Another awesome trip has come to an end. I spent most of May in Florida and 5 days in Georgia. Since my last post, “Learning from Legends” – Bob & Kris LaPoint, I skied in the last chance qualifier for the Masters at Jack Traver’s Sunset Lakes. There was some great skiing in both the Open and Junior divisions. The qualifying score was 2@41 for Men Slalom plus you had to win. Chris Rossi ran 3 and received the last spot into the 53rd Masters. I saw Natallia Berdnikava jump 190ft and break the Women’s overall record she had set the weekend before.
Since I didn’t qualify for masters, I made the decision to take some time off skiing and have some fun. “I decided to take my talents to South Beach” as I went down to Miami for a few days with Lauren “Poochie” Morgan. We were able to score some tickets to the Indiana Pacer vs Miami Heat Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs. The series was tied 2-2 and the Heat dominated the entire game. It was the first playoff basketball game I had been to and my first time seeing Dwayne Wade and LeBron James play in person. WOW, IMPRESSIVE!!!!! The atmosphere was amazing! I didn’t think it was possible but LeBron and Wade are more impressive in person than on tv. They are two extremely talents athletes and basketball players. The only way to stop them was to foul them. Poochie and I were also able to meet up for lunch with fellow HO skier and Australia’s own Nick Adams. He is training near Jupiter and will be in the states all summer.
I have heard many stories about the Masters and have watched it on the webcast before but I have never been able to attend in person. Since I was on this side of the country, I decided to go. I made the long 10 hour road trip from Miami to Pine Mountain, GA for the 53rd Masters. I was able to watch most of the Jr. events on the webcast on our way up. Unfortunately there were a lot of crashes in the jump event. The Greenwood family always jokes with me saying that I always “Play for keeps” and put my body on the line (not always the best decision), but Brittany Greenwood played for keeps and put her body on the line in the jump finals. It didn’t turn out good as she was on crutches the rest of the weekend. But she kept a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Wishing you a speedy recovery B!!
For the open, there was some exciting skiing in the prelims….CP ran an easy 39 and got 3@41, Regina broke the course record with 2 1/2 @39, Freddy and Dodd went 222, Natallia went 181, 5/6 women tricked over 8,000 and Aliaksei tricked over 11,000.
In the finals Natallia Berdnikava broke the trick course record with 9,520, Alexandre Poteau edged out Aliaksei Zharnasek with 10,560, Nate Smith won his first Master’s title with 5@39, Regina Jaquess edged out Whitney McClintock with 1@39, Ryan Dood looked great again with a 225ft jump to edge out Freddy Krueger by 2ft and Jacinta Carroll, with her injured ankle, put the pressure on Natallia by jumping 171 but Natallia was able to edge her out on the 3rd and final jump going 173ft.
If you have the opportunity to come to Pine Mountain, GA during Memorial Day weekend and see the Masters, I highly recommend it. It is a great event and awesome atmosphere!!
After the Masters I continued north to Atlanta for the Atlanta ProAm. I had been trying to get into the event but was on the waitlist. I decided to show up, help out and was hoping I would get in. Unfortunately they said they were too full and I couldn’t get in. I still stuck around to watch some great skiing. The 2nd to last women’s skier was on the water when I found out that Matteo Ianni’s was backing out because his back was bothering him. I was told I was now in the tournament and I was up in one skier. As most of you know, I warm up and stretch before I ski and believe it is very important (I wrote an article about warming up). I did a quick warm up and got all my equipment together. My heart rate was high from rushing so I tried my best to lower it before I got on the water. It was a bit bumpy out there and I only ran 5@38.
The format was set up where we had 2 rounds, there were 13 skiers and it was cut to 8 after the first round. Skiers included myself, Matteo Luzzeri, Martin Bartalsky, Dan Odvarko, Corey Humburg, Chris Rossi, Jason McClintock, Nick Parsons, Jon Travers, Will Asher, Thomas Degasperi, Nate Smith and Aaron Larkin. I didn’t think 5@38 would be enough to get through but other skiers struggled as well and I was able to secure the last spot into the finals. I was out first again and ran 2 1/2@39 in the finals. I felt more comfortable and in control in the finals but I got a little lean locked into 3. Thomas Degasperi went on to win with 3@41. Nate Smith was top seed and
went for the win as he turned 3@41 but blew the tail out. I finished in 5th place and was pretty excited considering I wasn’t even in the tournament when it started. This was my first top 5 finish at an event with all of the top guys there. It is a step in the right direction. I am going to continue to work hard because I want to be at the top consistently.
After the event, I road tripped back to Orlando in the 69 Slam bus. It was great to be able to put the feet up, relax and look out the huge windshield. I was able to see another awesome sunset. I think I have seen more amazing sunsets in 2012 than ever before. This is one of the great things about traveling on the road and living
the life of a waterskier. For those of you on twitter, anytime you are talking about skiing or anything related to skiing or the lifestyle of skiing…..use the hashtag #LifeOfAWaterskier