Tag Archives: Chet Raley

Venessa Vieke: The best skier you don’t know (until now)

Photo by IWWF/Des Burke-Kennedy

After Venessa Vieke won last year’s Queens Cup, water ski fans would be forgiven if they thought “huh, who is that?” and then moved on without ever giving the name a second thought.

But after seeing the Australian native turned U.S. resident take third in Women’s slalom at this year’s Moomba Masters – beating out a bevy of the sport’s A-list names in the process – surely fans took notice of this new name that had suddenly become a threat at major events.

As it turns out, Venessa is not as new to the elite ski scene as it seems. She has a lengthy list of accomplishments in the sport and a close connection to one of the hotbeds of slalom greatness.

GOODE Skis recently talked to Venessa about her past, present and future.

Where did you grow up and how did you get your start in water skiing?

I grew up in Perth, Western Australia. It is known for being the most isolated city in the world. My father waterskied and I wanted to do everything he did. I did three events as a junior and held the Australian under-14 girls jump and overall records for many years.

Skiing under your maiden name of Leopold you had a number of impressive accomplishments while growing up in Australia, including competing for Team Australia at the 2003 world championships. What were some of your best memories from those days?

My fondest memories of skiing for Australia are remembering the ups and downs of travelling. The lost ski bags, beaten up rental cars and stolen passports. Even though it sounds stressful it was all an adventure! I’m so blessed to have met so many wonderful skiers and their families, many I still keep In touch with. Breanne and Ryan Dodd, Regina Jaquess; we were all at the junior and under 21 worlds together. This sport will give you life long friends.

When did you come to America and what brought you here?

I took a break from my physical therapy career and came to the USA in the spring of 2013 to train with Chet Raley, ski in some Florida tournaments and really consolidate my scores from the Australian summer (which ends in April). I met Noah (Vieke), my now husband while I was training at Chet’s. After two years of dating long distance we got married in Florida in July 2015. Yes a summer wedding in Florida! HOT!

Venessa (l), Noah and Riverlee

Noah works with Chet at the Palm Beach Training Center. How has that impacted your skiing?

Noah and Chet are a great team. In my opinion they are the best in the business. The time and effort they put into continually learning about slalom is just phenomenal. Everyone who skis with them improves. My preparation for Queens Cup and Moomba consisted of Chet or Noah driving and coaching. We tried to switch things up as much as possible so I never got too comfortable with one of them as my driver. But the best training was when I had both Noah and Chet in the boat. They compliment each other very well and as an added bonus, Noah would hold our baby girl (12-month old Riverlee) in the boat. She likes to wave to me when I exit the gates, it’s very cute! She has been amazing. I drag her to the lake in the mornings at 6:30 a.m., five days a week. I ski four days with Chet and Noah and then one day (Sundays) with Noah only. If Noah can’t hold the baby and drive, the skiers at Palm Beach Training Center always volunteer to watch her. It’s such a supportive atmosphere, it really is like a family.

How hard is it to juggle being a mom, work, etc., while still trying to compete against the world’s best skiers?

I think athletes in general want to be the best they can be at everything, whether it’s sport, work, relationships or parenting. So it’s important to remind myself not to put too much pressure on being “the best” or doing things “perfectly.” It’s not easy juggling it all but man it’s rewarding.

It seems that you’ve taken a couple extended breaks from the sport. What is it that always brings you back?

I have taken multiple breaks from skiing, mainly due to the loss of my father, pursuing my physical therapy career and then having a baby, but I just can’t seem to give it up. I am a believer in God and know He has a plan for my life and feel strongly that He wants me to continue to waterski. He’s gifted me with passion and determination so as long as I can do a deep-water start, you’ll see me slaloming!

After winning the Queens Cup last year and taking third at Moomba, it seems as if you are ramping up your involvement in big-time events. What’s the plan moving forward?

The plan is to continue to ski and compete in a few local record tournaments to improve my world ranking. This summer I also hope to grow my personal training business, V2 Movement. Noah and I would love to ski in a pro event together so whether it’s the Malibu Open this year or Moomba next year, that is a goal we want to achieve.

Miller wins Big Dawg Okee, Badal and Sund take 2nd and 4th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Miller outlasted runner-up Greg Badal to win the first stop of the 2018 Big Dawg World Tour and Greg Sund finished fourth as GOODE XTRs occupied three of the top four positions. Jeff Rodgers finished 3rd.

Dave beat Jodi Fisher, top-seed Harald Hintringer and Greg Sund to advance to the finals, while Greg Badal had to get past Jason Seels, Fred Halt and Jeff to reach the final pairing.

After waiting out a rain storm, Dave edged Greg by one buoy with a score of 3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off to earn the victory.

The weekend was a successful one for GOODE skiers, as they made up nine of the Sweet 16, 5 of the Elite 8 and three of the Final Four. Additional GOODE skiers advancing to the Sweet 16 were Bruce Dodd, Mark Menasci, Chet Raley, Tim Huston, and Chad Scott.

For full results, click here.

Stop No. 2 of the tour will take place June 16-17, at Cedar Ridge Ski Club in Canton, Miss. More information at nautiquebigdawg.com.

Chet Raley sets Mens 6 national record on the XTR, again

Chet Raley’s assault on the record books continued last weekend at the Thrilla at Hydrilla Revisited tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., as he again set a pending Mens 6 U.S. National record.

His score of 2 buoys at 41 off marks the third time he has either tied or set a new mark since hopping on the XTR™ and entering the Mens 6 division.

On Sept. 2nd, he tied the record of 1 at 41, originally held by Kris LaPoint, then exceeded it by a half buoy on Oct. 22nd, before adding another half buoy last weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chet Raley sets pending U.S. National Mens 6 record, 9 records set on GOODEs in ’17

Congratulations to Chet Raley for setting a pending U.S. National Mens 6 slalom record with 1-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off at the Oct. 3-event Record Sunday last weekend at Okeeheelee Park.

Chet’s new mark tops the previous record of 1 at 41 off, which he scored earlier this summer and co-held with Kris Lapoint, and is the ninth pending U.S. National slalom record set on GOODEs this year.

Joy Kelley owns three of those marks topping out with a pending Womens 6 record of 2 at 38 off.  Bob Hardeman set a pending Mens 8 record of 2-1/4 at 39-1/2 off, Cyndi Benzel a Womens 7 pending record of 1/2 at 38 off, Steve Raphael a Mens 7 pending record of 5-1/4 at 39-1/2 off and Bill Mahan tied the Mens 8 record of 2 at 39-1/2 off.

For a full list of pending U.S. National records click here, or here for the list of approved records.

Higher seeds survive close calls in Bracket Challenge first round

The first round of the 2017 GOODE Bracket Challenge almost ended up with the event’s biggest ever upset, as No. 1 seed Dave Miller and No. 16 Ben Favret tied, with Dave eventually earning the win once the back-up tiebreaker score was applied.

And Ben used an interesting approach to make it that close. He scored 3@39 – but at 36 mph – to put up his June best score of 111 buoys, tying Dave’s score of 3@41 at 34 mph.  Unfortunately for Ben his second-highest score of June – 3@38, 36 mph – was not enough to top Dave’s back-up of 2@41, 34mph, so, Dave advances.

Another high seed who resorted to a tiebreaker score to advance was No. 5 Jeremy Newby-Ricci, who needed two scores of 2@41 on the VERY LAST DAY OF JUNE to tie No. 12 Tim Huston, who also got 2@41. Jeremy won the tiebreaker, 2@41 to 0.5@38 for Tim.

One upset that did take place was No. 13 Todd Kuykendall’s win over No. 4 seed Jay Leach. Todd scored 1@41 to beat Jay’s 3@39, although Jay’s tournament schedule in June was unusually light due to a family vacation.

The rest of the field went according to seeds:

  • No. 2 Greg Badal faced a tough test from No. 15 Chet Raley, but emerged with a 3@41 to 1@41 win;
  • No. 3 Regina Jaquess also faced a stiff challenge from No. 14 Jeff Milford, but won 1.5@41 to 0.5@41;
  • No. 6 Chad Scott scored 2@41 to take down No. 11 Marc Shaw, who only managed 3@39 as one of his best opportunities in June – the France Big Dawg stop – turned sour after his ski didn’t arrive in time for the tournament;
  • No. 7 Kevin Bishop took out the event’s youngest skier, No. 10 Brooke Baldwin, 1.5@41 to 2@39;
  • No. 8 Kyle Tate had a great score of 2@41 to advance past No. 9 Greg Sund, who did not post a score in June due to injury.

That sets up the following Round 2 matches:

  • No. 1 Dave Miller vs. No. 8 Kyle Tate
  • No. 2 Greg Badal vs. No. 7 Kevin Bishop
  • No. 3 Regina Jaquess vs. No. 6 Chad Scott
  • No. 13 Todd Kuykendall vs. No. 5 Jeremy Newby-Ricci

Of the 385 brackets submitted in the online fan contest, only seven brackets remain perfect. An additional 75 only have one blemish on their bracket.

View the updated brackets here and the online contest standings here.

Enter the GOODE Bracket Challenge for your chance to win a free GOODE

The GOODE Virtual Water Ski Bracket Challenge™ is back, once again pitting many of the world’s best 34 mph water skiers against each other in head-to-head match-ups and testing fans’ skiing knowledge with an March-Madness like contest.

World champions and record holders, up-and-coming stars, Senior Worlds and Big Dawg champs, and perennial National title contenders. The 2017 Bracket Challenge is loaded.  Click here to see the full field of 16.

Fill out your bracket now before the June 16th entry deadline.

Like previous years, there will be some serious prizes on the line for the top finishers in the online fan contest.  The overall winner will win a free GOODE RéV 6 or Nano 1/XT, while the second- and third-place finishers will receive prize packages from GOODE’s online store.

But you can’t win if you don’t enter. Submit your bracket here, or click here for more information about how the online contest works.

The all-new RéV 6 starts shipping today!

RéV 6 production lead Casey Weidmer and Dave Goode with the first order to be shipped.

RéV 6s will begin showing up on starting docks around the world any day now as the first orders of the new ski begin shipping today.  The production team at HQ in Ogden is busy working their way through the pre-order list, while regular online orders are now being accepted at the GOODE Skis store at http://store.goode.com/rev-6/.

The RéV 6 is one of the most talked-about ski debuts in GOODE history, with multiple Team GOODE skiers raving about it.  Here is a sampling:

“I’ve ridden some ski that i can rank in the category of my favorite ski in history, this is my no. favorite ski, and that’s quote a commentary for the ski.” – Chet Raley

“The Rev 6 is 25 percent better than any other ski I’ve ever been on.” – Dave Miller

“I’ve got a three-letter word for you: ‘wow.’ What a ski, this ski is unbelievable. This is the best thing since sliced bread.” – Jay Leach

“The FlexTail was a great ski, but now we have this 12 months of data from everyone skiing on it at different lengths and different conditions. The biggest thing is I feel it’s lighter in the course, and of course we want to be light, we want to have that feeling of being light.” – Regina Jaquess

 

Introducing the all new RéV 6

Entering it’s 20th uninterrupted year with a world record to its name, GOODE Skis is once again transforming ski design and performance with the RéV 6, a giant leap forward for the FlexTail, a ski that powered Chris Parrish to the No. 1 spot on the IWWF world rankings list, won multiple Big Dawg titles and pushed skiers across the globe to countless new line lengths.

The magic in the all-new RéV 6 lies in it’s highly refined length-to-width ratios. A rigorous R&D process discovered a longer length that works in perfect harmony with the lateral flex induced by the FlexTail – creating the speed and stability of a longer ski and the turning characteristics of a shorter one. The result is a ski universally loved by GOODE’s testing and design teams.

“It’s the best ski I’ve ever ridden,” says Chet Raley, a world-renown coach, Men’s senior world slalom champion and a key member of the R&D team. “The FlexTail to me was mind blowing, but there was more work to be done, as is always the case with all things, like cars, boats and skis. The work over the winter was relentless, but we took the FlexTail and made it a way better ski. This ski accentuates the FlexTail technology better than the original ski did. It’s more stable, more balanced tip-to-tail and side-to-side. It maintains a really tight turning radius without destabilizing the ski.”

The higher length-to-width ratio is manifest by additional length between the boots and the fin, in essence elongating the tail of the ski.

“You have more ski behind you so you can ride a bigger ski, utilize the advantages that that offers, but still be able to turn it because the FlexTail technology is giving you a huge assist,” said Dave GOODE, founder and president of GOODE Skis. “That extra length in the tail generates more speed from the buoy line to the first wake, leaving you up-course and ahead of the boat, all with more line control and less physical exertion and fatigue.”

The RéV 6 is the result of an R&D process that began as soon as the FlexTail hit the market last year, with the testing and design team focused on taking full advantage of the industry-first lateral flex found in the FlexTail technology.

“Whenever there is a huge leap forward in technology in any industry or sport, it takes a bit of time – and a lot of hard work – to fully maximize the potential,” says Goode. “The extra year of R&D has allowed us to do that with the RéV 6 and it’s paying off for the test team in extra buoys.”

For World No. 1 Regina Jaquess, the extra R&D led to a ski that is markedly better than the FlexTail, and has her skiing a preferred style of skiing.

“The FlexTail was a great ski, but now we have this 12 months of data from everyone skiing on it at different lengths and different conditions,” said Regina Jaquess, the Women’s slalom world record holder and two-time defending world champion. “The biggest thing is I feel it’s lighter in the course, and of course we want to be light, we want to have that feeling of being light.”

The RéV 6 will come with GOODE’s standard five-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee, and will be available in six sizes: 64”, 65”, 66”, 66.5”, 67”, and 68”.

Skiers wanting to order the RéV 6 can add their names to a waiting list beginning on March 3rd. Orders are expected to begin shipping in mid-March.

T-Gas wins 2015 Bracket Challenge, contestant swerve_6 wins five-way tie for fan contest grand prize

In the first ever GOODE Bracket Challenge faceoff between 36 and 34 mph skiers, Thomas Degasperi earned the win by edging Dave Miller, 3 at 41 off to 2 at 41 off.

Thomas’ win concludes a four-month virtual tournament that featured two halves of a bracket: one for 34 mph skiers and the other for 36.  T-Gas had to beat Dane Mechler, Chris Parrish, and Daniel Odvarko to advance to the finals, while Dave also had to survive a tough lineup of Chet Raley, Ben Favret and Greg Badal for the right to ski in the last bracket.

While the competition was tough among skiers, it was even more fierce in the online fan contest.  Five of the record 341 contestants ultimately tied for first place – boz’s picks, LLUSA, swerve_6, Wbaski and Win ski – with the tiebreaker ultimately deciding the winner.  swerve_6 - aka Jack Lyons - correctly picked the winning score of the final round, 3 at 41, to win the tiebreaker. Clearly, Jack is pretty good at the Bracket Challenge game, as he took third place in last year’s contest.

Click here for the final skiers bracket, and here for the final fan contest standings.