Lacanau Cup 2023 Delivers Unforgettable Waterskiing Action
Lacanau Cup Kicks Off This Weekend!
This coming weekend, the Lacanau Ski Club will bring together the world’s best slalom and overall skiers. Slalom superstars such as World Champion and World Record Holder Nate Smith, Dane Mechler, Jon Travers, and Moomba Master’s Champion Vennessa Vieke. On the Overall end, the event will feature current World Champion and World Overall Record Holder Joel Poland, the Former World Record Holder and World trick Champion Dorien Llewellyn, as well as Brooke Baldwin and Paige Rini, who will both be looking to make their mark in the Overall World Tour over the weekend. The Lacanau ski club, one of the premier sites in the world, has put on countless international events, and the site claims the 1st 230-foot jump by Jaret Llewellyn (CAN), 1st run over 12,000pt by Nicolas Le Forestier (FR), and 1st full 10.25m by Jamie Beauchesne (USA) performed in a pro event.
The Lacanau Ski club is a world-renowned ski school run by European superstars, Geraldine Jamin and Christoff Duverger. The club facilities include a full pro shop, on-site villas for rentals, and a high-end restaurant with fresh food and ingredients provided daily. In fact, you may never want to leave this oasis of a ski club. Yet, if you want to venture outside of the ski compound, the beach is 10 minutes away and the town of Lacanau has bursting nightlife energy. In the water ski world, this is a bucket list item that will leave you wanting to come back time and time again!
The Lacanau Cup is the launch of the 2022 season for the overall skiers. WorldWaterSkiers (WWS) is proud to have partnered with the Lacanau Water Ski Club and the professional slalom event being held in conjunction with the first Overall Tour Stop. Combining the two events will be one of the biggest payouts the sport has seen in a decade, Totaling $62,500 – with $37,000,- for Slalom on the PRO-AM side + $25,500 going to the Overall skiers, plus points towards the tour rankings and Year-End TOUR BONUSES. Lacanau Ski Club partnered with World Water Skiers to utilize the EMS hub built by WWS, giving clubs and federations novel technology to promote better the sport we all love. The unity on display over the course of the weekend will be a beacon of the potential for the sport to reach larger fan bases together. Moreover, the prospects of the congregation between the world’s best slalom skiers, along with the reintroduction of the Overall World Tour is something that no water ski enthusiast is going to want to miss. So be sure to check the schedule on the Lacanau Cup event page for all the details like Live streaming or scores.
2021 WWS American Open Recap
As the 2021 Overall professional season comes to an end, the final battle did not disappoint. 5 of the Best Men’s Overall skiers in the world faced off in what proved to be a challenging weekend. While the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches at Okeeheelee Park is typically known as one of the premier sites in the world, having hosted multiple World Championships of different levels, heavy rain on Friday for official practice, followed by extreme wind conditions throughout the tournament made for a difficult weekend of skiing. Nevertheless, Joel Poland, Dorien Llewellyn, Rob Hazelwood, Edoardo Marenzi, and Martin Kolman put forth their best to take home the American Open Crown.
In the end, Great Britain’s Joel Poland completed the Overall sweep, placing 1st in all three individual events en-route taking home the grand prize of Overall Champion. Close on his heels was Canada’s Dorien Llewellyn, who narrowly finished second in each individual event, coming up just short to claim 2nd in Overall. Also from Great Britain, Rob Hazelwood rounded out the podium as the 3rd place finisher in Overall, having exhibited an uncharacteristic fall in slalom, finishing 3rd, while also taking the 3rd place in Trick, and finishing 5th in Jump. Italy’s Edoardo Marenzi, an event dark horse, finished 4th in Overall and finally in 5th was Martin Kolman from the Czech Republic, who had an early fall in tricks and was never able to recover after.
The one-round final began Sunday with the trick event in strong winds between 15 and 20mph. Each tricker was forced to play strategy in terms of which run, to begin with, toes in the stiff headwind surprisingly being the preferred option for every skier but Hazelwood. When asked why he started with toes, Dorien Llewellyn said, “I would typically only do toes in a tailwind, but I was worried the wind chop would make flips really difficult. Also, I saw that the headwind made ski lines really draining for Rob at the end of his run, so I decided the tailwind for hands was more important.” In the end, Joel’s high-powered runs were enough to take the lead coming out of tricks, finishing with a score of 11220 points. Dorien was just behind with a score of 11010, followed by Rob’s 9310, Edoardo’s 7830, and Kolamn’s 6450.
After a set of recap interviews following the Trick event, the Slalom event started with improving conditions, but deceptively strong winds were still in effect once each skier began to round the buoys. Edoardo looked to be running 11.25, until biting off a little too much at 5 and finishing with firstname.lastname@example.org. Kolman decided to take a risk and position himself for an 11.25 tailwind, knowing he had much ground to cover after tricks. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off, as he ended up inside 5 and finished with email@example.com. Joel Poland finished his set and stated, “It looks pretty nice from here and the lake still skis well, but man the wind did not make things easy. When I pulled out for my gate at 39 the wind just kept pushing me.” All the skiers shared Poland’s sentiments, only realizing just how difficult the conditions were when skiing through their first passes. Joel took the lead in the event with firstname.lastname@example.org, with Hazelwood and Dorien still left to ski. Knowing slalom was his strongest event, Rob was prepared to take the risk of running 11.25 in the tailwind, masterfully powering through the pass to set up at 10.75 in the headwind, which no other skier had been able to do. Unfortunately, Rob’s fin skipped out of the water at the first buoy, and he finished with a score of email@example.com. Finally, Dorien decided to play the long game in Overall and match Joel’s 11.25 headwind pass. Having run 11.25, Dorien ran firstname.lastname@example.org in the tailwind, visibly disappointed that he had just let a great opportunity to gain points back on Joel on the table, but knowing he was still very much within striking distance for jump.
Finally, the Jump event experienced high-performance weather, with a beautiful headwind rolling down the lake just as the sun began setting. Despite the great wind, long distances were difficult to come by at Okeeheelee. Edoardo began the final discipline with an impressive 59.5m jump, followed by Martin Kolman’s 60.7. Joel took to the water next and began his set with two underwhelming jumps, slipping on both, leaving all the pressure on his third and final attempt. Seemingly pulling off a great jump, Joel looked disappointed with his 62.7m score, having become accustomed to seeing higher scores on the leaderboard. As the sun began to set behind the West Palm Beach trees, Rob Hazelwood could not find his footing on the ramp, slightly slipping on all three jumps to finish with a 58.1m leap. Then, with the sun almost completely out of view, Dorien Llewellyn took to the water with high hopes of capturing the American Open title with a 64m jump. Joel Poland looked on as Dorien opened his set with a 61.7m score, looking poised for more. But it was not to be, as Dorien followed up with back-to-back 62.2m jumps, and the Overall title was signed, sealed, and delivered to Great Britain’s Joel Poland.
That wraps up the 2021 Overall Season! We would like to extend a BIG thank you to our sponsors and donors, we truly appreciate your passion to step up and back our vision in order to help the sport as a whole. Even though it is the off-season, there will be no resting. Bigger and Better is just around the corner for 2022. WorldWaterSkiers is excited to expand the “World Of Overall” to more events and open the door to new locations, which will be announced soon. So, stay tuned and be ready for more nail-biting action with the kickoff the WWS World Overall Tour.
The Heavy Weight Overall Battle Continues
The Heavy Weight Overall Battle Continues
The 2021 Overall World Championship title fight has been dubbed by many as one of, if not The Best Overall competition of all time. With Joel Poland and Dorien Llewellyn maintaining World Record paces throughout the event and Joel setting the new pending World Record in the preliminary round, viewers were completely captivated by the nonstop action. While Joel took home the Overall World Champion crown, the 2021 fight has not yet concluded, as the final Professional 3 Event tournament of the year looms, the American Open. The American Open will be held at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fl, on November 6-7, 2021.
Heading into the American Open, Joel Poland, GB, who showed his incredible form at the World Championships two weeks ago, will feel confident that he can take the inaugural title. His CAN counterpart, Dorien Llewellyn, will be looking to get some semblance of revenge from the Worlds outcome, although he will be coming off the Collegiate Nationals and will need to quickly revert to standard settings. Speaking of Collegiate Nationals, Dorien’s teammate at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, Edoardo Marenzi, ITA will be making his WWS tournament debut as a potential spoiler to the title favorites. Marenzi will look to impress with his trick skiing, his flips being some of the best in the game. Moving along to other potential dark horses, Rob Hazelwood has certainly proven that he has the ability to take the title with his incredible slalom skiing, rock solid tricking and the potential to unleash a jump over 210ft. Finally, the two former World Champions, Adam “Sledge” Sedlemajer and Martin Kolman, both CZE, will look to show the young guns the importance of experience and tactics. Sledge has exhibited a resurgence in the last month, skiing nearly to his 2019 World Record pace just before the Worlds and Martin skiing amazing coming off a US Open win earlier this year.
With all the potential firepower on display, the American Open will be a testing ground to repackage the sport we love. Big plans will be executed to make this event the best for the Worlds’ best skiers, at one of the most amazing sites in the World, The Ski Club Of the Palm Beaches. The new trick judging format “EyeTrick” will revolutionize the way the trick event will be looked at. This partnership will bring the progression of tricking to the forefront of the sport and with jump as the last event the crowd will be on its feet through the entire event. Will the youngsters keep the fire going, or will the former World Champions reclaim their throne? Come down to the shores of Okeeheelee Park to see who comes out on top and to meet these incredible athletes, or catch the finals live on Nov 7th from 2 pm on the WWS webcast.
What A Roller-coaster Ride!
The WWS Austrian Open Did Not Disappoint!
With the World Waterski Open, Austria’s most successful water skier, Britta Grebe-Llewellyn, once again brought the international elite of the action-packed water sport to Upper Austria. On August 7 and 8, some of the best of their guild competed in Fischlham in the disciplines slalom, trick and jump. The event was organized for the second time by Britta Grebe and her husband, the multiple world champion and world record holder Jaret Llewellyn. Their son Dorien took part again, who is currently the world’s number two in the Overall. He also showed the strongest nerves and reclaimed the WWS Austrian Open title back to back. In the women’s event, the defending champion from 2020, Giannina Bonnemann, also took the victory.
With her ten European Championship titles (in a row) two World Championship titles and four world records, Britta Grebe-Llewellyn was one of the most successful water skiers in the world. Although the native of Gmunden, who has now lived in Florida for 36 years, no longer actively participates in competitions herself, she now shares her experience in athlete management and event organization.
The athletes had to prove their skills in the disciplines slalom, trick, and jump. The winner of these three water ski disciplines combined is considered the absolute “King/Queen” of waterskiing. Besides Britta Grebe’s son, the 26-year-old Dorien Llewellyn (skis for Canada), Carlo Basic from Austria, Robert Hazelwood from Great Britain, Pol Duplan-Fribourg from France, as well as the German sisters Giannina and Carlotta Bonnemann and the Italian Alice Bagnoli fought for prize money and the podium.
Right from the start, the high quality of the small, but fine starting field was evident. Already on the first day of
competition both the women and men showed world-class form and delivered top performances, although the jump competition could not be held on Saturday due to the strong winds. Dorien Llewellyn came out showing he was not here to play, scoring the highest points of all in both trick and slalom. In tough conditions, the big upset was Robert going down on the 11.25m line. This is Robert’s strongest event of the three, so he would have to regroup for Sunday’s finals. In the trick discipline, Dorien was able to live up to his role in being the favorite, posting a 10500 ahead of Robert’s 9090, Pol’s 8080, and Carlo’s 6800.
In womens’ slalom the older of the Bonnemann sisters, Giannina, had the better start ahead of the Italian Alice Bagnoli and Carlotta Bonnemann and took this momentum into Sunday.
With cooler temperatures on Sunday, the athletes had to give it their all on the final day. Alice came out in the finals in slalom and prevented Giannina from potentially claiming a clean sweep. Alice posts a 3.5 at 11.25, half a buoy better than Giannina score of 3. Traditionally, the jump event is the last event of the day, but warnings of rain later threaten the jump, so the organizers decided to flip the events because of safety for the athletes. Giannina dominated the jump event with 52m, but a real race for second and third was building. Alice (1,710.98) ahead of Charlotta (1,642.18). Charlotta stood up both her runs putting pressure on Alice. Alice proved on Saturday that she has a big hand run in her bag, but shocked the crowd when she went down on a flip during the final pass, costing her the second podium spot. Giannina ranked second in the World in Overall was overjoyed about her victory in Fischlham: “The competition was just great again, to have an overall event with all three disciplines is what we train for. For me it went extremely well, I was able to dial up my performances from yesterday. In the trick event, I was able to go one better and set a new course trick record of 10,180 points, which really made it perfect.” Giannina took the Overall Crown with 2978.26 points, Carlotta claimed silver with 2160.85, ahead of Alice’s 2092.12.
In the men’s finals, tables turned on Dorien right out of the gates in the slalom event. Robert Hazelwood posted a huge slalom score of 1 @ 41off, a full pass more than Dorien’s top score from the primary round. This is Robert’s strongest of the 3 disciplines and Dorien’s weaker of the three. Dorien said, “my game plan was to stay as close to Robert’s slalom score as possible.” Dorien, unfortunately, went down earlier than expected and trailed Robert by 8.5 buoys (email@example.com). Robert claimed the 1000pts for the tops score and Dorien was awarded 845.45. Pol was only 2.5 buoys (firstname.lastname@example.org) behind Dorien and was awarded 800pts, with Carlo is 4 buoys (4@12m) off Pol with a score of 727.27.
Onto the Jump, with the weather conditions holding favorable. Pol posted a 56.1m, next up Carlo with a 59.9m, and Robert tops that with a 60.0m jump. Dorien last out knew he had to gain ground back on Robert after trailing in slalom. Dorien unleashed 65.1 on his final jump and the Two-way battle is underway with Robert 1,872.82 and Dorien 1,845.45 neck and neck, as well as Carlo 1,597.59 and Pol 1,575.56 battling for 3rd and 4thspot. Finally, in tricks Carlo stood up his two passes, scoring 7,100 a new personal best. Pol’s prelim run was 8080 so enough to pull farther ahead of Carlo, but unfortunately, Pol went down on his opening trick which ended all hopes of staying ahead of Carlo. Robert stomped his two passes claiming a score of 9880pt putting enormous pressure on Dorien to score a minimum of 10200. Dorien answered back with 11060, just short of the course record he set last year at the Austrian Nationals 11160pt. “I am so happy with my victory here at Lake Plana. Especially because I really spent a large part of my “water skiing childhood” here and I have such fond memories of this lake. I am very happy with my performance, it was so exciting and then I had to put all my eggs in one basket,” says Grebe’s son, delighted with the successful title defense in his second home.
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Additional Background- Family business of water skiing
The Llewellyn family is considered to be the most successful family in water skiing because, in addition to Britta, it is also her husband Jaret and their son Dorien who rule the absolute top of the world. Jaret can call himself nine times world champion (in the disciplines combination, trick, and jumping). He also set eleven world records in jumping. He has won 117 pro events in his career (numerous World Cups, PanAm Games, and many more). Thus, Jaret is without a doubt the best water skier in the world so far and was the number one in the Overall for 16 years.
In the youth/junior class, 25-year-old Dorien is a European champion (in the overall, slalom and jump). In the U21 class, Dorien moved from Austria to Canada to compete with his famous father on the team at the World Championships, where he also won the silver medal in the U21 Overall, catapulting himself to first place in the world rankings. For three years now, the waterski talent has dominated the general class of the Overall at the PanAm Games (held every four years), and he is number two in the trick, slalom, and jumping disciplines. At the PanAm Championships (held every year and comparable to the European Championships) he is the undisputed dominator Overall. Recently Dorien is also allowed to call himself “King of Tricks”, for winning the King of Darkness, a pro night competition in Orlando.
The dominance of the water ski family was especially evident in 2012 and 2013, as in both years Jaret and Dorien were both number 1 in the World in the Open Division and Juniors, something that has never been seen before in any other sport.
Tough day today in Austria
Tough day today in Austria, especially with a tailwind like no tomorrow! As most overall competitions go, there is always drama. Unfortunately, with dangerous conditions, we opted to cancel the jump, instead only having a single-cut competition for the crowd. But today was mainly about seeding and vying for the individual event’s high scores, which hold cash prize bonuses. Tomorrow the finals battle begins anew and with a forecast for great conditions, the performances should only improve! Check the Event Page for LIVE Webcast start time in your time zone.
No Jump yet!
Dorien Robert Pol Carlo Giannina Alice Carlotta
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