30Aug07 Day Three Full Of Slalom Drama

Chris Parrish USA makes the most of his second chance runoff

As the weather man predicted, it was grey and damp all day today. Part one was Slalom Men Series 2 and I. Part two was Ladies Series 3, 2 and 1. By 07.30hrs, 19 Series 2 and 13 Series 1 men were on site. In Series 2, all but three Skiers got on to the 10.75m line. The first two big scores came from Aaron Larkin (NZL) and Carlo Allais (ITA) ? both with 4 buoys on the 10.75m line. Slalom specialist Marcus Brown (USA) then pushed this up to 2 buoys on the 10.25m line. The 22 year old Canadian, Thomas Moore, got a reride on a score of I buoy also on the 10.25m line and increased it to 1.5. Frederic Halt (SUI) settled for 5 buoys on the 10.75m line and at this stage looked like he would miss the Finals.The others all had a better possibility.

With 13 Men in Series 1 and 12 Finals places still available, mistakes were needed to open the door for any of the Series 2 hopefuls. The first surprise was from Glen Campbell. He hit the deck with a very unfortunate torn binding at 1.5 buoys on the 10.75m line. Jean Baptiste Faisy (FRA) also looked in trouble with 3.5 buoys on 10.75m. True to form, Drew Ross (CAN), Chris Rossi (USA),Jeff Rogers (USA), and Jason Paredes (USA) all got 2 at 10.25m and a certain Finals place. Up stepped Chris Parris (USA) World Record holder. As he entered the 10.75m pass, rain struck and Chris went down with just 3.5 buoys. He was out of the Finals ! After a 30 minute break, the rain moved away. Thomas Degasperi (ITA) and Will Asher (GBR) won their Finals places with 2 and 1.5 buoys on the 10.25m line. One Finals place remained and Slalom Specialist Nick Parsons (USA) went for it but got stuck at 3.5 buoys with lots of drama and a broken ski. All of a sudden, a run off was demanded. Chris Parrish and Ivan Morros were called back with Nick Parsons and all three left the dock on the 11.25m line. At this point, Frederic Halt was now in. The luckiest athlete of the day was Chris Parrish as he kept his cool and took that last place with 4.5 buoys on the 10,75m line. He has not stopped smiling since then!

Chris Parrish shows relief after making the finals

Thirty one Ladies chased their 12 Finals places from Series 3,2 and 1. It looked like a good score midway on the 11.25m line would be enough. None in Series three achieved that. Series 2 was a different matter. Nicole Arthur (GBR) was the star. She cleared that 11.25m line and missed the gates on the 10.75m line ? a great performance and enough for the Finals. Jaime Metcalf (NZL) and Marion Mathieu (FRA) did enough for a Finals place also with 2 buoys on the 11.25m line. Breanne Wagner (CAN) did even better with 3 buoys on that 11.25m pass. As it turned out, these ladies had taken four Finals places leaving eight for the Series 1 stars. In this last group, April Coble Eller (USA) was stunning. She was the only one to reach the 10.75m line and with a score of 1.5 buoys. The big disappointments were Michelle Simpson (USA), Rhoni Barton Bishoff (USA) and past World Champion Emma Sheers (AUS). They each just had a bad day. Only a few buoys on the 11.25m line separated the remainder and advancing to the Finals were Clementine Lucine (FRA), Karina Nowlan (AUS), Regina Jaquess (USA), Karen Truelove (USA), Anais Amade (FRA), Natalie Hamrick-Halt (USA) and Whitney McClintock (CAN). The promise of sunshine tomorrow lifted the spirits as all made their way to the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Linz in light but cool rain.

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