04Jan08 Young Talent And Real International Skill Create Excellent U21 Worlds Last Preminary Day

Michale Briant (AUS) receives congratulations from mother ZuZi on setting a new U21 Championships Tricks Record of 7870 points

We began as usual today with perfect water conditions, 30C sunshine and an enormous amount of talent at the Miranda Lake in Santiago. Ladies Series 2 and 1 were the morning events. With 10 athletes in Series two and 11 in Series 1, the 12 Finals places opened the door for at least one Series 2 contestant. Who could have guessed the outcome ! With a personal best score of 4650 points, the athlete to dominate Series 2 was 13 year old Nicole Naser from Chile. It was an outstanding display. Watch out for her name in headlines in the future - and also in the Finals on Saturday. In Series 1, it was youth all over again. While Whitney McClintock (CAN) and Marion Aynaud (FRA) were strong favorites, none could beat 18 year old Michale Briant (AUS) with a score of 7870 points. It is shaping up to be a high quality Final tomorrow - and watch out for the youngest rising stars.

Felipe Miranda (CHI) landing the leading jump this afternoon of 61.4m

In Mens Jump Series 2 this afternoon, the best score was 54.6m and that was for Santi Roca Arribas (ESP). In Series 1, eight exceeded 50m and two exceeded 60m. The extreme heat had an impact. However, the 375hp CorrectCraft Ski Nautique boat was flawless and Zack Worden, ranked number 1 in the Junior Rankings was first to set the standard with 60.7m. Then Felipe Miranda (CHI), ranked number 1 in the U21 Rankings, the very popular home jumper, landed a 61.4m distance to take the top spot. It looks like the Jump Finals will have athletes from at least 10 countries. Considering there are just 12 Finalists, that is about as good an international spread as is possible. A truly global sport with some very young stars has to be a sign of good health.

Tomorrow's Slalom and Trick Finals start at 10.00am local time. Watch this site for some very interesting results from the Miranda Waterski Lake in Santiago, Chile.