Overall Battle Right to the End
As the sun set on the pristine beaches of Lacanau last Sunday, the lakes of (Lacanau Ski Club) finally settled from the excitement of the Lacanau Overall Cup and the Malibu Open. Both of these professional events brought about incredible skiing and hard-fought victories, with the Malibu Open representing some of, if not the highest scores ever seen in a professional slalom event. (full slalom story link below)
After the culmination of the slalom event and the Saturday night festivities organized by the event organizers for the slalom skiers on the beaches of Lacanau, the stage was set for the Overall finals on Sunday. The event displayed top-notch skiing, major plot twists, upsets, a full range of emotions, and two very deserving winners, or as we like to call it, a typical Overall event. After the preliminary round of jump was completed, Canadians Paige Rini and Dorien Llewellyn emerged as the top-seeded skiers into the final, yet with no protected scores, any of the finalists were still able to win the event.
In the women’s slalom portion of the Overall final, Paige and Brooke Baldwin continued their dominance of the weekend by both running into the 10.75m line length. Brooke, going on the water first of the two, elected to run the 11m pass in a strong tailwind to give herself the best chance of running the 10.75m pass. Unfortunately, her gamble didn’t quite go as planned, as Brooke fell at 2 ball at 10.75m, putting her arm through the handle in the process. Paige, having watched Brooke, strategically started her set at the 14m line length in order to run the 11m in a headwind, which she did, finishing with a solid score of firstname.lastname@example.org to set herself up for tricks, knowing she was the strongest in the field in that event. After inspecting her arm, Brooke and the medical staff felt it was unsafe for her to continue skiing and thus, the Overall race became a battle between Paige and France’s own Ines Anguenot.
On the men’s side of slalom, the final placements were not exactly surprising, yet the scores were lower than anticipated. Both Dorien Llewellyn and Joel Poland, who had been on fire in the slalom event, grabbing scores at 10.25m every round, failed to ski through 10.75m in what proved to be a very strong headwind, finishing with scores of 2.5 and 4 buoys respectively. These scores proved to decrease their previous gaps on Frenchman Louie Duplan-Fribourg and Tanguy Dailland, who both finished with email@example.com scores, as well as Martin Kolman not far behind with 4@11m. Thus, the men’s event was already proving the potential to come down to the wire.
In the trick event, both Paige and Ines had unexpected falls in tricks, yet Paige proved her worth in the event, still finishing with the higher score of the two and taking a strong lead heading into jump. While Ines is quite the capable jumper herself and on par with Paige in the event, she would have felt the need to try to make up Overall ground in tricks, possibly leading to her early fall on her hand pass. As for the men, the Trick event proved itself as the biggest wildcard event in Overall. After an early fall from Tanguy Dailland, essentially eliminating him from the Overall race, Martin Kolman showed the value of experience by not allowing his slalom deficit to influence his tricking, instead calming standing up two solid passes and finishing with a score of 10690. With Louie next up, the fireworks began to fly. Louie mastered his way through his flips and spins, finishing once again with a Tour Record 11900 points, which when paired with his solid slalom, began to put a real threat in the minds of both Joel and Dorien. Joel fended off any outward pressures and put his flashy skills on display for the excited French crowd, landing himself in second with a 11680 point total and setting up a brilliant final battle in the Jump event. Last off the dock, Dorien, who is often known for his fluidity in the trick event under pressure, was clearly putting himself under pressure as the Defending Tour Champion. Dorien rushed his flips on his second pass, having a very uncharacteristic fall on his fourth flip, only rotating to his back before smashing into the water and making his chances at the Cup title extremely slim.
WWS has been working closely with EyeTrick for the last few years and knew that if the scores could be posted in real-time trick would undergo a revolutionary transformation. It worked so well that it even caught the announcers off guard, who were not expecting to see scores as quickly as during the first replay of the trick pass. Jaret said “this was a dream come true, we did not realize how the data would come across our screen but for the sport, it is a game changer. To be able to walk fans through a pass and educate them on why the score came out the way it did is inspiring for the future of the trick event. Skiers will have to mentally deal with hearing their scores come out so fast, which will make the event so exciting.”
While the Jump event offers a great chance for consistent skiers to get good scores with 3 jumps, nothing is ever truly over until the last jump is taken. This proved true once again at the Lacanau Cup. With Tanguy Dailland and Martin Kolman putting up good jump distances, the final three skiers presented multiple battles still raging. Primarily, there was the battle for the Lacanau Cup Title between Louie and Joel, with Joel holding a 0.3m lead over Louie, and between Dorien and Martin for 3rd place on the podium, with Kolman having about an 8m lead over Dorien. Louie took to the water first, smoothly flying through the air on all three jumps, improving each jump to finish with a 62m score. Thus, Joel needed a distance of 61.7m to win the Overall event. While most considered Joel to be well on his way to winning the Cup before even setting foot on the water, he failed on his first two jumps to find his footing, landing short of the 61.7m distance each time. Then, with one final jump, Joel rounded the 600ft timing buoy, turning very late for the jump ramp and bringing with him tons of load into the jump. Despite his best effort, even this wouldn’t prove to be the winning jump, leaving Louie on shore with both hands on the Lacanau Cup, yet still not entirely sure whether to lift it just yet. While Dorien’s requirement seemed highly unlikely, he still had a small chance to win the event with a jump in the 70m range. Still, this challenge proved too much with the conditions on hand, and after Dorien’s 63.7m first jump, he clapped his hands together for Louie, knowing that the Frenchman had won the battle on home soil.
As we move on to the 2nd stop of the WWS Overall Tour, the skiers look back on their time in Lacanau and reminisce on a truly unforgettable experience. The site, the people, the city, the beach, all in all, the memories will last a lifetime and we are already looking forward to next year. If you have not been to Lacanau this city and ski club need to be on your bucket list, they are truly one of the best on the planet. Lacanau is not just an incredible ski site, but with private villas available for rent, a pool, and an incredible restaurant right at the dock with the friendliest staff you can imagine, it is truly a special place. If you want to get a moment outside of the resort the ocean is 10 minutes away with endless restaurant options right on the beach where you can watch some of the best sunsets imaginable. But as the sun sets on Lacanau, we are off to Calgary, Canada, for the second stop of the WWS Overall Tour. On July 29-31 the battle continues to see who will take out the Overall Tour Title.
A Special thank you for all the long hours it takes to put on an event of this level. Hats off to Geraldine, Christophe, the Jamin family, the staff, judges, volunteers, and especially to the sponsors, which are special friends of the water ski community that wants to give back. So please check out the names at the bottom or on the Event Page and drop a personal thank you for their support, it is what builds a stronger foundation for our sport!
See full Malibu Open Slalom Recap Story
Thanks to Eudes M-Tivier for the great shots all weekend –
photos – Friday – Saturday – Slalom
photos – Sunday – Overall finals
This club has it all, a Full pro shop, Marine sale and repair, Villa Rental, and dockside Restaurant (Lèau à la bouche)
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