21Sep07 EAME Friday Preliminary Rounds Test Stamina

A beautiful day at Recetto

A twelve hour contest in warm Recetto sunshine in northern Italy was a test of stamina for all 98 competitors today. The weather was again once the light morning mist cleared. With 55 Slalom Men, 21 Tricks Ladies and 22 Jump Ladies fighting for 12 Finals places in each discipline, it was dark when we eventually headed for the car park. Here are some highlights.

In Mens Slalom, 14 Skiers achieved a 10.75m line score and 3 reached the short 10.25m line. These three outstanding performances came from Jean Baptiste Faisy (FRA) with 1.5, Frederic Halt (SUI) with 1.0 and Fabio Ianni (ITA) with 0.5 buoys. It took a minimum score of 1.5 buoys on the 10.75m line to secure one the 12 Finals places. The last two Finals places needed a run-off to settle the outcome. Nic Bottcher (GER) and Oleg Deviatovski (BLR) came out on top but Christer Danielsson (SWE) had to accept defeat. Newly crowned World Slalom Champion, Thomas Degasperi (ITA), did not have an easy ride but his score of 2.5 buoys on the 10.75m line was enough to do the job. The Televised Saturday Slalom Finals on RAI 3 and RAISPORTSATELLITE will involve athletes from Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany and Belarus. The possible winner is anybody?s guess at this stage. All results are available at www.iwsf.com.

Ladies Tricks produced five scores which exceeded 7,000 points. The World Trick and Overall Champion, Clementine Lucine (FRA) came out on top with 8160 points. It was also interesting to see the impressive return of Elena Thomsen / Milakova (SUI) following a three year family break. Her score of 7190 put her in fourth place and earned her a Finals slot on Sunday.

The Ladies Jump event started a bit later than anticipated and it was a race against nightfall. The eleven Series 2 athletes produced five scores higher than 45.0m. Anais Amade (FRA) came out on top with 47.6m. As the next eleven Series 1 athletes arrived, everything possible was done to beat the setting sun. Unfortunately, nightfall won on this occasion and so this Series will be re-run on Saturday. The Sunday afternoon Final is expected to deliver a number of distances well over 50.0m. Having completed a hectic twelve hour day, an early night is on the cards for all this evening.