04Aug09 Challenging Start To The 2009 Calgary Waterski World Championships

The site of the Calgary World Championships

The past 24 hours here in Calgary have reminded us all that we are indeed involved in an outdoor sport! Once the official Practice time ended on Monday evening in reasonably good weather conditions, all were settling in to the prospect of a warm week ahead. The site is magnificent, the organization is first class and the entertainment for the athletes and officials last night at Calgary?s Lynnwood Ranch set a very friendly tone. Seeing our Skiers in Cowboy hats and enjoying the Line Dance routines certainly helped to settle the nerves.

Paul Melnuk and Kuno Ritschard

Jaki Hunter GBR and Nicole Arthur GBR

Herman Beliakou BLR

Jimmy Siemers USA

Marie Vympranietsova GRE &
Ageliki Andrioupoulou GRE

Jonathan Travers USA

This morning we awoke to black clouds, 12C temperatures and the likelihood of a very wet day. In fact, the rain has continued from dawn and shows little signs of moving elsewhere in the near future. So, it was a case of putting on the wet gear and seeing what Chief Judge Dimos Alexopoulos GRE could do with the programme for the day ahead. As it turned out, we saw some excellent Slalom and Tricks performances ? but our Jumpers will have to wait for an altered Programme. Some have used this downtime to drive to other lakes to get some practice, hoping for better weather to return to the Calgary area soon. With two lakes here at the World Championships Predator Bay Club site, the options for catching up as the week progresses are still good.

Following the extensive Radio, TV and Newspaper World Championships publicity in the area over the past few days, all expected the name Llewellyn to hit the headlines at some stage ? but not necessarily on Day One! Having a mother, father and son compete together in a World Championships is unique. Jaret, Britta and Dorian Llewellyn are all on the Starting List. In spite of the driving cool rain, teenager Dorian Llewellyn AUT got off to an impressive start ? and helped to lift the spirits on all who braved the wet conditions. In scoring 5770 points in Tricks, he took the lead in the early Series, ahead of Nick Bottcher GER / 4270, and Long Fei Shi CHN / 3380. He then went on the take the second highest score of the day so far in Slalom with a score of 1 buoy on the 11.25m line. The leader, Travis Wentzel RSA, was just one buoy ahead with Beomgeun KOR in third place with 4 buoys on the 12m line.

At this point, the programme change brought in Series 5 and 4 Tricks. By the time we finished these rounds ? still in pouring rain ? Jason Seels GBR had pulled the top Tricks score up to 7480 points to take the lead ? with Zack Worden USA in second place with 7340 points and Esteban Siegert COL in third with 6760. This has now put young Dorian Llewellyn in 7th place behind the big guns. All were excellent scores in these conditions. No doubt, the name Llewellyn will hit the headlines a few more times this week in Calgary.

Fresh from her Waterski World Cup Tricks bronze medal at the Waterski World Cup Stop in Dubna Russia two weeks ago, Russian athlete Tatiana Churakova?s score today of 7360 points was just 60 points lower than that World Cup performance. That was enough to give her the lead. Anais Amade FRA is suffering. Twice in the past few weeks she has injured a shoulder bone. In spite of that her score of 6040 points was enough for second place but on a good day, she can clock up over 7000 points. Iryna Turets BLR scored 5370 points to take third place at this point.

The day finished with Women?s Slalom Series 4. It was a struggle to see an 11.25m line today but Ksenia Kamorova RUS succeeded with 1.5 buoys, ahead of the talented teenager Stacey Gilbert NZL with 5.5 buoys on the 12m line and Iryna Turets BLR just 2.5 buoys behind. For all the Mums out there, Britta Grebe Llewellyn AUT took fourth place with 2.5 buoys on the 12m line to help keep the family name in the headlines with son Dorian. Husband Jaret awaits his moment later in the week!

It is still very much early days here at the Calgary Waterski World Championships. Details of the weather revised programme will be posted shortly. Spirits are high, young Dorian Llewellyn AUT has shown what can be done and tomorrow is another day!

For all the latest, please check out the results by clicking here