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SPOILER ALERT: GOODE Atlanta Pro Am results

SPOILER ALERT: If you’d rather watch the special online broadcast of the GOODE Atlanta Pro Am before knowing the final results, head over to Ball of Spray and watch the video now.

For those of you sticking around, we’re glad to be finally able to share the results with you as we’ve been keeping a lid on them in order to preserve anticipation for the online broadcast.

Following up their first- and second-place finishes, respectively, at the Masters the day before, Regina Jaquess and Thomas Degasperi each beat out a field of slalom’s top pros to earn titles at the GOODE Atlanta Pro Am hosted by WaterSki Atlanta.

Regina scored 3-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2-feet off in a runoff with Karina Nowlan (5 buoys at 38-feet off) to earn her second professional victory of the weekend.  Whitney McClintock took third with 5 buoys at 38-feet off, while Team GOODE’s Karen Truelove was fourth with 3 buoys at the same line length.

Coming off his second-place Masters performance, T-Gas scored 3 buoys at 41-feet off to earn the win, with Nate Smith second (2-1/2 buoys at 41-feet off) and Will Asher (2 buoys at 41-feet off) third.

In Masters Men’s, former Open Men’s world-record holder Jeff Rodgers scored 3 buoys at 41-feet off to beat Dave Miller (4-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2-feet off) in the head-to-head final.  Dave’s fellow GOODE skiers, Jay Leach (3-1/2 buoys at 38-feet off) and Chad Scott (2-1/2 buoys at 38-feet off), took third and fourth, respectively.

Regina wins Women’s slalom title at 53rd Masters

Regina Jaquess dominated the 53rd Masters, setting a course record on the way to her third career Women’s slalom Masters title.

Coming off her record-setting 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in Saturday’s semifinals, Regina scored 1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off in the final round to edge Whitney McClintock’s half buoy at the same rope length.  Team GOODE skiers Clementine Lucine and Karen Truelove placed third and fourth with 2-1/2 and 2 buoys at 38-feet off, respectively.

In Men’s slalom, Team GOODE’s Thomas Degasperi came up just short of the victory, taking second with 3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.  Nate Smith earned his first ever Masters title with 5 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.  Aaron Larkin took third with 1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off and Chris Parrish finished fourth with 2-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off.

Q & A with GOODE Atlanta Pro Am organizer George Obser

When skiing’s newest pro tournament – the GOODE Atlanta Pro Am – is held on Memorial Day in Atlanta, Ga., it will not only feature a lineup that would make many pro events green with envy, it will be a testament to the determination and love of the sport of its organizer, WaterSki Atlanta founder and Mens 3 competitor George Obser.

Earlier this week we were able to get George to take a short break from his pre-event preparations to talk about the tournament, its unique format and why he thinks it’s important to give pros opportunities to compete in cash-prize events.

Can you tell us a little about the GOODE Atlanta Pro Am and the reason you decided to hold it?

George: The GOODE Atlanta Pro Am started out as a very small idea a few years ago when I moved our ski club, WaterSki Atlanta, to our new site at Princeton Lake.  Everyone that skis with us always mentions that it’s the most unique site they’ve ever skied and that it would be a perfect place to host a pro event.

Why host this event on Memorial Day?

George: The Masters tournament takes place every Memorial Day weekend and I grew up in Atlanta going to that event to watch the best skiers in the world.  Atlanta is less than an hour drive north of Callaway Gardens, so I decided to make a few calls and see if any pro skiers wanted to come up to Atlanta the day after the Masters finals for a small pro am.  I knew the skiers in my club would get a kick out of skiing with the pros in a small backyard tournament, and it evolved into something bigger than I ever thought possible.

I also served 20 years in the United States Marine Corps and retired just last August.  Memorial Day is a holiday I don’t take for granted.  I’ve lost many friends and fellow Marines over the years and will celebrate their service and the ultimate sacrifice they made during this event.  Hundreds of American flags will be flying on the shoreline to honor those that have gone before us in service to our nation.

Unfortunately, opportunities for pro skiers to compete in cash-prize events have become fewer over the years.  Why is it important to give pros a chance to earn some cash?

George: It’s important because it’s the right thing to do.  The days of “Hot Summer Nights” and big corporate sponsorship and national broadcasts are behind us.  It’s now up to the “little guys”, which are various ski clubs across the country like WaterSki Atlanta, to step up to the plate and take their passion for the sport to the next level.

Dana Reed has done just that with the Malibu Open in Milwaukee. The Sac-Town Gold Rush has taken off on the west coast, and Tommy Harrington and Jeff Gilbert are taking the same big steps on the east coast up at Little Mountain Ski Club in N.C.  Pro skiing is even returning to Lake Eola in downtown Orlando later this summer.   I think and hope that these small steps will eventually lead to something big again for professional water skiing.

In addition to the pros, you’ve included a pretty stacked field of MM skiers as well as amateurs, thus the pro am part of the title. What was the idea behind including them?

George: I included the MM division in the event because the Big Dawg series is something that I personally think has brought interest in competition back into water skiing.

And amateurs have a lot in common with Big Dawg skiers.  Maybe not in buoy counts, but off the water they share the stress of having a regular job, family, busy kids, they are similar in age, and they both have to endure the never-ending challenge of getting enough quality water time.

We’ve heard that the format is going to be a little different, can you explain it?

George: The Open and Masters Men skiers will ski two preliminary rounds and the highest scores from either round will advance to the finals.  The skier with the highest score in each division during the finals wins a cash prize.

The amateur competitors will be handicapped and skiing against their 12-month AWSA average.  They will ski two preliminary rounds on Sunday and the top-10 amateurs with the highest number of buoys over their “average” (or closest to their average) will advance to the Memorial Day finals to ski with the pros and the Big Dawgs that advance.

A big part of making an event like this a success is getting sponsors.  How has that gone so far?

George: Getting sponsors initially was surprisingly easy, but I made sure I wasn’t asking for the world because I knew most budgets for 2012 events were already spent.

All of the ski manufacturers agreed to support the Atlanta Pro Am right away and GOODE jumped on the opportunity to be the title sponsor the first day they heard about the event, which I’m extremely grateful for.

The boat manufacturers were also excited about getting involved in the event.  Malibu, MasterCraft, and Nautique will each pull one round on Memorial Day.  Eagle Sports went above and beyond to sponsor the event and will be providing the skier bib for the finals also.

Victory Brewing is our only “out-of-the-industry” sponsor and they have been nothing but gracious to us and they fit into the GOODE Atlanta Pro Am perfectly.  Their brand is a great theme for a competition where everyone is striving for victory and I’m sure everyone will be quite thirsty and looking for one to drink after the skiing is over.

Team GOODE looking for victories at 53rd Masters

The stage is set for a big 53rd Masters Water Ski Tournament for Team GOODE this weekend as more Men’s and Women’s slalom competitors will ride GOODE skis than any other manufacturer.

In the Men’s competition, defending world champion Thomas Degasperi will be joined by fellow Team GOODE skiers Nick Parsons, the world’s No. 6 ranked skier, and Adam Sedlmajer, a first time Masters slalom qualifier.

On the Women’s side, two-time Masters slalom champion Regina Jaquess and 2005 champion Karen Truelove will be joined by Team GOODE’s Clementine Lucine, who qualified for the event by running 1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off at last weekend’s Masters Last Chance Qualifier.

For two Team GOODE skiers in particular, the Masters offers the chance to achieve special career milestones.

Adam, whose only previous Masters experience came on a trick ski, has spent the last few months itching to slalom on the Masters’ hallowed water.

“I’m very honored for the chance to swerve on the famous Robin Lake,” said Adam, who completed his MBA two weeks ago at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.  “Slaloming there has been my dream ever since I attended my first Masters in 2007, when I came to study in the United States.”

And while it might be understandable if he had some pre-Masters nervousness, Adam says he’s not letting the pressure of the event get to him.

“I’m going to take the Masters as if it were any other tournament,” said Adam.  “I know it is very prestigious tournament, but you can’t let that get into your mind.  I’m planning on skiing the same as I do everyday.”

On the other side of the Masters-experience spectrum is Thomas, who first competed there in 2006.  For him, this weekend presents an opportunity to add a rare missing piece in the collection of titles he’s won across the globe during his extraordinary career.

“I’ve won two world championships, the Malibu Open, a bunch of pro tour stops and five European titles, but not the Masters,” said Degasperi, who is coming off a victory earlier this month at the Proa Nautique Mexico Open.  “This tournament is definitely one that I would like to add to my list.  There are many good skiers that can go home with that ring on their finger, but I know I can do it.”

In the junior ranks, GOODE skiers Brando Caruso and Makayla Haw will be looking to defend their 2011 Junior Masters titles.  Brando won last year’s event with a score of 5-1/2 buoys at 38-feet off, while Makayla earned her victory with 1 buoy at 38-feet off.

After winning the Junior Women’s title at the Moomba Masters in March, Makayla will be seeking her second-straight major title since switching to Team GOODE and the GOODE NANO earlier this year.

To keep up with the performances of Team GOODE and the entire Masters field, watch the tournament’s live webcast at masterswaterski.com.

NANO takes water skiing world by storm, becomes GOODE’s surprise best seller

When the GOODE NANO hit the market last spring, Dave Goode expected it to be well received by the marketplace, but didn’t expect the quantity of sales to exceed the 9900 line that had been GOODE’s flagship product.

Boy, was he pleasantly surprised.

Not only did the NANO burst on the scene to quickly become GOODE’s top-selling ski, its success powered the company to its best year ever; quite an achievement considering the state of the economy.

“I thought our most popular ski was still going to be the 9960,” says Dave during a recent interview from GOODE’s headquarters in Ogden, Utah.  “Regina Jaquess and Chris Parrish had both just set world records on the 9900 and the 9960 was an improvement on that.  So it was really awesome to see skiers step up so quickly and make the NANO our number one selling ski.”

While the nano carbon fiber and resin used in the ski provides more stiffness and performance than traditional carbon, its higher material costs also leads to its higher price tag.

“I knew it was a great skiing ski,” says Dave, “and even though it was going to require more costly materials I wanted to build the best ski that I could, even if it meant it wouldn’t be our top unit seller.

“But it didn’t work out that way.  People wanted to get the best.  They understood what the advantages were and went in that direction.  It was a really cool.”

If the overwhelming sales success of the NANO was a surprise, the ski’s performance certainly wasn’t.  Early on in the testing process it was evident to Dave and other testers that the ski’s new materials and twist dual rocker combined to make a high performance slalom machine.

“I took it down to test at Imperial Lakes with Dave Miller and Paul Donatt,” recalls Dave.  “Dave Miller and I were on the dock when all of a sudden we heard whooping and hollering. Someone’s yelling ‘Paul just ran a super easy 38.’  So Dave says ‘give it to me,’ goes out and just loves it.  That’s when we knew we really had something.”

ORDER A NEW GOODE NANO TODAY

“It’s the best ski I have ever been on,” says Dave Miller, winner of the 2010 Big Dawg Championships.  “The “twist” allows the ski to come through the turn on each side quicker and smoother allowing you to stay more open with less rotation.”

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away in Covington, La., perennial Big Dawg power house Chad Scott caught wind of the new design and called Dave to ask him for a chance to try it.  Dave obliged and sent him the third NANO ever made.

“I ran a practice personal best the first day I skied on it,” says Chad.  “It is so easy to ski, it’s unreal.”

Chad liked the ski so much that he never sent it back, skiing on it for the rest of the 2011 season, winning the Texas Big Dawg and tying the Master Men’s U.S. National record with 3-1/2 buoys at 41-feet off in the process.

BIG WINS, BIG SCORES

Chad hasn’t been the only one to find tournament success on the ski, as it’s proven itself on the professional, elite and world stages.

Just two weekends ago Team GOODE’s Thomas Degasperi, Nick Parsons and Javier Julio rode the NANO to a 1-2-3 sweep of the Proa Nautique Mexico Open.

Kyle Tate rode it to win the Big Dawg 2011 Championships and earlier this year skiers on it swept the podium at the Peru Big Dawg with David Miller, Todd Kuykendall and John Shealy placing first, second and third, respectively.  In the junior ranks, Makayla Haw clinched the Junior Women’s slalom title at the Moomba Masters while riding the ski.

JAQUESS SETS WORLD RECORD ON NANO JUST MONTHS AFTER SKI’S INTRODUCTION

But the ski’s biggest performance took place last October when it joined its 9900 brethren in the record books with Regina Jaquess’ Women’s slalom world record of 2 buoys at 41-feet off.  Prior to setting the record, Regina and the ski had been on a tear, running 39-1/2-feet off all three rounds of a tournament in Santa Rosa Beach, running it again a week later in Okeeheelee and then finally breaking her own world record of 1-1/2 buoys at 41-feet off set on the 9900.

Shortly after setting the record, Regina complimented her NANO.

“It’s working awesome,” said Regina.  “It’s definitely a great ski.”

MORE IN STORE FOR 2012

While the NANO had a breakout 2011 and has gotten off to a good start in 2012, the man who designed and engineered it thinks that there is still much more to come.

“Like any technologically advanced product, there are early adopters who are very eager to try the latest and greatest,” says Dave.  “But a lot of skiers, the bulk of the market really, take more of a wait-and-see approach before they make their decision.  This ski has proven itself with big scores and big wins, so those wait-and-see skiers don’t need to wait any longer, especially as they see their friends and competitors on starting docks holding a NANO.  We are seeing more and more people buying NANOs, so we know there are going to be a lot of personal bests go down this year.”

Team GOODE skiers earn invites to 53rd Masters

GOODE Skis will be well represented when the 53rd Masters is held Memorial Day weekend at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.

On the Men’s slalom side, three of the eight invitees are Team GOODE members, as Thomas Degasperi, Adam Sedlmajer and Nick Parsons all earned invitations.

In Women’s slalom, Karen Truelove and world record holder Regina Jaquess made the field. New Team GOODE member Makayla Haw will defend her Junior Women’s championship from a year ago.

For more event details, including ticket information, click here.

Team GOODE skiers take multiple Moomba podiums

New Team GOODE member Makayla Haw riding her GOODE NANO-"twist" on the way to a third-consecutive Moomba girls' slalom title.

Team GOODE jumped out to a great start to the 2012 season by winning podium spots in four slalom events this weekend at the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia,.

In Men’s slalom, Italy’s Carlo Allais scored 4 buoys at 39-1/2 off to finish second, one of the best finishes of his professional career. Javier Julio finished 10th while Nick Parsons and Adam Sedlmajer finished 13th and 14th, respectively.

Team GOODE skiers earned two of the top-four spots in Women’s slalom as Regina Jaquess and Karen Truelove tied for third with 3 buoys at 38 feet off, with Regina being awarded the tie breaker due to a higher semi-final round score. In an encore to her third-consecutive Moomba girls slalom championship, new Team GOODE member Makayla Haw finished 11th in the Women’s event.

And in the first ever Moomba Big Dawg, Team GOODE skiers Chad Scott and Jay Leach comprised half of the final four, with Chad taking second and Jay fourth.

For final Moomba results, visit www.moombamasters.com.au.

Next up for Team GOODE, the 53rd Masters Water Ski Tournament, May 25-27, at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Team GOODE skiers top first rounds at Moomba

Team GOODE skiers enjoyed an outstanding day No. 2 at the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia, as both rounds of slalom competition were topped by skiers riding the GOODE NANO-“twist.”

In Women’s slalom Regina Jaquess secured the top seed in Sunday’s semifinals with 1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off, while defending champion Karen Truelove earned the No. 5 seed with 1 buoy at 38 feet off. Just one day after earning her third-consecutive Moomba girls slalom title, new Team GOODE member Makayla Haw scored 1-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off to qualify for the Women’s slalom semis with the No. 11 seed.

In the first ever Moomba Big Dawg, Team GOODE skiers finished 1-2 in the first round as Chad Scott scored 5 buoys at 38 feet off to edge Dave Miller by a half buoy.  2011 Big Dawg Championship runner-up Jay Leach earned the sixth spot in the eight-man second round with 2-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off, and Australia’s John Adams earned the eight and final spot in the second round with 5 buoys at 35 feet off.  In all, four of the eight Big Dawgs that advanced to the next round were on GOODE skis.  GOODE Skis founder and president Dave Goode fought off a lack of practice time to score 3 buoys at 35 feet off.

Saturday’s action features the second round of the Big Dawgs and first round of Men’s slalom. For more information, visit www.moombamasters.com.au.

Regina looking for first ever Moomba slalom title

Regina Jaquess had a fall 2011 season for the record books. She set a new women’s slalom world record of 2 buoys at 41 feet off, won multiple golds on her way to a Women’s overall world record at the Pan American Games and took the top spot at the Katy Ski Jam Presented by Eagle Sports.

But if her competitors were hoping that she’d cooled off over the winter, they are in for a surprise.

“We had a nice winter, so I was able to ski all through the year,” said Regina. “I never really took too much time off after the Pan Ams, I just kept on skiing and skiing.”

One of the reasons she had such a dominant fall was that because of off-season knee surgery the previous year, most of her summer she was still in a recovery phase. Fully recovered now and putting in a full off-season training regimen for the first time in a few years, Regina says that she is looking to replicate last fall’s success, but earlier in the season.

“This year I’ll hopefully be able to work on things in the early summer that I was working on in September last year,” said Regina. “I’m trying to move that peak earlier into the season and maintain it longer.”

She’ll have her first opportunity to accomplish that when she skis at the Moomba Masters later this week. She has extra motivation heading into this year’s event because it represents the one glaring hole in her slalom resume. In two previous tries she hasn’t won a slalom title on the Yarra.

“It’s really the last title I don’t have,” said Regina, who does have Moomba tricks and overall titles to her name.  “The collection would be complete.  That would be the best possible way to start the year.”

Fans select Jaquess world record as GOODE Skis moment of the year

After a week of online voting by fans, Regina Jaquess’ new Women’s slalom world record of 2 buoys at 41 feet off has been selected as the GOODE Skis moment of the year.

“There were so many great moments in 2011 that I’m glad I didn’t have to decide between them,” said Dave Goode, founder and president of GOODE Skis. “World records are pretty special and obviously voters felt the same way. Regina had one of the best years competitive water skiing has ever seen and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

Thomas Degasperi’s second career world slalom title finished second in the voting with Karen Truelove’s slalom victory at the Moomba Masters coming in third. Chad Scott and Dave Miller finishing first and second at the Diablo Shores Pro-Am was named the fourth-ranked moment, while Kyle Tate’s Big Dawg Finals victory – along with a sweet 16 comprised of eight GOODE skiers – was fifth.

“When you look back at the year it is a pretty impressive list of performances and victories,” said Dave. “We’re honored to have played our part in these great athletes’ accomplishments by arming them with the very best skis and boots in the sport.”

While the top 5 were determined by fans, moments ranked Nos. 10 through 5 were determined prior to the voting. They were:

10. Chris Parrish does a triple-opt up
9. GOODE moves all snow ski production to the U.S.
8. GOODE skis sweep Collegiate Nationals
7. New snow ski line introduced; wins major industry awards
6. The GOODE NANO-“twist” is released, introducing the industry’s first ever dual rockers and nano carbon fiber and resins

Thanks to everyone who participated in the voting and best wishes for an even more accomplishments in 2012.