pierre Ballon (FRA) has a Personal Best score of 12,060. His 10,950 points were only good enough for fourth place. Very strong Overall contender Adam Sedlmajer (CZE) was sensational in Tricks. His score of 11,050 points was not just a Personal Best but also have him the Tricks Silver Medal and maximum Overall Tricks points which he had already achieved in Slalom. As in Women’s Tricks, again the young guns were devastating. With a score of 10,990 points, Junior World Overall Champion, twenty year-old Josh Briant (AUS), took the bronze medal. PanAm Games Champion, twenty four year-old Adam Pickos (USA), then made history by becoming the second member of his family to be crowned World Tricks Champion. His International Hall of Fame father Cory was there to watch Adam post a winning score of 11,210 points – ahead of Adam Sedlmajer and Josh Briant.
For the Women’s Jump event, the desired head wind arrived in time. There was drama from the very start. The defending champion Jacinta Carroll (AUS), had a painful broken toe. Putting on those tight Jump Ski bindings was torture for her. Her winning distance back at the 2013 World Championships was 56.0m. In one of the closest battles for years, seven of the top Jumpers were within about one meter in their scores this time. It was Alex Lauretano (USA) who set the pace with her distance of 51.4m. Only Jutta Lammi Menistrina (FIN) could beat this with 51.5m, just 0.1m ahead of Nancy Chardin (FRA), as we got to the final stages. Now it was time to bring out that broken toe! This Australian twenty-three year-old athlete from Geelong in NSW, is one of the most courageous jumpers of her time. Jacinta Carroll not only took the gold medal but also set a new World Championships Jump Record of 57.6m.
CHAPALA, JALISCO, MEXICO - The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team won the overall team silver medal and five U.S. water ski athletes combined to win five individual gold medals and a bronze medal in respective events at the 34th Water Ski World Championships, Nov. 17-22, at the Boca Laguna Ski Club. The United States, seeking to win the gold medal for the second consecutive and 27th time in the history of the biennial event, tallied 8,044.94 points to earn the silver medal. Canada scored 8,260.98 points to win the gold medal for the first time since 2009 and France earned the bronze medal with 7,646.87 points. Athletes from 30 countries participated in the tournament.
Members of the 2015 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team were: Scot Ellis (Auburndale, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), Alex Lauretano (Windermere, Fla.), Adam Pickos (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) and Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.). Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.) was the coach, Jody Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) served as team captain, and Dr. Brad Harman (Alvarado, Texas) was the team physician. The American Water Ski Association's International Activities Committee selected the team following the 2015 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team Trials, June 27-28, in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
Jaquess led the way for the U.S. Team, winning gold medals in women's slalom and overall; Pickos won the gold medal in men's tricks; Smith won the gold medal in men's slalom; and Lauretano earned the bronze medal in women's jumping. U.S. independent water ski athlete Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) won the gold medal in women's tricks.
The No. 2 seed for the slalom finals, Jaquess scored 1 buoy at 41 feet off to win the gold medal, her third career elite world championship slalom title (2005, 2013 and 2015). Canada's Whitney McClintock, the top seed for the finals, earned the silver medal (2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) and Germany's Geena Krueger earned the bronze medal (2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off), defeating France's Clementine Lucine in a runoff.
Jaquess secured her fourth career (2003, 2005, 2013 and 2015) elite world overall title (2,816.67 points) with scores of 1 buoy at 41 feet off in slalom (finals), 8,470 points in tricks (preliminary round) and 176 feet in jumping (preliminary round). McClintock earned the silver medal (2,652.36 points) and Germany's Giannina Bonnemann earned the bronze medal (2,572.46 points). Lauretano and Lang placed fourth and 13th, respectively.
Pickos, the No. 2 seed for the finals, scored 11,210 points in winning his first career elite world championship title. The Czech Republic's Adam Sedlmajer earned the silver medal (11,050 points) and Australia's Joshua Briant earned the bronze medal (10,990 points). Top seed and defending world champion Aliaksei Zharnasek of Belarus placed fifth (10,410 points). U.S. independent Russell Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) placed 11th (8,960 points).