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Q&A: University World Champ Ambre Franc

French pro Ambre Franc admits that at the beginning of the 2016 season, something was “missing.” Well, after a strong finish that saw her claim a University Worlds title and land a No. 3 ranking in Europe and No. 8 in the world, it’s safe to say she found “it.”

We recently had the chance to talk with Ambre about her year, the big win in Japan and what finally clicked in 2016.

How did you get your start in the sport? 

Water skiing has always been a family sport. My mother and aunt were both on the French national team for years, and my uncle held some European records for a while. I finally tried around ten and never looked back. I really enjoyed it and had the opportunity to train in Florida with some great skiers. Of course, I was late compared to other kids my age, so I had to train harder than others, but it was worth it.

Where do you live and train today? 

After three years in Florida studying at Florida Southern College, where I was able to ski every day anytime I wanted, I decided to come back to Paris to start Nutrition School. I now train during the week in Gravon on my uncle’s lake, Aqu’aventure, and on weekends I usually ski with Vincent Soubiron in Toulouse.

You are part of a growing number of foreign athletes coming to the U.S. to ski on collegiate teams. What was your experience like at Florida Southern College, in particular, and in the U.S. in general? 

Living abroad was a wonderful experience. Facilities for athletes are incredible, especially for water skiers. I enjoyed the whole life over there. Being able to study, train and represent my University was a very rewarding experience.

Last month in Japan you the University World Championships. How special was that to you?  

That is obviously a great achievement that I’m really proud of. Especially since the beginning of my season was so disappointing. Fortunately, I found what I was missing around May: a ski that suits me. The RéV 6 really got me back on track and allowed me to recover my confidence behind the boat. I managed to get a new PB of 3 at 39 twice in a row. The win in Japan was the confirmation of my recovery on that ski, not only because winning always feels special, but this tournament only happens every four years, so it’s a hard title to get.

Who has been inspirational to your success?

My whole entourage has been helpful in my success: my family, friends, boyfriend and coaches. This summer was particularly long with this University Worlds in mid-September, including weeks away from home, switching hotels, lakes, boats and so on. Having people around me to keep me on track was important to me.

What was the most beneficial thing you ever did for your skiing? 

Finding a balance between skiing, training, working out, school, family and time with friends.

What are your goals in the sport? 

Professional events are becoming more important to me lately, but a European or World title is still the target for me.

How about in life? 

I recently started Nutrition school because I want to become a certified nutritionist so I can work with athletes as well as people with diseases like cancer.

Anything else you’d like to mention? 

Go Mocs!

Greg Badal claims Big Dawg finals, Final 4 and 13 of Sweet 16 on GOODEs

It was all GOODE at last weekend’s Big Dawg World Tour Finals.

Well, not exactly, but pretty darn close considering 13 of the Sweet 16 and the entire Final Four rode GOODE skis. And of course, so did eventual champion Greg Badal.

Greg topped fellow GOODE skiers Dave Miller (4th) in the semis and Jeremy Newby-Ricci (2nd) in the finals to earn the season title for the second time in his career, joining Ben Favret as the tour’s only two-time winners.

GOODE skier Frederic Halt completed the all-GOODE Final Four, eventually finishing third after being nipped by Jeremy in the Final Four (both tied with 3@41 but Jeremy advanced as the first skier off the dock), but not before knocking out defending season champion Jeff Rodgers in the Elite 8, with a score of 3@41 to Jeff’s 2@41.

Darin Montgomery advanced to the Elite 8, finishing 8th.

Other GOODE skiers advancing to the Sweet 16 were Todd Johnson, Kyle Tate, Marc Shaw, Greg Sund, Todd Kuykendall, Favret, Bruce Dodd, and Chad Scott.

For full results, click here.

Adam Sedlmajer claims U.S. Open Men’s slalom title

As a two-time world overall champion, Team GOODE’s Adam Sedlmajer is best known for his three-event prowess.  But after last weekend, he’s now also known for something else: being the 2016 U.S. Open Men’s Slalom champion.

The seventh seed heading into the finals, Adam put the pressure on the higher-seeded skiers with a huge score of 3 buoys at 41 off, then waited to see if it would stand up.

“I knew that 3 at 41 was a solid score that could put me on a podium, but my back up score wasn’t so great so there was a bit of doubt,” said Adam.  “Watching everyone ski was definitely not easy especially since everyone ran 39 off. Lots of emotions, especially at the end.”

The win was secured for Adam when top-seed Nate Smith fell just short with 2-1/2 buoys at 41, good enough for second.

Team GOODE took two of the top-three spots as Martin Bartalsky finished third with 2 at 41, marking his first ever professional slalom podium.

In Women’s slalom, Regina Jaquess was unable to keep her 28-month pro winning streak alive, finishing second behind champion Whitney McClintock by three-quarters of a buoy.  While Regina does not take losing lightly, she can at least take solace in her third-consecutive U.S. Open Women’s Overall title.

Team GOODE placed four skiers in the Women’s slalom finals, with Brooke Baldwin finishing just off the podium in 4th, Clementine Lucine 5th and Breanne Dodd 6th.

For complete results, visit

Alice Bagnoli, Carlo Allias win titles at the Italian Open

(left to right) Brando Caruso, Carlo Allais, Alice Bagnoli, and Davide Napolitano

Great results for Team GOODE at the Italian Open as Alice Bagnoli and Carlo Allais won the Women’s and Men’s slalom titles, respectively.

On the Men’s side it was a GOODE podium sweep as Brando Caruso (2nd) and Davide Napolitano (3rd) joined Carlo in the top three.

U.S. Open/Big Dawg Finals kick off tomorrow at Okeeheelee

The last major tournament weekend of the year begins tomorrow as the U.S. Open of Water Skiing and the Big Dawg World Finals kick off at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Taking advantage of Okeeheelee’s multi-lake set up, Friday’s competition includes the first two rounds of the Big Dawg Finals, as well as the U.S. Open’s preliminary slalom, jumping and tricks rounds.

Saturday morning the Big Dawg Sweet 16 will be trimmed down to eight skiers, while beginning at 10 a.m. the tricks, slalom and jumping U.S. Open semis and finals will take place. The day will wrap up under the lights of the east/west lake with the Big Dawg Elite 8.

Click here for the schedule of events and here for the U.S. Open running orders.  The final rounds of the U.S. Open and the Sweet 16 of the Big Dawg World Tour will be broadcast live via webcast at

Among the favorites to win the U.S. Open Women’s slalom title are Team GOODE’s Regina Jaquess, Clementine Lucine, Breanne Dodd, Karen Truelove, Kate Adriaensen, and Brooke Baldwin. Team GOODE skiers looking to take home the U.S. Open Men’s slalom championship include Thomas Degasperi, Daniel Odvarko, Benjamin Stadlbaur, Adam Sedlmajer, Brian Detrick, Martin Bartalsky, Felipe Miranda, and Dorien Llewellyn.

And Team GOODE will be well represented in the Big Dawg finals, with eight of the top 10 qualifiers: Chad Scott, Greg Sund, Dave Miller, Greg Badal, Frederic Halt, Jay Leach, Tim Huston, and Bruce Dodd.

GOODE skiers dominate 35+ World Championships

From left to right, Dave Miller (3rd), Jeremy Newby-Ricci (1st), Dave Goode, Jeff Milford (4th), and Greg Badal (2nd). Click image to view video.

GOODE skiers once again dominated slalom at the 35+ World Water Ski Championships, claiming four of eight slalom gold medals (50%) and 14 of 24 total slalom medals (58%) awarded during the 2016 version of the biennial event, held last weekend at the Sesena Waterski & Wakeboard Complex in Sesena, Spain.

Carol Brooks (l), Joy Kelley (c) and Janie Fausold

The weekend was punctuated by GOODE medal sweeps in two divisions: Women’s 55+ and Men’s 45+.

Joy Kelley successfully defended her 2014 title by taking the 55+ crown, with fellow GOODE skiers Carol Brooks and Janie Fausold earning silver and bronze medals.

And in perhaps the most competitive event of the championships, Jeremy Newby-Ricci edged fellow GOODE skiers Greg Badal (2nd) and Dave Miller (3rd) to take the Men’s 45+ slalom title. GOODE skier Jeff Milford was close behind in fourth.

Two more medal sweeps nearly took place in Women’s 35+ and 45+.

In Women’s 35+ GOODE skiers Valerie Jaquier and Mariana Ramirez Abelson finished second and third, respectively, behind gold-medal winner April Coble-Eller. Marie-Helene Lanthier and Kristy Kraus took fourth and fifth to give Team GOODE four of the top-five spots in the division.

And in Women’s 45+, Lori Krueger won her second-consecutive gold medal in the event and GOODE skiers Stephanie Stange and Shannon Strickland finished third and fourth, respectively.

GOODE skiers Lori Krueger (1st) and Stephanie Stange (3rd)

Closing out the Team GOODE gold medals was Steve Raphael, who dominated the Men’s 65+ field with a 3-1/2 buoy-winning margin. GOODE skier Bob Hardeman earned the bronze.

Additional Team GOODE skiers earning top-five placements were: Marie-Helen Lanthier (4th, Women’s 35+), Kristy Kraus (5th, Women’s 35+), Janet Piercy (5th, Women’s 65+), Frederic Halt (2nd, Men’s 35+), Bruce Dodd (3rd, Men’s 55+), Dave Phillips (4th, Men’s 55+), David Bentall (5th, Men’s 55+), and, Dennis Longo (5th, Men’s 65+).

In the team competition, the United States earned the gold with 12,239.46 points.  France finished second (10,228.02) and Canada finished third (9,721.30).

Slalom results (GOODE skiers in bold): 

Women’s 35+ slalom
1 April Coble Eller
2 Valerie Jaquier
3 Mariana Ramirez Abelson
4 Marie-Helene Lanthier
5 Kristy Kraus

Women’s 45+ slalom
1 Lori Krueger
2 Olga Gubarenko
3 Stephanie Stange
4 Shannon Strickland
5 Jennifer Lapoint

Women’s 55+ slalom
1 Joy Kelley
2 Carol Brooks
3 Janie Fausold
4 Jan Johnson
5 Cristina Medem Segners

Women’s 65+ slalom
1 Gabriele Hueller
2 Janice Prociw
3 Donna Switzer
4 Shirley Coble
5 Janet Piercy

Men’s 35+ slalom
1 Ivan Morros Peyri
2 Frederic Halt
3 Geoffroy Lavoue
4 Doug Ross
5 Genadi Guralia

Men’s 45+ slalom
1 Jeremy Newby-Ricci
2 Greg Badal
3 Dave Miller
4 Jeff Milford
5 David Smart

Men’s 55+ slalom
1 Kris Lapoint
2 Greg Tate
3 Bruce Dodd
4 Dave Phillips
5 David Bentall

Men’s 65+ slalom
1 Steve Raphael
2 Philippe Leprince
3 Bob Hardeman
4 Pierre Plouffe
5 Dennis Longo

Click here for full results.

It’s difficult to track nearly two hundred skiers over the course of five days of action, so if we failed to include you as a GOODE skier in the list above, or mistakenly did so, please accept our apologies and email us the details at

35+ Worlds underway in Sesena, Spain

The 35+ Worlds are currently underway at the Sesena Waterski & Wakeboard Complex in Sesena, Spain.

Follow the results live here (Spain is six hours ahead of the United States’ east coast).

Regina claims 5th-straight California Pro-Am title

Photo courtesy of WaterSki magazine

The name and even the location of the tournament may have changed, but one thing has remained the same over the last five years at the California Pro-Am: Regina Jaquess taking the Women’s slalom crown.

Regina (took her fifth-straight California Pro-Am (previously known as the Diablo Shores Pro-Am) title Saturday, beating second-place finisher Whitney McClintock by a quarter buoy (4-1/4@39 to 4@39) to secure the win. The win adds to Regina’s professional winning streak of 28 months, as her last loss came at the 2014 Masters. Five has been a big number for Regina this year; she also won her fifth-straight Malibu Open title earlier this summer.

Regina was joined in the finals by her fellow GOODE teammates Karen Truelove (4th), Breanne Dodd (5th), and Kate Adriaensen (6th).

In Men’s slalom, Team GOODE’s Daniel Odvarko landed on the podium with a third-place finish, while Brian Detrick (6th), Thomas Degasperi (7th) and Carlo Allais (8th) also advanced to the finals.

Click here for full results.

Franc and Mechler claim University Worlds slalom titles

Congratulations to Team GOODE’s Ambre Franc and Dane Mechler, who took home the Women’s and Men’s slalom titles, respectively, at last weekend’s World University Water Ski Championships in Akita, Japan.

As the only Women’s competitor to get into 38-feet off both rounds, Ambre led the competition from start to finish, clinching the title with a score of 1 at 38 off in the finals. Her fellow GOODE skiers Anna Cespivova, Jenna Morgan and Giannina Bonnemann finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Giannina claimed the Women’s overall and tricks titles.

Dane, competing for the eventual gold-medal winning U.S. team, tied with Dominica Republic’s Robert Pigozzi in the final round of Men’s slalom with a score of 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. In the runoff Dane put up a huge score of 2 buoys at 41 off – the tournament’s top score – to earn the win. Team GOODE skier and European Championships Open Men’s runner-up Benjamin Stadlbaur took fourth.

The victory gives Dane his second world title, as he is also currently the reigning Under 21 world champion.

Click here for full results.

GOODE skiers take 13 of California Big Dawg Sweet 16 spots

From left to right: Jay Leach, Greg Badal, Greg Sund, Jeff Rodgers, Dave Miller, Harald Hintringer, Kyle Tate, and Marc Shaw.

GOODE skiers occupied an unprecedented 13 spots in the Sweet 16 of the California Big Dawg held this weekend at Bell Aqua in Rio Linda, Calif.

Greg Sund, Greg Badal and Dave Miller all advanced to the Final Four, where Jeff Rodgers emerged as the winner by beating Dave in the finals, 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off to Dave’s 2-1/2 at the same rope length. Greg Sund put up the tournament’s top score, 4 at 41 off, to top Greg Badal in the third/fourth-place bracket.

GOODE skiers also advancing to the Sweet 16 were: Kevin Bishop, Kyle Tate, Jay Leach, Chad Scott, Todd Ristorcelli, Bruce Dodd, Steve Ware, Chad Baker, Darin Montgomery, and Marc Shaw.

Click here for full results.