After I finished skiing at the U.S. Nationals in West Palm Beach, Florida, I flew up to Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the Calgary Pro Water Ski Shootout. As I was getting ready to fly out in West Palm, I was in an accident after dropping off my rental car. While taking the Budget airport shuttle bus, a car ran a red light hitting the front left of our bus throwing all 6 of us passengers around the bus and throwing our driver out of the left window. This all happened as the bus was spinning in the middle of the intersection. We ended up spinning 180° in that massive bus. I suffered some whiplash, slammed my shoulder into a pole and my mid back was banged up. After calling 911 and budget, talking to the police and medics, I managed to get to the airport 35 minutes before my flight. Surprisingly my bags and I made the flight.
Predator Bay Water Ski Club was hosting the Calgary Pro Water Ski Shootout at the end of the Canadian Nationals. Predator Bay WSC was the host of the 2009 World Championships. It is a two lake site that is 30 minutes from downtown Calgary and it’s a great venue to hold an event.
Coincidently, Nate Smith, Austin Abel and myself were all on the same flight into Calgary. We were able to hang out for the afternoon, check out the site, watch some of the Canadian Nationals and have a good time relaxing on our day off. The next day we were able to get a practice ride on the short lake and the water was a lot colder than California and Florida; but it felt very refreshing!! It was an early night since it was an early start on Friday, 7:30am.
There were 19 guys for slalom. The first couple of skiers went out and ran deep 38 or a couple at 39. 3 at 39 was in the lead when I took the water (I was the 7th skier). I had a great start at 39 but pulled a bit long into 5. I did a safety turn at 5 so it would give me a chance to get to 6. I had a strong pull towards six and knew I was a bit late but I “Played for KEEPS” and went for it. Everyone on shore and the dock said they would of given me at least a quarter but I quickly learned that I was scored only 5. So all that effort didn’t earn me anything extra!!
There were 12 skiers left so it was time to played the waiting game to see if 5@39 was going to be enough to advance me to the semi finals (top 8). Parsons ran 4, then Rossi s-turned 5 to tie me and Parrish, Nate, J-Mac, T-Whisper and Matteo Luzzeri all tied at 3. Rossi and I had the top score in the first round. Because of time, they had the 8 of us go out at 35 off and the top 3 scores would advance to the Shootout (Finals). Nate ran 4@41, Parrish ran 2@41 and Terry ran 4.25@39 to advance to the Shootout. Nate would finish on top again for his 4th win this year running 2@41, Terry came in 2nd and CP in 3rd.
I would have liked to do better in the semi finals but my goal was to make the cut; so I was happy to make the cut and finish 7th. It was also a great feeling to have the top score in the 1st round. This was another step in the right direction for me. I feel that everything is starting to come together and I am getting more and more experience by going to all of the events.
The women battled it out all day as well with most of them bunched up between 1 and 2 at 39. In the Shootout, Karin Truelove would run 5@38 and Whitney would come up a bit short with 4.5@38; she was unable to take the hit to hold on for the tie.
Men’s jump is always exciting with Ryan Dodd, Freddy Krueger, Scot Ellis, Rodrigo Miranda and the rest of the guys attacking big red. Dodd and Freddy were high teens/low twenties and most of the other guys were single digits in the 200’s and some were high 190s. After beating Mark Lane in a 1 jump jump off, Rodrigo (Toti) Miranda faced Dodd and Freddy in the 2 jump Shootout. Rodrigo wasn’t able to put a jump together only going approx 189, Freddy went 219, and Dodd came out on jump 1 and booted one. It was probably 230’s but there was a technical problem and they couldn’t get a distance. Dodd went back out again for jump 1 and went 220 for the win. The crowd was 100% behind their Canadian flier as he would be the only Canadian at the top of the podium!
This was a great event in Calgary. They treated the athletes very well. I want to thank all of the sponsors and the Predator Bay Water Ski Club for all the hard work that was put in to make this a great event! I hope they continue to have the Calgary Pro Water Ski Shootout every year!