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1 of 21: Girls 1 National Slalom Champion Alana Jones

At the 73rd GOODE Water Ski National Championships held last August in West Palm Beach, Fla., an astonishing 68 percent – or 21 out of 31 – of slalom titles were won on GOODEs. As we enter the off season here in North America, we are going to attempt to interview each of those 21 National champions, because even though they may have all been using the same brand of ski, they all have their own story. 

Next up is Girls 1 National Slalom Champion Alana Jones, a 10-year old who trains with her family on Osage Lake and calls Church Point, La., home. 

How long have you been skiing?
I’ve been competing for four years, and I was up on skis the year before that.

How did you get into the sport?
My mommy and daddy are both skiers.

How many Nationals have you previously attended?
Two previously, so this was the third.

Is this your first National title?
In a single event, yes, but not for overall.  In 2014, I won Girls 1 overall at nationals and took second in slalom.

What did it feel like to come out on top in West Palm this year?
It felt great. I was very excited because my main goal was to win slalom at nationals.

How did you prepare for Nationals?
I skied hard and skied on some days when I didn’t really want to because of conditions. And I went to many more tournaments than we usually go to.

Besides winning the National title, what are some other highlights in your skiing career?
This summer I got the South Central regional record with 4 buoys at 28 off. At nationals, I got second in overall and third in tricks. I thought it was cool to have a medal in each color!

What’s the most important thing skiing has taught you and/or given you?
Time with family because my whole family skis, and getting to travel to different places.

Who are some people that have been important to your skiing success?
My dad and mom and Mr. Trent (Finlayson).

What advice would you give someone who is trying to improve in slalom?
Keep your hips up and keep on working on it.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for the hat!

Regina Repeats, GOODE Skiers claim three of Big Dawg Final Four

In a year of successfully defended titles and winning streaks, Regina Jaquess added another major water ski title to her 2015 season today in Orlando as she won her second-straight U.S. Open Women’s slalom title.

Heading into the final round as the second seed behind No. 1 seed Whitney McClintock, Regina emerged on top of a finals field that included her fellow Team GOODE skiers Clementine Lucine (third) and Brooke Baldwin (fifth).  Regina’s win extends her pro tournament unbeaten streak to 16 months and certainly makes her the favorite heading into next month’s World Championships in Mexico.

Brooke’s top-5 finish in one of the year’s premiere events is another significant milestone in the 14-year old’s breakout first season competing in the pro ranks, after netting her first pro podium earlier this summer at the Swiss Slalom Pro.

In the Big Dawg World Tour Finals held in conjunction with the U.S. Open, three of the Final Four spots were taken by GOODE skiers, as were 11 of the Sweet 16. In the end, Jeff Rodgers edged Team GOODE’s Ben Favret, 3 buoys on the four-ball course to Ben’s 2 at 41. GOODE skiers Tim Huston and Todd Johnson faced off against each other to decide third place, with Tim’s 2 at 39 off ultimately beating Todd by a half buoy.

T-Gas, Dave Miller to face off in Bracket Challenge Finals

And then there were two.

Thomas Degasperi and Dave Miller have emerged from tough brackets to claim the final two spots in the GOODE Bracket Challenge.

In the 36 mph bracket, Thomas needed a tiebreaker to edge Daniel Odvarko, as both had a top score of 2 buoys at 41-feet off during the month of September. With the tiebreaker going to their second-highest score, Thomas picked up the win, 2 at 41 to Daniel’s 1.5 at the same rope length.

Click to enlarge.

On the 34 mph side, Dave Miller and Greg Badal also tied, with scores of 3.5 at 41 off, but the off-the-water injury that ended Greg’s season prevented him from moving on.

That sets up a head-to-head championship bracket featuring two of the most decorated skiers in recent history. Thomas is a two-time world champion and multiple-time Moomba, Masters and Malibu Open winner, while over the past decade-plus Dave has become one of the elite 34 mph skiers in the world, winning multiple Big Dawg tour stops and season titles.

In the final round, speed is not taken into consideration to determine the bracket winner. The rope length and number of buoys is the sole determinant of the winner. For example, if Dave scores 3 buoys at 41 off (at 34 mph), he would beat a hypothetical score from Thomas of 2 buoys at 41 off (36 mph).

Online Fan Contest Down to Three

More than 300 fans may have entered Bracket Challenge’s online contest, but only three are still in the running.

In third place after the Elite 8, boz’s picks jumped both LLUSA and swerve_6 to land in the top spot heading into the final round. But only boz’s picks selected Dave to win it all (LLUSA and swerve_6 picked Chris Parrish), so if he wins, so does boz’s picks. If Thomas wins, the contest will be determined by who’s tiebreaker score is closest to Thomas ultimately winning score.

For the skiers’ bracket, click here. Click here for the fan contest standings.

GOODE skiers claim medals at Disabled Worlds

Vision Impaired Men’s World Slalom Champion Daniele Cassioli. Photo courtesy John Lipscomb/JD Diamond Photography.

More than 50 athletes from 11 countries competed at last weekend’s 12th Barbara Bolding/Jim Grew Fund Disabled Water Ski World Championships at Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, Calif., including a trio of GOODE skiers who brought home medals in slalom events.

Cassioli and Mike Royal. Photo courtesy John Lipscomb/JD Diamond Photography.

Italy’s Daniele Cassioli scored 1 buoy at 38 feet off to win the gold medal in Vision Impaired Men’s slalom, while the United States’ Mike Royal took silver with 1 at 35 feet off. Cassioli also earned gold medals in Vision Impaired Men’s overall, as well as the Men’s overall title awarded to the tournament’s top male skier in all divisions.

Fellow GOODE skier Christian Lanthaler of Italy earned the bronze in Standing Men’s slalom with 4.5 at 15 feet off.

In the team competition the United States earned gold with 12,531.94 points, while Australia and Italy earned silver and bronze medals with 10,811.68 and 9,961.06 points, respectively.

For full results, click here, or click here to view the webcast archives.

One of 21: Womens 4 National Slalom Champion Lori Krueger

At the 73rd GOODE Water Ski National Championships held last August in West Palm Beach, Fla., an astonishing 68 percent – or 21 out of 31 – of slalom titles were won on GOODEs. As we enter the off season here in North America, we are going to attempt to interview each of those 21 National champions, because even though they may have all been using the same brand of ski, they all have their own story.

First up is Womens 4 National Slalom Champion Lori Krueger of San Marcos, Texas, who has successfully made the leap from touring pro, to a mother of two who just so happens to keep on winning national and world titles, even if she can’t hit the water as often as she’d like.

How long have you been skiing and how did you get into the sport?
I started skiing at the age of five. My parents lived on a public lake in Decatur, Ill., and wanted to meet some new people so they joined the ski club. Once I started I fell in love with it.

How many Nationals have you previously attended?
Around 30. When I was a pro skier I would miss a few because of other pro tournaments, and then a few injuries got in the way, and then the years I had my children.

How did you prepare for Nationals? Anything different than in the past?
Yes completely! I didn’t get to ski Regionals because I coached the Pan Am Games and so I had only competed in one tournament before Nationals so I didn’t really feel like I had any rhythm and was quite nervous. It felt like I was cramming for a test. I started 3-event training with about two weeks to go.

So given your limited training time, how did it feel to come out on top in West Palm this year?
It felt awesome! I hadn’t really planned on skiing Nationals, then my daughter qualified in Girls 1, so I decided to ski with her. It was fantastic because she skied a PB.

Why do you ski?
Because I love it. The friendships I have made, and the memories from all the great times I have spent on teams or coaching and getting to know people of all walks of life. I love all aspects. If not for water skiing I would be a completely different person!

What’s the most important thing skiing has taught you and/or given you over the years?
Skiing has taught me to compete, keep in shape as I get older, and to continue to help and share my passion for this awesome sport. It is such a family sport, and I came from a skiing family and now my own kids are getting the thrill of skiing.

Who are some people that have been important to your skiing success?
My immediate family for passing on their love of the sport, Brenda Baldwin for letting me live and train with her at a time in my life when I needed it, my husband for financially supporting me and driving, and Trent Finlayson for skiing with me everyday and putting up with me. And to my children for cheering on shore and loving me no matter what. I always seem to be great in their eyes.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank all the sponsors, not just mine, but also all those companies that support our Nationals, grass roots, etc. I don’t think that our ski companies, boat companies, rope companies, etc., get enough credit. They are the reason we still have pro skiing and so many other events. And also for the families that give up so much of their time and energy to their children. I am just now finding out what that is all about. All the hours spent behind the wheel of a boat and all the hours coaching.

Regina claims 4th straight California Pro-Am title

The winning streaks continue for Regina Jaquess, as she won her fourth-consecutive California Pro Am this weekend to extend a pro tournament unbeaten streak that stretches back 15 months.

In the head-to-head final rounds, Regina first topped Manon Costard (1 at 41 off to 2.5 at 39.5), and then Whitney McClintock in the final (2 at 41 to 1 at 41) to earn the win.

In Men’s slalom, Chris Parrish and Thomas Degasperi bounced back from injuries to join fellow Team GOODE skier Daniel Odvarko in the finals.  Chris finished 5th, T-Gas 6th and Odvarko 7th.

In addition to serving as tournament host, Greg Badal entered the Master Men’s finals as the top seed, but unfortunately injured his ankle in an off-the-water incident Saturday night. He was unable to ski in Sunday’s finals.  Kevin Bishop ran his first tournament 39 of the year in his first tournament on the GOODE FlexTail to advance to the finals, where he eventually finished 2nd to Matt Brown.  GOODE skiers occupied six of the eights spots in the finals, as Dave Miller finished 3rd, Chad Scott 4th, Marc Shaw 6th, and Steve Ware 7th.

For more information, visit californiaproam.com.

California Pro-Am taking place this weekend

Bell Acqua, home to the 2015 California Water Ski Pro-Am.

One of water skiing’s major events will take place this weekend in Sacramento, California, as many of the world’s best skiers compete in the California Water Ski Pro-Am.

Formerly known as the Diablo Shores Pro-Am, this weekend’s tournament will feature Open Men’s and Women’s slalom, as well as top Master Men’s competitors and amateurs from throughout the West Coast.

Team GOODE skiers expected to ski in the pro ranks include two-time defending champion Regina Jaquess, Thomas Degasperi, Chris Parrish, Daniel Odvarko, Trent Finlayson, Lauren Morgan, Carlo Allais, Martin Bartalsky, and Benjamin Stadlbaur.

Greg Badal, Dave Miller, Chad Scott, Greg Sund, Steve Ware, and Marc Shaw will be among the GOODE skiers competing in Master Men’s slalom.

For more information, including results and a live webcast beginning Saturday, visit www.californiaproam.com.

Degasperi vs. Odvarko, Miller vs. Badal in GOODE Bracket Challenge Final Four

The 2015 GOODE Bracket Challenge Final Four is set, with an unexpected injury shaking up the online fan contest standings.

Thomas Degasperi and Daniel Odvarko will face off in the 36 mph bracket, while Dave Miller and Greg Badal will go against each other in the 34 mph side.

Chris Parrish, the No. 1 36 mph seed and the most popular fan pick to win the tournament did not ski in round 2 (the month of August) due to a shoulder injury. Therefore, he didn’t post a score during his head-to-head match up with Thomas, so Thomas advances.

That sets up an intriguing 36 mph finale between two European skiers who have battled it out recently, both in the U.S. and abroad. They are currently ranked Nos. 4 and 5 on the IWWF Elite Rankings List and are expected to ski against each other at the California Pro Am later this month in Sacramento, Calif.

Two skiers who are skiing extremely well right now will face off on the 34 mph side. Dave Miller’s top score in August was an impressive 4 buoys at 41 off, while Greg Badal was right behind him with 3.5 buoys at 41 off, not to mention the 2.5 at the same line length he scored to win the Master Men’s national title at last month’s GOODE Water Ski National Championships.

The end of Chris’ tournament run dramatically altered the online fan contest, as it eliminated the possibility of anyone picking the perfect bracket. Currently, LLUSA and swerve_6 are tied for first place, although both picked Chris to win. Thirteen other fans are tied for third, but only one of them, boz’s picks, has a final champion pick that is still alive in the tournament.

For the master bracket, click here, or here for the fan contest standings.

Regina Jaquess claims 4th consecutive Malibu Open, Quinn Haines wins under 17 slalom and jump

Regina Jaquess (far left) tops the Women’s slalom podium.

Make it four in a row.

Regina Jaquess topped the field once again to win her fourth-consecutive Malibu Open title. She has not lost a professional tournament since the 2014 Masters, a 15-month streak that includes victories at the Malibu Cup, Swiss Slalom Pro, U.S. Open, 2015 Masters and now, two Malibu Open titles.

WaterSki magazine no doubt had this impressive streak in mind when they awarded Regina their Female Slalom Skier of the Year award during an event held Friday night in downtown Milwaukee.

Junior Men’s under 17 slalom and jump champion Quinn Haines.

In Men’s slalom, Nate Smith earned the win after a final round that was marred by missed gates. Two of Team GOODE’s top skiers – Thomas Degasperi (back) and Chris Parrish (shoulder) – missed the event due to injury, but GOODE skiers performed well in their place as Benjamin Stadlbaur, Trent Finlayson, Carlo Allais, and Martin Bartalsky all advanced to the semis.

GOODE Junior team member Quinn Haines earned a double at the Malibu Open, winning both Junior Men’s under 17 slalom and jumping. The 16-year old from Avon, Conn., has had an impressive summer, taking home the Junior Boys overall title at the Jr. U.S. Open and finishing second overall in Boys 3 at the 73rd GOODE Water Ski National Championships in just his second year in the division.

Ruth McCreary finished second in Junior Women’s under 17 slalom after being edged by eventual champion Jaime Bull in a runoff.

For more information, visit www.malibuopenfestival.com.

Team GOODE to take on Malibu Open this weekend

Regina will be seeking her fourth-consecutive Malibu Open title.

Team GOODE skiers will be looking to continue a recent string of strong Mailibu Open finishes when the 2015 Malibu Open Festival returns to Milwaukee this weekend.

The biggest streak on the line will be Regina’s three straight Malibu titles. Past winner Thomas Degasperi will be looking to regain the title after landing on the podium at last year’s event, while Daniel Odvarko will seek to keep his personal hot streak going after winning last weekend’s European Championships.  Dane Mechler, who won last year’s Malibu Open Under 21 Men’s slalom title, will be stepping up to take on the Open Men’s field.

Additional Team GOODE skiers expected to compete in the Open divisions include Carlo Allais, Trent Finlayson, Lauren Morgan, Martin Bartalsky, and Benjamin Stadlbaur.  World No. 1 Chris Parrish will miss the competition with a shoulder injury.

Zach Montavon, Quinn Haines and Ruth McCreary will compete in Junior slalom, while Brando Caruso will ski in Under 21 Men’s slalom.

For more event details, including schedule, click here. The event will be broadcast online Friday and Saturday here, beginning Friday morning at 7:30 CDT.