10Sep08 Seniors Produce Outstanding Preliminary Round Slalom and Tricks Scores Today in Sesena

Mike Morgan USA

It was another perfect day for Skiing at the Sesena Waterski Centre in Toledo Spain. With 30C / 90Fh sunshine, blue skies and just a whisper of wind, the water conditions inspired confidence in all. It was a day of two halves. First we had 41 Senior 3 Men Slalom Skiers competing for 10 Senior World Trophy Finals places and 12 EAME Senior Championships places. The afternoon finished with Senior 3 Ladies Slalom plus Tricks for Senior 2 Ladies and Men.

The Slalom Preliminaries were riddled with great personal achievements, insights to lesser known aspects of some super stars and a host of performances which equaled or exceeded Personal Best scores. Across the board, the scores were significantly better than at the last Championships two years ago. Standards are definitely rising. Running both Championships concurrently is a bit of a challenge for the Scorer but this did not dampen the enthusiasm.

There were nine Series 3 entries. One outshone all others. Edgardo Martin (ARG) scored 1.5 buoys on the 12m line / 35 off early this morning and this was 5 buoys better than all the others. In Series 2, none of the next sixteen entries could beat Edgardo Martin?s score. In Series 1, another sixteen contenders took up the challenge. Eleven skiers got scores on the 12m line / 35 off or better. Here the first big score came from Phillip Hughes (GBR) with 2 buoys on the 11.25m line / 38 off. Steve Raphael (USA) improved on this with 4 buoys on the 11.25m line / 38 off. However, the dominant force today was Gordon Rathbun (USA) with 1 buoy on the 10.75m line / 39 off. After a quick revision of the scores there was a four way tie for the one remaining place in the EAME Championships Final. Teddy Furian (AUT), Ib Trier Pedersen (DEN), Augusto Moreno De Carlos (ESP) and Francisco Fernandez (ESP) had to take to the water on the 14m line / 28 off and it was Augusto Moreno De Carlos who won the place for Spain ? a very popular outcome. The biggest ovation of the day however was reserved for Edgardo Martin (ARG) who took the last available Finals place in the Senior World Trophy.

For the four Ladies Senior 3 contestants, all were guaranteed a Finals place and so the battle was for seedings. Here Leza Harrison (USA) had experience on her side having taken the Bronze Medal in Senior 2 Ladies at the last Championships. She excelled today with a score of 2 buoys on the 12m line / 35 off and this was a full pass ahead of her nearest rival.

Tricks finished the day as the sun began to sink below the horizon. For the Ladies, Marie Blanche Tapiero (FRA) was the outstanding performer earning a first place on both Preliminaries score sheets with 1880 points. For the Men, with only 5 EAME Finals places available and 6 World Trophy places, all eyes were on three special individuals. Remember that we are talking about TRICKS here. These individuals were Andy Mapple (GBR), Mike Morgan (USA) and Franz Oberleitner (AUT). All are true legends in our sport ? but in different disciplines ! Mike Morgan outperformed all with 5790 points ? giving him pole position in the World Trophy Finals. The two who dominated the EAME Championships Tricks score sheets were Andy Mapple with 3860 points and Franz Oberleitner with 3150. How often do we see these two name at the top of a set of Tricks results ?

Tomorrow will be another very busy day with live TV coverage and possibly some very important visitors !

For all the latest results throughout the event, just click here

Gordon Rathbun USA

Andy Mapple GBR

Franz Oberleitner AUT