The pro tournament season ended with a bang for Team GOODE as it took home three titles and a runner-up finish at last weekend’s California Pro Am at Bell Aqua Lake 2.
Regina Jaquess scored 2 buoys at 41 off to beat Manon Costard (5.5 at 39) in the final round to win her sixth career California Pro Am Women’s slalom title. Fellow GOODE skier Karen Truelove made the eight-skier finals and finished 7th.
In Men’s slalom, Thomas Degasperi rang up multiple scores into 41 – including tying for the highest score of the weekend at 3 at 41 – before finishing second behind winner Will Asher. Adam Sedlmajer continued his recent streak of good showings by making the finals and placing 6th.
In the Masters Men event, seven of the final eight skiers were all on GOODEs as Greg Badal took home the win by defeating Mark Menasci in the final round. Chad Scott finished third and Steve Schroeder fourth.
And finally, the handicapped amateur division was won by Ken Ferrante, who took home the win just a couple weeks after jumping on the new RéVolution. GOODE skier Bob Hardeman set a pending Mens 8 national record of 3 at 38 off.
Regina Jaquess won her 7th consecutive Malibu Open Women’s Slalom title Saturday as the annual event was held at Trophy Lakes in Johns Island, S.C.
Regina scored 1 buoy at 41 off to top Manon Costard (3-1/2 at 39-1/2 off) in the head-to-head finals to earn the win. She had the top score in all four rounds and was the only woman to run 39-1/2 off all weekend, which she did three times.
Both Adam Sedlmajer and Thomas Degasperi advanced to the Men’s semi-finals, eventually finishing 3rd and 6th, respectively.
In the Junior events, Griffin Stange took home the win in Boys Under 17, while Kristen Baldwin and Ali Garcia went 1-2 in the Girls Under 17 division.
GOODE skiers claimed 16 slalom titles – more than all other manufacturers combined – at the GOODE U.S. National Water Ski Championships held last week at Mystic Lakes in Maize, Kansas.
By claiming 16 of 28 slalom titles, GOODE skiers netted an amazing 57 percent of all slalom gold medals awarded.
Congratulations to the following national champions:
Girls 3 – Kristen Baldwin
Women 1 – Kelley Breeden
Women 2 – Keri McClure
Women 3 – Brandy Nagle
Women 4 – Gail Case
Women 5 – Alison Poulsen
Women 6 – Joy Kelley
Open Women – Regina Jaquess
Boys 1 – Luka Zazade
Boys 2 – Nicolas Nelson
Men 4 – Tim Henderson
Men 6 – Steve Ware
Men 7 – Steve Raphael
Men 8 – Bob Hardeman
Men 9 – George Adams
Masters Men – Greg Badal
Additional highlights of the week included:
A GOODE sweep of Masters Men slalom as champion Greg Badal was joined on the podium by Jay Leach (2nd), Jed Blackburn (3rd), Don Aschenbrenner (4th) and Mark Menasci (5th).
Three straight titles for Steve Ware and Steve Raphael.
An eighth career slalom title for Keri McClure, who in addition to 2018 also won titles in 2017, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008 and 2000.
Nicolas Nelson won the Boys 2 title on the strength of a 5-buoy PB.
Kristen Baldwin winning Girls 3 slalom in only her second year in the age division. Her sister Brooke had won it the three previous years.
Greg Badal and Regina Jaquess tying for the highest 34 mph score of the week with 1 buoy at 41 off.
During the America’s Cup Invitational – held Friday night under the lights with approximately 3,000 people lining the shores – Regina Jaquess won both the Women’s slalom and jumping crowns, while finishing fourth in tricks. Karen Truelove was third in slalom.
Dating back to 2012, GOODE skiers have won 114 out of 207 U.S. national slalom titles, or 55 percent.
For full 2018 GOODE Nationals results, click here.
One weekend after running 41 off twice and after two top-four finishes at the year’s first two Big Dawg stops, Greg won the Big Dawg Spain stop at the Sesena Waterski Center in Sesena, Spain.
Greg topped Philippe Draux, 5 at 38 to 4 at 38, in the final round to claim the victory. He defeated Raoul Gabriel, Marc Shaw and Dani Teixidor in previous brackets to advance to the finals. Both Greg and fellow GOODE skier Jeremy Newby-Ricci scored 2 at 41 off in the preliminaries to log the second-highest scores behind Philippe’s 2.5 at 41.
Greg’s win, combined with Dave Miller’s victories at both the Okeeheelee and Cedar Ridge stops, means that all three Big Dawg stops in 2018 so far have been won on XTRs.
This past Saturday Greg Sund entered a very elite club by doing something that only a handful of skiers has ever done before in a tournament: running 41 off at 34 m.p.h.
And remarkably, he did it twice.
Riding his GOODE XTR, Greg ran 41 off in both the first and second rounds of the John’s Lake 117 tournament this past weekend in Wantage, NJ. While he ended both rounds with the same score of 1 at 43 off, during his second round he skied just inside two ball.
Click on the video above to see his second round 41- and 43-off passes.
Greg has been on a tear lately, advancing to the Final Four at both the Okeeheelee and Cedar Ridge Big Dawg stops in 2018.
Brando Caruso (Italy) won the gold medal in Mens slalom at the 2018 Mediterranean Games, held June 23-24, at Marina Port Tarraco in Tarragona, Spain.
Fellow Team GOODE skier Aris Techoueyres (Greece) finished fourth, while in the Womens slalom event Alice Bagnoli (Italy) placed fifth. Greece’s Stella Anastasi, who is only 14 years old, finished an impressive seventh.
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!
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.