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.
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.
The Northern Hemisphere ski season is in full swing as evidenced by the number of big tournaments over the weekend. And where there were big tournaments, there were GOODE skiers putting up big scores.
The Aquaplex in Austin, Texas, was the site of two record-breaking performances. Disabled V1 skier Mike Royal set a pending world audio slalom record of 4.5 buoys at 38 off, topping his own current record of 4 at 38. Last summer he set pending records that topped out at 0.5 at 41, but thy were not approved by the IWWF. Bailey Austin continued to mark herself as one of the sport’s future stars by tying the current U.S. National Girls 3 record of 1 at 39-1/2 off.
Dave Miller continued his amazing season on the Nautique Big Dawg World Tour, taking third place, posting the highest score of the weekend in the process, at the Seattle stop Broho Lake ski club. Jeff Rodgers finished first with Greg Badal second. In the three Big Dawg events he’s entered this season, Dave has two wins and a third-place finish.
Paducah, Kentucky’s Average Joes Vs. Bikini Pros tournament featured two events and GOODE skiers won them both. Regina Jaquess held off a slew of top-ranked Master Men’s and Open Women’s skiers to earn the 34 mph title, while Tyler Scott won the pro 36 mph event, with his fellow GOODE skiers Dane Mechler and Sam Jackson joining him on the podium.
At the inaugural Pan American Olympic Festival in Morelos, Mexica, Erika Lang won gold medalsin tricksand overall, and a silver medal in slalom. The event was a first-year water ski and wakeboard event hosted by the Pan American Sports Organization.
And last but certainly not least, GOODE skiers took home two golds and a silver medal at the European Under 21 Championships in Recetto, Italy. Brando Caruso took home the Men’s title to add to the Jr. Masters championship he won earlier this year, while the Bonnemann sisters, Chaira and Giannina, took first and second, respectively in the Women’s event.
Team GOODE takes half of slalom medals at 2013 Worlds – Regina wasn’t the only Team GOODE skier standing on the podium at the Worlds, as Freddie Winter and Clementine Lucine each earned bronze medals in Men’s and Women’s slalom, respectively. Additional Team GOODE skiers with top-5 performances included April Coble-Eller and Thomas Degasperi.
Entire Big Dawg Final Four rides GOODEs – GOODEs have dominated the Nautique Big Dawg World Tour – taking eight season titles in the series’ 10-year history – but the 2013 Big Dawg Championships took that dominance to a whole new level. The entire Final Four, six of the Elite Eight, and 10 of the Sweet 16 rode GOODEs. In the end, Great Britain’s Jeremy Newby-Ricci would signal his arrival on the Big Dawg scene by edging defending champion Todd Ristorcelli in the finals. Team GOODE’s Ben Favret, Dave Miller, Jay Leach and Fabrizio Merlo (who scored the upset of the summer by taking out Andy Mapple in the Sweet 16) all joined Jeremy and Todd in the Elite Eight.
GOODEs win majority of titles at U.S. Nationals – As if Nationals week didn’t already go well enough after Team GOODE’s showing at the simultaneously held Big Dawg Finals, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. national slalom titles were won on GOODEs. Highlights included Regina, Karen Truelove and April going 1-2-3 in Open Women’s slalom and Chad Scott winning his first national title (Mens 3) after finishing second in the division four times.
GOODE Juniors haul in the medals – The future of Team GOODE is bright as junior team skiers performed exceptionally well in four big junior events in 2013. The girls swept slalom at the Junior World Championships as Samantha Dumala, Erika Lang and Kara MacIntyre went 1-2-3. In the boys division, Brando Caruso took the world title while Santiago Robledo finished second. Dane Mecheler and Kara swept Junior Moomba and repeated at the Junior Malibu Open, where Daniel Di Pol won the under 17 event. And the success continued at the Junior U.S. Open where Dane, Bailey Austin and Lauren Morgan took home titles.
What’s Your Next? –The Nano OneXT took the performance-proven Nano One and did the seemingly impossible – made it even better. A hallmark of the new ski is the groundbreaking AsymRocker, an asymmetrical rocker technology that features different rockers for your on-side and off-side turns, completely eliminating any differences between the two turns. And it seems to be working too as the ski went on to set countless PBs, earned gold and bronze medals at the 2013 Worlds and bagged Big Dawg tour stop championship for Dave Miller.
Mike Royal’s assault on the world record books – GOODE skiers continued to reshape the record books as new marks were reported on a near-weekly basis during the summer. But one skier really stood out. Men’s disabled V1 skier Mike Royal set so many world records this summer it was hard to keep track. He started the season as the world record holder with a score of 2 buoys at 38-feet off and ended it with an amazing new record of 1-/2 buoy at 41 feet off, a mark he set his VERY FIRST TIME on a Nano OneXT!
The GOODE Bracket Challenge debuts – Eight of the World’s best 34 mph squared off virtually in a head-to-head bracket to determine a champion. Think March Madness on the water. And the best part? Fans could make their own picks and win prizes … with one lucky contestant taking home a new Nano OneXT. In the end, Todd Ristorcelli couldn’t overcome the “Year of Regina,” falling to her in the finals. Be on the lookout for a bigger, better version of the Bracket Challenge in 2014.
T-Gas goes national with TV commercial for 5-Hour Energy – How often have you watched an NFL game and seen a water skier during commercials? Thomas Degasperi helped a worthy cause and scored some great national exposure for water skiing through his Living Beyond Breast Cancer campaign on behalf of 5 Hour Energy. On the water, T-Gas battled injuries throughout the season, but was still able to notch a gold at the World Games and top-five finishes at the Worlds, Moomba, the Euros, Diablo Shores, and the Atlanta Pro-Am.
Mike Royal set the Men’s disabled V1 (blind) world slalom record of 2 buoys at 38-feet off back in 2009. Since then he’s been battling lack of skiing time while chasing the record for the last four years. But at the Miami Nautique International tournament two weekends ago that chase finally came to an end as he set a new world record of 2-1/2 buoys at 38-feet off.
Goode recently caught up with the Magnolia, Texas, skier and talked to him about his skiing.
Hi Mike, thanks for talking with us. How does it feel to finally top your old record after chasing it for nearly four years?
It just feels great to be skiing at a record level again. In 2010 and 2011, during an extended drought my training lake’s water level dropped considerably resulting in limited training opportunities and very difficult conditions. My skiing took a big step backward.
How did it all come together on the world-record pass?
Running the 35-off pass was the key. In round one I misjudged the head wind and turned inside two ball. In round two, I got more aggressive behind the boat and more patient at the buoy, which resulted in a complete pass.
The current version Audio Slalom Signal Generator (ASSG) blind skiers use does not incorporate all-buoy timing. So, I was fairly confident in reaching 2-1/2 at 38 off as long as I did not do anything too stupid.
Disabled worlds are coming up later this summer, are you planning on competing?
Unfortunately, I skied horribly at the 2012 Team Trials, not even running an opener. As world record holder I could enter Audio Slalom as an individual competitor, but Italy is a long way to go for one event. Therefore I’ve decided to focus my time and funds to compete at record tournaments in the United States. Hopefully, I will ski better at the 2014 Team Trials and earn my way back onto the U.S. Disabled Team.
You’ve skied in a worlds before. How did you do?
In 2009 and 2011 I was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team. My best individual performance is a bronze medal in tricks in 2011.
How did you get into water skiing?
I started skiing at age ten a few times each summer just for fun. In 2002, I learned about the ASSG and started to compete. It requires blind skiers to ski wide enough, getting the handle to 10.1 meters from centerline, to cause a beep for the six buoys within the same time it takes the boat to travel the slalom course. Maximum speed is 36 mph, which equals 16.1 seconds timed by the ASSG. Probably like most of your readers, once I started using the ASSG to simulate the slalom course I was hooked.
How long have you been on Goode skis?
My NANO ONE just arrived and it is my third Goode Ski. My first Goode was the 9800, on which I broke the world record for the first time with 4 at 28 off in May 2009. On the 9900, in addition to the pending record, I skied record performances of 3 at 32, 1 at 35 and 2 at 38.
How far do you think you can push the world record?
I don’t know how far I can push it, but I plan to keep chasing it as long as I can. Stay tuned!