Tag Archives: GOODE Skis

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!

Q&A with Malibu Open runner-up Benjamin Stadlbaur

While many ski fans could be forgiven for wondering “who is that guy?” after Benjamin Stadlbaur finished second at this year’s Malibu Open, taking out Will Asher and giving Thomas Degasperi all he could handle in the process, here at GOODE we’ve seen the 24-year old as a future star for a long time.

Recently, we had the chance to chat with the Swiss native (he now spends most of his time in the U.S.) who for the first time in his career now finds himself perched in the top-10 of the IWWF’s Elite Rankings list:

Will Asher is obviously one of the sport’s all-time greats. What were you thinking about going into your head-to-head match up against him in the Malibu Open semis?

Benjamin: Will is a major contender for the title at any event he enters and he has been for many years. Going into the head-to-head match up against him in a tournament of this caliber was a new experience for me. I tried to focus on my own skiing and not worry about the rest. During the heat I managed to stay focused on what I needed to do, which was ski as hard as I could. I managed to stay in the moment and not let anything get in the way of my focus, like the speaker mentioning Will’s accomplishments, which are far greater than mine.

That tail wind 39 you ran was a thing of beauty. How’d you make it looks so easy?

Benjamin: Six hard pulls. There’s no secret to it!

You faced your fellow GOODE teammate T-Gas in the finals, someone who has been in these situations many times. Were you thinking about applying pressure to him, or just focused on your own game?

Benjamin: Again, Thomas is a far more experienced skier than I am and he has been winning events on the tour for many years. T-Gas having the higher seed decided to let me go first, so there was only one thing to do, go as hard as I could and let him chase me.

Your second-place finish is your best pro finish to date, how does this set you up for future pro events?

Benjamin: Yes this is my best pro placement, as well as my first podium finish at a pro event. It is a great confidence booster for the rest of the year. I feel that I have learned a lot at this event and hopefully I can take this experience to future tournaments.

This year has been big for you, with top-7 finishes in three different pro events and a top-10 IWWF ranking. What’s been the difference?

Benjamin: Over the last two years I’ve opened myself up to change. Change in my equipment, change in my practice routine as well as off-the-water training. This experience hasn’t been easy but it has made me a better skier and a better competitor. I know it might sound paradoxical, but I think that trying different things has helped my consistency because it has allowed me to figure out what works really well for me. Hopefully this is a work in progress that will keep going.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Benjamin: I would like to thank my family for their great support as well as the Swiss Waterski Resort for the ultimate practice conditions. Last but not least, you all at GOODE for making great skis.

T-Gas and Regina claim Malibu Open titles; 5 of 8 finalists on GOODEs

Benny Stadlbaur finished 2nd to bag his best-ever pro finish.

Thomas Degasperi and Regina Jaquess made it 2-for-2 for Team GOODE as they both won slalom titles at last weekend’s Malibu Open in Milwaukee, Wis. For Regina, the win marked an amazing fifth-straight victory at the Malibu Open, while T-Gas picked up his second career Malibu Open win.

In the Women’s slalom head-to-head finals, Regina ran a full pass at 39-1/2 feet off to beat second-place finisher Whitney McClintock (4@39). The Women’s Final Four feature three Team GOODE skiers, as Clementine Lucine (3rd) and Breanne Dodd (4th) joined Regina in advancing past the semi finals. GOODE skier Kate Adriaensen finished just outside the finals, placing fifth.

It was an all-GOODE final bracket in Men’s slalom, as T-Gas edged out upstart Benny Stadlbaur, with 4 buoys at 39-1/2 off to Benny’s score of three at the same line length. It was the second-straight pro tournament victory for T-Gas, who also won the Canadian Open earlier this month in Edmonton, Canada. The win moved him into the second spot on the IWWF Elite Rankings List behind Nate Smith. For Benny, it was his best-ever pro placement.

In the Junior events, GOODE skiers Dane Mechler placed second in Junior Men’s slalom, while Quinn Haines finished third in Boy’s slalom while also taking the jump title.

For complete results, visit waterskiresults.com.

Swiss Pro Slalom to kick off U.S. pro season

The first U.S. pro event of the season takes place Sunday, marking the 2016 debut of several Team GOODE skiers.

Regina Jaquess will make her 2016 debut at the tournament and in the process attempt to defend her 2015 title, not to mention a pro event-winning streak that dates back to May of 2014. Also making her pro season debut is Brooke Baldwin, who will be returning to the scene of her first-ever professional podium, after taking third in the event last year.

On the Men’s side Daniel Odvarko, Martin Bartalsky, Carlo Allais, and Benajmin Stadlbaur will be kicking off their 2016 pro seasons.  Thomas Degasperi, who placed third at Moomba, will skip the event to rest his back.

The three-round, $10,000 event will be held at the Swiss Waterski Resort in Clermont, Fla. GOODE Skis is a proud sponsor of the event.

For more information, including running orders and a live webcast of the event, visit swissproslalom.com.

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.