06Jan08 U21 Championships Close With Great Trick and Jump Performances

With 12 Men, 12 Ladies and 12 countries in the Tricks Finals, the names to watch for the future shone through. In the Mens Tricks event, scores lower than 7000 points were rare. Three were over 9000. Franck Desboyeaux (FRA) and Adam Sedlmajer (CZE) got 9230 and 9250 points. Sedlmajer was coached by the famous Cory Pickos (USA). However the World U21 title today went to Cory's son Adam Pickos. At just 16 years of age his 9430 was unbeatable. He may even catch up with his Father's 22 World Records at this rate ! In the Ladies Tricks event, over 7000 was needed to get into the top four slots. Michale Briant (AUS) scored 7360 and that was only enough for 3rd place. Overall contender Whitney McClintock (CAN) scored 7390 to take 2nd. The World Cup star Marion Aynaud (FRA) pulled off a Toe Wake 540 Back to Front to wow the crowd and take the title with 7980 points plus a new PB. Amazing standard for such young athletes. We have some exciting years ahead.

In Jump, as expected, it was a 33C/ 96Fh roasting day all day today and the light head breeze was perfect for the Jump Finals. The 10 Ladies Jump Finalists all had PB scores of over 40m / 131ft. Young Christina De Medrano (ESP) took the lead at the halfway point with 47.8m, a new personal best score, plus a new pending National Record for Spain. By the time we got to the last three Jumpers, none yet could beat this score. That included the stars Karina Nowlan (AUS) and Whitney McClintock (CAN). The World Cup Star Nancy Chardin (FRA) was last off the dock. Still conditions were perfect and the 375hp Ski Nautique boat was flawless throughout. She knew what she had to do. Her first distance was 48.4m, second was 47.9m and last 48.6m / 160ft. No doubt about who is the best of the U21s at this moment. Alex Lauretano and Cristina De Medrano shared the joy on the Podium with Nancy Chardin.

As the Men arrived, the enthusiastic Miranda Lake audience was piling on the sun tan lotion and really enjoying the U21 skill levels. Stephen Critchley (GBR) decided not to ski due to a Prelims injury. As he is ranked No.2 in the world on the U21 chart, this was disappointing. Four of the 12 Men competitors got PB scores. All beat 51m. At the half way point, Kevin Melnuk (CAN) did well and broke the 60m mark with 60.5m. Zack Worden (USA) quickly pushed it up to 61.0m. Then all waited for a Chile fairy tale ending with U21 World Rank 1 Jumper Felipe Miranda last off. His PB is 63.1m / 207ft. However, an ear drum injury in the Prelims was a worry. In spite of the many Chile flags waving him on, all he could do today was 59.8m but this was still good enough for 3rd place. Zack Worden took 1st and Kevin Melnuk 2nd.

The Team and Overall details will be announced at the Banquet later tonight. For all present from 23 countries, this was a first class event in a first class site. The Miranda Lake in Chile is impressive by any standards and the support of CorrectCraft added to the atmosphere of excellence.