WORLD WATERSKI CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2001
DAY 2. WEDNESDAY Sept 26th
The early morning mist was burning off the three Recetto lakes as we arrived on site this morning. Through the haze we could see the entire British team doing their coordinated exercises – and it’s only 7.15am ! Blue skies, temperature 23C/76Fh and the white snows on the Alps are clearly visable on the spectacular horizon. It’s a Tricks and Jump day today – preliminary rounds.
Our first event was Open Ladies Series 3 Tricks – and it all started at 9.00am precisely on Lake 2 as per the programme. For many of the 14 Athletes from 11 Countries, this was a real test of nerves – and some struggled to get near their personal best scores – reminding us that the World Championships are the highlight of a Waterskier’s career. At this time of writing, the top performers were second off the dock Lida Morou (Greece) with a score of 4260, Margarita Delgado (Colombia) 4120 and Sharon Van Oye ( Netherlands) 4110.
Next at 11.30am precisely, we moved to Lake 1 for a feast of Jumping – starting with preliminary Jump Men, Series 5, 4 and 3, to be followed by Series 4 for Women. Now it’s really hot and there is not a cloud in the sky – perfect Waterskiing conditions.
Series 5 Men had 12 Athletes from 7 Countries – and three personal best scores were achieved by Grant Knight ( Namibia), Arturro Torres (Mexico) and Arturo Nelson (Mexico). With three Athletes breaking the 50m barrier, he best performance came from Arturro Torres / 51.2m, Gary Knight / 50.4m and Martin Filloy Lopez / 50.3m. Series 4 had 12 Athletes another 12 Athletes and this time 10 exceeded 50m and one personal best score from Julio Javier. Top performers were Marco Riva (Italy) / 56.7m, Julio Javier / 56.6 and Mikkel Andersen / 55.1m. Series 3 Mne had another 12 Athletes, from 11 Countries. This produced a spectacular result from the experienced Genadi Guralia (Georgia) 59.5m, followed by George Hatzis (Greece)/ 59.2m and Andres Bjork (Sweden) 58.5m. At 5.00pm precisely, we moved to Ladies Series 4 Jump – with 7 Athletes competing. For some the occasion was a nerve wracking experience but all performed close to their personal best standards. The top honours went to Lise Elgesem (Norway0 33.5m, and a joint 32.2m to Angeliki Papadimitriou and Lida Morou – both from Greece.
At 6.30pm, we caught the Coaches to nearby Recetto Village for a colourful, well organised and SHORT opening ceremony ! When IWSF President, Andres Botero, asked for one minute of silence in memory of the tragedy of the World Trade Centre victims, you could hear a pin drop and feel the emotions of total sympathy in the warm sunset breezes. This was followed by a resounding welcome for the very popular and talented team from the USA as we listened to the strains of the Italian National Anthem. A perfect end to a perfect day.