2017 IWWF Athlete of the Year Awards
The 2017 IWWF Athlete of the Year Awards were presented by IWWF President Jose Antonio Perez Priego to Ryan Dodd (Canada), current IWWF World Men’s Jump Champion and World Men’s Jump Record Holder and Neilly Ross (Canada), current IWWF World Women’s Trick Champion, at the 59th Nautique US Masters at Callaway Gardens.
Information on the 2017 IWWF Athlete of the Year Award Winners
59th Masters Tournament – Final Results
The all-new Ski Nautique, IWWF’s Official Waterski Towboat, pulled the best waterskiers in the world to victory during the final day of competition at Callaway Gardens.
In the Women’s Trick division, current IWWF World Women’s Trick Champion Neilly Ross took home the win beating the rest of the stacked final. Neilly scored 9,550 points to earn the victory. After Neilly, Erika Lang (USA), Natallia Berdnikava (BLR), and Anna Gay (USA) rounded out the Final round respectively.
In the Pro Men Trick discipline, current IWWF World Men’s Trick Record Holder, Aliaksei Zharnasek (BLR), posted an incredible score of 11,870 to notch yet another win under his belt. 2017 IWWF World Under-21 Overall Champion Danylo Filchenko (UKR) came in second place with a score of 10,900 while Franck Desboyaux (USA) came in third place with 9,280 points.
Manon Costard (FRA) won the Pro Women’s Slalom division after defeating current IWWF World Women’s Slalom Champion & Record Holder Regina Jaquess (USA) in a run-off after they both ran exceptional 2 @ 10.75 m passes. Whitney McClintock took third place after running 1 @ 10.75 m.
In the Pro Men Slalom Finals, the crowd watched intently as current IWWF World Slalom Record Holder Nate Smith found himself on top of the podium for the 5th time at the 59th Masters. Nate skied an incredible 3 @ 10.25 m to take home another Masters title.
Current IWWF World Women’s Jump Champion & Record Holder Jacinta Carroll continued her reign with another win in the Pro Women’s Jump division. Jacinta blasted a 53.8m jump in the final to beat 2017 World Games Jump Champion Natallia Berdnikava (BLR) who posted a 48.3m jump. They were followed by Hanna Straltsova (BLR) and Lauren Morgan (USA) respectively.
During the Pro Men Jump division it was Freddy Krueger (USA) taking home the victory after jumping an incredible 70.4 metres in the final round. He was followed by current IWWF World Men’s Jump Champion & World Record Holder Ryan Dodd (CAN) with a 69.5 metre jump and 2017 IWWF World Under 21 Men’s Jump Champion Jack Critchley (GBR) placing third with a 64.3 metre jump.
59th Masters Tournament – Preliminary Round Results
The 59th Nautique Masters Tournament brought out the world’s best in waterskiing today all battling for spots in the Finals tomorrow.
There were six women vying for four spots in the Final round taking place tomorrow during the Pro Women’s Tricks semi-final there. The 3 top spots that earned their place in the final tomorrow were current IWWF World Women’s Trick Record Holder Anna Gay (USA) placing first with 10,100 points, 2017 World Games Women’s Trick Champion Natallia Berdnikava (BLR) placing second with 9,700 points and Erika Lang (USA) in third with 8,950 points.
In Pro Men’s Tricks current IWWF World Men’s Trick Record holder Aliaksei Zharnasek (BLR) scored 11,360 to take the top seed spot, followed by current IWWF World Men’s Trick Champion Adam Pickos (USA) with a score of 11,320, Franck Desboyaux (USA) with a score of 10,960 points and 2017 IWWF World Junior Men’s Overall Champion Danylo Filchenko (UKR) taking the last remaining spot in the final with 10,900 points
The Pro Women’s Slalom event saw current IWWF World Women’s Slalom Champion & Record Holder Regina Jaquess (USA) break the course record with 1@ 10.25 metres. She’ll be joined by Whitney McClintock (CAN), Manon Costard (FRA) and Brooke Baldwin (USA) in the Finals tomorrow.
In the Pro Men’s Slalom semi-final, the crowd witnessed former IWWF World Junior Slalom Champion Robert Pigozzi (DOM) take first place after running 2 @ 10.25 m followed by current IWWF World Men’s Slalom Record Holder Nate Smith with 5 @ 10.75 m, current IWWF World Men’s Slalom Champion Freddie Winter (GBR) came in third with 4.5 @ 10.75 m followed by Will Asher with 4 @ 10.75 m. We will see all four of them in tomorrow’s Final round.
Current IWWF World Women’s Jump Champion & Record Holder Jacinta Carroll continued her dominance winning the Pro Women’s Jump semi-final heat with a 55.9m jump and earning her spot into the finals tomorrow. She was followed by Hanna Straltsova (BLR) with a 52.3 jump along with athlete Natallia Berdnikava (BLR) who jumped 51.1m.
A huge 70.6m jump during the Men’s Jump semi-finals rounded out the day with current IWWF World Men’s Jump Champion & Record Holder Ryan Dodd (CAN) winning his heat. Freddy Krueger (USA) also advanced with a 67.6m jump and a second place finish on his last attempt. Also advancing into the Final round was 2017 IWWF World Under 21 Men’s Jump Champion Jack Critchley (GBR) with a 66m jump, and 2017 IWWF World Under-21 Men’s Slalom Champion Taylor Garcia (USA) with a 65.7m jump.
59th Nautique US Masters Tournament
With the completion of the very competitive LCQ event at Sunset Lakes this past weekend, the stage is now set for this weekend’s 59th US Masters at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, USA.
The waterski entry list this year includes every one of the current World Record holders: in Slalom, Nate Smith USA and Regina Jaquess USA (2017 IWWF World Open Women’s Slalom & Overall Champion), in Tricks, Aliaksei Zharnasek BLR and Anna Gay USA (just recently approved by the IWWF World Tournament Council), and 2017 IWWF World Open Men’s & Women’s Jump Champions, Ryan Dodd USA and Jacinta Carroll AUS.
Following the very successful Masters LCQ battle at Jack Travers Sunset Lakes over the weekend, the top places were taken by former IWWF World Junior Slalom Champion and current IWWF Junior World Slalom Record Holder, Robert Pigozzi DOM in slalom, 2017 IWWF World Over-21 Overall Champion Danylo Filchenko UKR in trick and Zack Worden USA in Jump.
2017 IWWF World Open Men’s Slalom Champion Freddie Winter GBR, 2017 IWWF World Open Men’s & Women’s Trick Champions Adam Pickos (USA) and Neilly Ross (CAN) will add to the field.
Buoys were chased, tricks were judged, jumps were plotted and in the end, 9 US Masters invitation letters were signed. While some Masters hopefuls left the Last Chance Qualifier with heavy hearts, the vast majority of skiers finished the long weekend with smiles on their faces.
As always, the Travers family and Sunset Lakes did not disappoint. Despite tropical depression weather rolling through Florida the entire week leading up to the Masters LCQ, the rain seemed to steer clear of the event. Friday’s slalom and first round of trick saw the most beautiful weather the last two weeks had seen. Robert Pigozzi took advantage of pristine conditions to beat the qualifying score of 3.25 at the 10.25-meter line with a full score of 4 buoys. All that was left was to wait and see if anyone could bump him from the qualifier’s throne. Cole McCormick impressed many with his 2.5 buoys at 10.25-meters, but even he could not take away Pigozzi’s Masters invitation. In the Junior event, Federico Jaramillo punched his ticket to the Jr. Men’s Slalom event with a score of 2 at the 10.75-meter line. Jaramillo, already invited to the Masters as a trick skier, will now also have the option to Jump at the Masters as an Overall Skier.
In the trick event Danylo Fil’chenko came out guns blazing in the first round with a huge score of 11460 points, well above the required 10915. Many of his fellow competitors were left dumbfounded by his massive toe run score of 5300 points. For comparison, Aliaxsei Zharnasek’s world record had a toe pass of 5000 points. Knowing they would have to go with everything they had, many of the other men’s trickers fell in the second round, yet Russell Gay gave Fil’chenko a couple nervous moments by standing up his two passes. In the end Dany could breath a sigh of relief as Russell finished with a score of 11370 points, just short of taking the lead.
In Women’s tricks, Giannina Bonnemann found her stride, posting a score of 9330 points, despite what is most likely a pulled ab muscle. She showed discomfort both in training and in the tournament, but the prestige of the Masters gave her strength to push through the pain.
Both Men and Women’s jump proved very exciting. In the Women’s event, Dominique “Dodo” Grodin-Allard and Hanna Straltsova tied with a score of 171 feet. In the second round, Canadian Taryn Grant would also jump 171 feet, but Dodo found a little extra lift to carry her to 172 feet, a new pending Canadian national record. In the end, both women believed they had missed their opportunity as Straltsova soared to a very impressive distance of 177 feet. Yet, in a shocking turn of events, all three women would be rewarded with Masters invitations. Straltsova won her invitation outright, Dodo was first in line as Marion Mathieu-Ellis’s spot opened with her withdrawal and Taryn wound up snagging the final available spot with the withdrawal of Whitney McClintock-Rini.
In the Men’s event, Zack Worden found an extra gear in the first round of competition with a 225-foot jump. Despite feeling confident with his score, Rodrigo “Toti” Miranda would challenge his lead, soaring to a new pending Chilean Record of 227 feet, which his brother Felipe “Pipe” Miranda previously held. Yet, Worden would yet again prove himself worthy of the Masters invitation with an equal 227-foot jump. While equal in feet, the meter measurement showed that Worden’s jump was in fact 0.2 meters farther than Toti’s, meaning Zack was the winner and had finally earned his spot back in the Masters.
All of us here at World Water Skiers would like to congratulate all the skiers this weekend, but also thank the volenteers who helped bring the event to the viewers around the world. Thank you to Raimond Chevalier, who braved the highest of the crane camera, Norm Lukas and Carter Lukas for their water level filming, as well as Josh Edwards, and Shawn Kraus and Even Kraus for manning the dock camera. Finally thank you to Hank Longo and Jarred Farraro for lending their time and voices to the webcast.
Of course a thank you for the LCQ could not be complete without including the most important family of the event. Therefore, we would like to extend the most sincere thank you to the Travers family. Jon Travers , Jack, Lelani, Chris, and Natalia Berdnikava are one of the families who truly embody the essence of our sport, which is the love and compassion we have as a waterski family both on and off the water. Thank you for being the best version of what the sport means.
Finally, good luck to everyone skiing in the Masters and watch out, 9 new faces just joined the lists and are looking to continue their hot streaks on Robin Lake this weekend.