By Robbie Llewellyn Ė 20th June 2005
Last week the fastest waterski racers in the world flew into Britain and gathered at Hunstanton, Norfolk to pit their wits against one another for the coveted World Championship medals. In this the fastest form of waterskiing, highly tuned athletes towed by highly tuned powerboats hurtled around a course for up to 60 minutes in an out and out race to the chequered flag. This was only the 2nd time that Britain had hosted the event, 26 years after the inaugural World Championships in 1979.
Britainís Kim Lumley was up against former two-time World Champion Ann Procter from Australia in the Womenís and skiing behind her Bernico boat she screamed into an early lead in rounds one and two, taking wins in both races. In round three, Kim finished behind the Australian but had secured enough points to steal the world title away from Ann and become Britainís new World Water Ski Racing Champion. Americaís Erin Saunders took third.
23 yr old Kim from Cambridgeshire has spent months training in Britain and Australia in preparation for the World Championships and the hard work has finally paid off. No other Brit has managed to win a world championship in water ski racing since the days of Steve Moore (MBE) and Liz Hobbs (MBE) back in the 1980s. When I asked Kim how she felt after the event she said, ďI feel on top of the world to be the World ChampionĒ.
In the Menís race Americaís Todd Haig dominated the event winning four out of four rounds, proving that without a doubt, he is the best water ski racer in the world. Britainís Karl Brooks put on a fine display of speed and stamina to take the silver and Italyís Carlo Cassa added another bronze to his previous two silvers and one bronze in World Championship ski racing
In the Menís Formula 2 Americaís Justin Soller stole the show to become the new world champion ahead of Hollandís Tommy Klarenbeck in 2nd and Chris Cole of Great Britain in 3rd.
17 yr old Australian Lauryn Eagle won the Womenís Formula 2 World Championship to add to her recent accomplishment of being crowned Miss Teen International. Americaís Janine Doherty took 2nd and the 47 yr old highly accomplished Lori Dunsmore wrapped up 3rd.
The Juniors proved that the world has some incredible talent coming up through the ranks and Sam Frey from the USA put on a tremendous show to win the world title ahead of the two 15 yr olds Brendan Stout and Ben Gulley from Australia who took 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Junior girl Mallory Nordblad did her former world champion mother proud by winning the Junior girlís World Title for the USA with Australiaís Sarah Eagle 2nd and Belgiumís Vicky Leysen 3rd.
Great Britain put on a tremendous event with rough and calm water conditions. New Zealand has now submitted its bid to host the 2007 World Championships.
Results from the 14th World Water Ski Racing Championships are available at www.worlds.skirace.net