Archive for the ‘3-Event’ Category

Keith St.Onge’s 2nd WaterSkier Magazine Cover

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

After years and years of falling short of my dream to win the World Overall Title, it finally happened in 2006.  I trained harder than ever before and it all paid off.  After returning to Winter Haven, Florida, I received a call from photographer Lynn Novakovski.  “I’d like to come out and get a cover shot.” he said.  I couldn’t wait for the opportunity, and Lynn came out the next day.

I tried to remember the covers from other athletes from years back.  I never saw or at least did not remember anybody ever wearing medals around their neck.  I thought this would be a great idea, so I brought my hardware along.

My first run was quite sketchy because my medals were swinging everywhere in the wind.  My friend Char had a hair band in the boat and suggested I tighten up the medals on my neck.  The trick worked as the medals were much tighter and did not flap in the wind.  Of course I was taking a chance if I fell, but I wanted to get a unique cover.

Keith Stonge Waterskier magazine cover shot

1st Waterskier Cover shot for Keith St. Onge after winning the 2006 World Overall Title

By: Keith St.Onge


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates

David Small – The Jump King

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

David “Small’Z” Small has been around for quite some time.  Now that he’s lived in the United States for over five years, his name continues to grow!  He dominates the Jump event and flies further, smoother and more graceful than anyone in the world. Let’s not forget about his butter landings either.  He literally lands like a cat.

Here’s his latest shot in Waterski magazine.

World Jump Record Holder David Small Barefoot Water Ski Jumping

The World’s Greatest Barefooter: David Small


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates

Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.

Rates


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates

World Barefoot Center ski school presents, Patrick Wehner Award

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

The Water Skier magazine associated with USA Waterski has published the October issue and mentioned the award given out to Patrick Wehner.  This award is given to an athlete or someone involved in barefoot water skiing as an official etcetera.  This individual must show true “Sportsmanship” on the water and/or off the water.

The World Barefoot Center will give this award out at every World Championship with one FREE week of bare foot skiing at the WBC.  The award is named the Patrick Wehner Sportsmanship Award.

World Barefoot Center presents the Patrick Wehner Sportsmanship Award

Printed in the Oct. issue of The Water Skier magazine


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates

Regina Jaquess & Keith St.Onge Awarded Athletes of the Month for September

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

USA Water Ski has selected Keith St. Onge (Winter Haven, Fla.) and Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) as its Male Athlete of the Month and Female Athlete of the Month, respectively, for September. The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team was selected USA Water Ski’s Team of the Month. St. Onge, Jaquess and the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team are now eligible for the United States Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Month and Team of the Month honors.

St. Onge won gold medals in Open Men’s slalom (20.2 points) and tricks (11,350 points), and the silver medal in overall (2,846.39 points) at the 18th Barefoot Water Ski World Championships, Aug. 27-Sept. 2, at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas. He also contributed a team-high 2,728.02 points to the U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team’s 7,735.47-point total, leading the team to the silver medal at the biennial event.

Sept. Athlete of the Month Keith St.Onge

Jaquess won gold medals in Elite women’s slalom, jumping and overall, and the bronze medal in tricks at the 2012 Malibu Pan American Water Ski Championships, Sept. 12-15, at the Pickos World Ski Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Her performances – including a Pan American tournament record 4-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in slalom – helped lead the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team to the overall team gold medal at the biennial event. Jaquess also won women’s slalom titles at the 2012 Diablo Shores Pro-Am on Sept. 23 in Brentwood, Calif., and at the inaugural Soaked Orlando water sports festival on Sept. 8 in Orlando, Fla.

September Athlete of the Month, Regina Jaquess

2012 World Barefoot Water Ski Championships

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This years World Championships was held 2 weeks after the US Barefoot National championships at the same site provided by Stuart Parsons at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  A big thanks goes out to Stuart for putting both of these events on.  We all know that its a big job so we salute you :)

Areal view of BSR

If any of you reading this has ever been to BSR then you will know that it is probably one of the best water ski set ups in the World and it is very rare for the site to get blown out…. Throughout the week of Worlds we had the pleasure of a huge storm come around Florida and make its way towards Texas.  Fortunately it didn’t get quite over to us however it did bring wind to the site and there were a few occasions where both of the ski sites had white caps.  This made it interesting to say the least.

Opening ceremonies

The opening ceremonies were at BSRs new cable park and it was great to see so many different countries there especially Mexico and China which are new at the World Championships.  We were also shown a true texan show and got to see a shoot off……. interesting to say the least

2012 Medalists

Right after the opening ceremonies Worlds got under way. There were a lot of good skiing and having the live feed on the World Barefoot Centers website made it possible for fans, families and groupies (haha) to watch the skiing take place, real time.  All we need now is instant scoring ….. 😉

Team WBC

Here are the results for the Overall.

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Peter O’Neill

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgie Groen

Junior boys

1. Keenan Derry

2. Ben Franks

3. Ryan Jameson

Junior girls

1. Georgia Groen

2. Kailey Koehler

3. Courtney McDonald

Senior men

1. Kenny Derry

2. Dan Baumgartner

3. Peter Fleck

Senior women

1. Gizella Halasz

2. Steffi Kirsch

3. Teri Jones

For more results go to www.barefoot.org

On the Friday night Stuart put on another night Jump Jam but this year there was no beat your PB event.  With it being held along side a Worlds event meant that we had all of the top jumpers from around the world which made for a very exciting event!!!  There were a lot of spectators there for this event which made it even more exciting for the skiers.  The results were…

Elimination round of jump jam

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Ben Groen

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgia Groen

The closing banquet and prize giving was great to see as a huge hall was packed full of all the World wide skiers and spectators that had flown in from around the World to compete and to support the World Championships.

closing ceremonies

Well done to all of the competitors and a big thank you to the sponsors of the Worlds…  World Barefoot Center, Parsons Roofing, Sanger Boats, US Gear, BSR, Lake Elmo Sports

Written by David Small aka Small’z

Keith St.Onge “TIES” Ron Scarpa’s National Overall Titles

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Read about Keith St.Onge in the local news.  Just click on The Ledger link below.

www.THELEDGER.com

Breaking Ron Scarpa’s record of National Overall titles has been a dream of mine since he retired in 2005.  I had beaten Ron Scarpa at six Nationals before his retirement and I never thought the record could be broken until I received my seventh National Overall Title.  I would have to win seven more titles and I had a few tough competitors like Lane Bowers and AJ Porreca.  Lane Bowers was showing sings of retiring and his strong event was jumping, which was my weakest event and that put me in a bad position for the Overall.  I was able to hold off Lane in the 2006 Nationals but it wasn’t an easy one…”he kept me honest!”  is the least I can say.

Keith St.Onge & Lane Bowers

L-R, Keith St.Onge & Lane "Dawg" Bowers competing against each other many years prior.

AJ Porreca was a young man climbing the ladder quickly in the sport with the help of my coach Swampy and I.  He was showing signs of being the next US super star!  He was skiing so good and I was being pressured not to make one little mistake!  Otherwise, he would slide in for the Overall Title.  Granted, he still had a lot to learn but again, I was being kept honest.

AJ Porreca the 2012 Open Pro Trick Champion, left - Keith St.Onge

2010 was a breakout year for AJ and he became the forth person in history to score over 11,000 points.  He stood up incredible trick runs at the 2010 Nationals again putting pressure on me.  He came runner up to me in the tricks event.

In 2011 he again put a great score on the board.  In 2012 he skied great in choppy water conditions.  He skied about 7,500 points from what we gathered before my run.  I knew what I needed to beat him and fell about 3/4 of the way through my first pass.  Coming back I was bouncing all over and thought how in the heck am I going to beat him?  I needed at least two back to back 360’s and two 720 back to backs.  I got through my 360’s miraculously and now it was time to pray for the next two tricks.  I started my first 720 and instantly caught sideways.  I knew AJ had beaten me in tricks for the first time in his career.  I was happy for him and taking second place to him was an honor.  When he received his first place medal he got a standing ovation!

All I could concentrate on was landing a jump to secure my 13th Overall Title, which would tie Ron Scarpa.  I was able to land my first jump to secure the title but winning these titles has not been an easy task.

As my body gets older and my mind becomes wise I can’t wait to surpass the legends record of 13 Overall National Titles.  Everyone keeps asking me how many more Nationals will I be skiing in the future but all I can think about is winning one at a time for now.  One more will break the record and that’s what I’ll focus on.

By: Keith St.Onge

Patrick Wehner Inspires Keith St. Onge

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Patrick Wehner. Who is he, one might ask.

He is one of the BEST BAREFOOT WATER SKIERS the sport has ever seen!  If you don’t know him or have ever met him he is one of the most modest people you will ever meet.  His mother is from France and his father (world renowned coach) Hilmar is from Germany.  Patrick has skied for Team France and Germany in his career and has won many individual World Titles.  He has put endless hours of training in on the water and has a deep love for the sport.

Patrick Wehner "One of the Greats"

I met Patrick for the first time at my first World Competition in 1996.  We did not speak to each other much during the competition, but our respect for one another was mutual.  He was a better skier than me and we were close to the same age.  Young men amongst the best in the world.  Patrick and I saw each other at many world championships and began a great friendship.  It’s hard to describe how two people can be such close friends and live so far apart.  I’m in Florida and he’s in Europe, but whenever we connect, time fades away.

I had taken 3rd Overall in 1998, came runner up (2nd) for the Overall title at the world championships in 2000 and 2002.  Over the course of six years, I just couldn’t seal the deal as a World Champion.  It was a tough break for me and a hard pill to swallow, but I simply did not ski to my capability.  One night after the 2002 Worlds, Patrick and I were discussing my continued losses and I broke down and cried.  I was completely depressed and did not want to finish my career without having at least one World Title under my belt.  It seemed like the task was impossible.

Patrick reached in his wallet and pulled out a card. He handed it to me.   It was a quote by William Arthur Ward: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.  If you can dream it, you can become it.”    Another barefooter, John Pennay gave it to Patrick during his own low point in life.  John told him to keep the card until he achieved his dreams and then pass it on to someone else.   This simple quote got me motivated again!  Because I had so much respect for Patrick, it was a memento which meant a lot coming from him.  I kept the card in my wallet and read it from time to time; to remind me of what I needed to accomplish.

The card with the Inspirational Quote that Patrick Wehner gave to me.

Nothing else seemed to matter after that moment but one thing: I wanted to become a World Champion!  It was time for me to change the way I looked at life and how I would prepare myself for the next world championship.  I was going to give it everything I had, because I could “Imagine” it and I had “Dreamed” about it for several years!  I was going to make sacrifices and do whatever needed to be done.

Motivating Quote that Inspired me to Fulfill my dreams

Keith StOnge, Even Burger & Patrick Wehner. I received the card later that evening.

It didn’t happen overnight; in 2004, I still came in second once again behind David Small.  I was so disappointed.  This guy beat me two worlds in a row and he was standing in front of my dream.

It took another two years and many more life changes before I finally achieved my dream: in 2006 I won my first World Championship. I passed the card on to someone else.  The card went on to yet another barefooter after that.

The 2006 World Overall Champion, Keith St Onge

Keith St Onge receiving his 1st Overall World Title

Thank you Patrick Wehner for keeping me motivated until I reached my goal.  You are more than a great friend and “One of the Best!”  You are the true example of how we can all help OTHERS around us in our lives. Thank you!!

Click here to read another story on Patrick Wehner

This story and more can be found in greater detail in my upcoming book, “Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water” to be released in September, 2012.

By: Keith St.Onge
www.worldbarefootcenter.com
www.ksowetsuits.com
www.keithstonge.com

2012 US Nationals from Mike Holts, “Holtzy”, eyes.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday Evening August 5th, 2012

I arrived in Waco, Texas today about 12 noon. I want to get familiar with the time zone, the site, boat, equipment, and the water so that I’m most prepared to ski the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

I stopped at the site today; the entry gate to the facility was locked. Did that stop me? I DON’T THINK SO. So I quickly developed Plan B to figured a way in; I parked the car, squeezed past the gate and walked about ½ mile and found ‘life,’ Heath Cooper my buddy who installed the 409 PCM motor in my boat two years ago, I love this guy.

Mike Holt from tumble up flyer

Heath gave me a tour of the facility, there is a water-ski cable par, multiple water ski lakes, and some special breed animals; it’s an amazing venue –  HYPERLINK “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” \o “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” http://www.barefootskiranch.com/.

The facility has two ski lakes; Lake 1 is long and wide; the good part is that the length gives the skier lots of set up time, but bad part is that when the wind pick up, the lake can get choppy. Lake 2 is shorter and narrow; the bad news is that the short length requires a quick ‘set up’ which places pressure on the skiers to rush. Short set up can cause a skier to loose concentration, often without positive results. The good news is that the water should be less choppy in Lake 2.

After the tour, I see my former ski partner David Small, the current three-time World Champion. We hang out for an hour or so; it was very enjoyable and we plan to ski in the morning. This is why I arrived early; find someone to give me some pulls behind the boat on the water I’ll be competing, but to have the current World Champion be my driver/coach was beyond what I was praying for. David and I planned on dinner later tonight and maybe some ‘night barefooting.’

David Small jumping

I get to my room, the air is cool, and I’m excited to just chill out for the evening. THEN I realize that I’m to meet David for dinner at 8 pm and ‘night barefooting.’ I’m thinking … I don’t think those are good ideas now that I’m in my room.

Problem solved, I text David and blow him off; I’m at peace with my decision because I want to be ready for some serious practice in the morning. A few hours later I get a call from another ski buddy and he wants me to go to the site to do some skiing, but again I’m comfortable just relaxing tonight, so I blow him off.

Monday August 6th, 2012

I stopped by the site today to ski with David Small, I have a knot in my stomach and I’m stressed out; my big concerns in skiing at a different venue behind a different boat include:

How is the ‘table’ behind the boat?

What is the top speed can I expect?

How fast does the boat get me ‘out of the hole’?

Overall how do I feel?

What does the water feel like?

The answers were all very positive.

The wake is ‘no worries’.

I need 46.5 mph in slalom and the boat is fine.

The pull out of the ‘hole’ was soft and I need to adjust my call.

The water is interesting, the temperature is hotter and the water feels ‘soft.’ Not sure what to do, maybe I should ‘up’ my speed.

It was just David and I and felt like old times, I feel better now after practice, handle at the end of all runs.

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

Stopped by the site today and skied with Keith St Onge (KSO) who is a two-time World Champion and No. 1 rated skier in the world with his wife Lauren St Onge (she’s so sweet). I’m not relaxed because it’s hard to ski with a World Champion and be relaxed, but I do feel better knowing the venue, what to expect from the boat, and the water.

WHAT do you mean we are not skiing today behind the boat I skied behind yesterday! Great, skiing with KSO and now I have to start all over again ‘testing.’ KSO skies amazing (I feel so small). I’m very pleased with this boat, except the boat doesn’t get 46.5 mph; it’s a max of 45… not good. The water feels soft and I’m confused, do I call for more speed than normal, or stick with my standard call… big question.

I’m judging for the first time at these Nationals, so I spend 4 hours reviewing videos of skiers so that I can be prepared for the next day assignments.

Wednesday July 8th 2012

I wake up early to do more video review, have a great breakfast and go to the site to ‘hang’ with my barefooting ‘tribe members; We ‘get it,’ we understand the years of commitment to excellence, the sacrifices required, overcoming injuries, pain, disappointments along the way, we all want to do out best, but sometimes we show our worst. Competitive barefooting can be a terrible ‘head game….’

A few hours pass and I’m in boat to judge; I’m satisfied with my performance, I’m prepared. After an hour break I go into the next ‘boat crew’ to judge Open Pro Men in Tricks. My first day at Nationals I’m judging the best skiers in the planet that do so many complicated tricks in such a short time? I visit with an official and explain that this is my first time judging at National; did they ‘really’ want me in the boat? They said you’ll be okay “Holtzy”, we have video backup if needed.

I’m in the boat, skiers ski in a ‘seeded’ order where the lowest ranked skier is first and the top rank skier (KSO) is last; this allows me to warm up my skills. All of my preparation in video judging the past two years and judging elite skiers in our Southern Regional tournaments prepared me well. I did a good job in the boat and out of 32 pulls we (not just me) had to do ‘video review’ of 5 runs.

What I learned in judging the best in the world is that out of the 16 skiers there was only a handful that didn’t fall. These skiers are doing the most difficult tricks in the world and one slight mistake is disaster.

This knowledge gives me confidence that if I fall during any of my runs, its okay, it’s just that it wasn’t my day. Failure on any given day or moment doesn’t define who I am. I’m proud of my dedication, focus, commitment to excellent, and to do the best I can.

Thursday Morning, August 10, 2012

This afternoon I ski in Open Pro Men Slalom; I ski with all of the ‘top dogs’. I think my head is screw on straight, we’ll see in a few hours…

Oh yea, the boat to be used for Open Pro Men Slalom IS NOT one of the two boats I ‘tested’ Monday or Tuesday… great, another thing for the head to screw with. What speed do I call? Can I make my back-deep-to-one start on the first pass?

Thursday Afternoon, August 10, 2012

I skied today for the first time in Open Pro Men Slalom and it occurs at the 2012 National Championships. Just a little history, there are three ‘classes’ of competitors, age group, Open, and Open Pro. All skiers automatically qualify to ski in their age group against their peers. The goal of all advance barefooters to one day ski ‘Open.’ When I was younger, 30 years ago, I dreamed of one day skiing Open, but as life took its actions on my life (family/kids) I gave up that dream over 20 years ago.

However, I continued to ski with the best skiers in the world like David Small, Mike Salber, KSO, Rich Powel, Lane Bowers, Mike Seipel, Steve Merritt, Zenon Bilas, and others. After 24 years of skiing, I went Open in 2008; the cool part was that I did it at the National Championships before all the top skiers in the USA; and I won my 5th National Championship in the Men 5 division, and won the Male Barefoot Athlete of the Year.

Last year I ‘toyed’ with the idea that if I trained hard and smart enough, maybe I could qualify to ski in the “elite” division at the 2012 World Championships. To ski “elite” I had to get a qualifying score that matched the top 20th place skier in the WORLD. That score was 15.6. Up to this point, my best slalom run was 15.2 scored at the 2011 Southern Regional Championships at the age of 56 years young! For me to qualify to ski ‘elite slalom’ at the worlds with a score of 15.6 is almost impossible, but set this as my goal last year.

In July 2012, a month ago, I skied 15.8 in slalom as judged by Richard Gray the Chairman of the World Barefoot Council. With this score I not only ski in the ‘Seniors’ division at the 2012 World Championships, I’ll be skiing with David Small, Keith St Onge, Peter Fleck and other elite skiers at the age of 61!

I’m stunned that I slalom 15.8, but the biggest shocker comes the next day; I skied a 16.2 which qualified m3 to ski Open Pro at the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

So now at the age of 61, I’m at the starting dock… I’ve eaten properly, gotten rest, drank liquids, trained as hard as I could with the best in the world, worked out to get a strong core, had massage therapy and visited chiropractor when needed, keep my focus, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can think of to be totally prepared for this instant.

I’m in the water, my heart is racing, I clean my hands  with soap so that I can grip the handle; especially since I do a ‘back-deep-to one’ for the start. With this start everything has to be perfect, rarely have I ever missed this start in a tournament, but I have missed it before, the last time was at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, let’s not review that story. Why do such a difficult start when it’s not required in Slalom? It’s a long story and one day I’ll explain…

Okay I’m in the water, a boat judge hands me the ‘tournament handle’ and I’m shocked… the handle is like a slick broom stick and I can’t get grip. I try to rub the handle to get some grip, but it’s time to GO.

I give instructions; ‘gear’, then yell ‘okay,’ the boat lunges harder that I expected, the handle slips from my palms to my finger tips… I’m struggling to not ‘loose the handle.’ I plant my ‘one’ foot in the water, wait for speed, with five officials in the boat, I really don’t have the speed I’m accustomed to. I stay as calm, I make the start, I’m on my feet; I’ve passed the first test, I’m up and ready for slalom.

I attempt to regrip the handle from my finger tips to my palms; it’s not working, this handle is crap, I need to get going, with finger tips. I complete the first crossing one foot, then the second crossing, then after the 3rd crossing and I get pull up and take a hard fall (good thing I have a neck brace). I’m bummed out, I only got 3 points on the first pass (I should have gotten 8)…

The pickup boat gets me and takes me to the end of the course to start the second pass. I give my instructions to the boat judges; I’m just skiing forward, so no drama here (unless I fall). I call 46.5 mph (I should have called 47.5, because of soft water is soft), I complete the pass and score 7.8 points (I typically score 8.2).  My score is 10.8 point… I wanted at least 15.0, would be happy with 15.6 and ecstatic with 16.2, but its official 10.8.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, I’m numb. What did I do wrong? In reflecting back, it

was my fault; in practice a few days ago they didn’t have the tournament handles so I used ‘my’ handle. I should have force the driver to use the ‘tournament supplied handle’ so that I would know what to expect. If I had done that I would have know about this problem and I could have come up with a solution.

Mike Front Toe

A few skiers told me they had problems with the handle Paul Stokes (Open Pro) told me “Holtzy that’s why I were gloves, you never know the condition of the tournament supplied handle.”

I plan on getting ski gloves for the Worlds, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

Friday August 11, 2012

This morning I’m sick from yesterday’s failure Open Pro Slalom; I don’t want to be here anymore, I hate barefoot tournaments, I want to go home, I want to be in the arms of my wife so that she can ‘baby me.’ The reality is that I have to ski tricks in my age division, Men’s 6 (60-64 years). There are 16 skiers in the event; the lowest seed is 250 points, 2nd seed is 1500 points, and I’m top seed at 2740 points.

After an hour and half of waiting, it’s my turn to perform; I know my wife is on the computer waiting to watch me ski. I’m suited up, I wash my hands with my soap three times, and I rub my hands on the handle to make sure I have ‘the grip.’ I’m pacing back and forth like a race horse waiting to get out of the pen on the dock.

It’s not time; I take the handle, wrap it around my back, and get ready to do a flyer off the dock. I get ready to yell ‘okay’ but the rope gets hanged up in a cleat on the dock and all systems must stop.

The rope gets reset, I wrap the rope around my back, I yell, ‘in gear,’ the boat begins to move forward in idle, the rope tightens up, I yell “okay” and the boat takes off. I take seven steps, launch myself off the dock in superman and pray I make my flying-back-tumble-deep-to-one start. This start is worth 800 points, the highest scoring start. I don’t know when the last time anybody other than myself has done this start at a National Championship.

I land on the water on my chest, ride on the stomach at 2300 rpm, then turn to the backward position, plant one foot in the water, wait for boat speed, the driver David Miller nails the throttle, I still wait for ‘speed’ and then I press the foot in the water and attempt to stand up on one foot.

I make it, the driver pulled me perfectly and I did what I needed to do; I’m stoked. I regrip the handle; pull it in and down to my butt and start the trick run – one foot, one foot reverse, surface hop – wait I don’t think the hop was high enough for credit, so I do the surface hop again, then a turn from backward to forward, then tumble-360-to-one, reverse tumble-360-to-one, tumble-180-to-one, then reverse 180-tumble-to-one. I have an almost the perfect pass, except the double surface hop. You can see the video at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg

I’m happy with the first pass but I’m still stressed; on the second pass I do a back-deep-to-one start, this is the second most difficult start in barefooting and it’s worth 500 points. I give the boat officials my instructions, the boat tightens the rope, I give the signals ‘in gear’, then ‘okay’ and I roll over on to my stomach. The boat takes off, I wait for speed, plant one foot, press the foot into the water, and when I feel I have sufficient speed I attempt to stand up – and I make it!

Now I do a ‘positional back-to-front turn’ to set up for the first trick; I’ve missed the back-to-front turn before at a National Championship and also once at the 2012 World Championships in Germany. I’m up backward, I get into position for the turn, and attempt the back-to-front turn; I nail it, clean feet-to-feet. I place the handle over my head and do – neck-2-foot, neck-1-foot, neck-1-foot reverse, then a one-foot, one-foot reverse, teeth-2-foot, teeth-1-foot, teeth-1-foot reverse, rope-on-foot, rope-on-foot reverse, tumble-2-foot, and reverse tumbel-2-foot. I did everything and it was flawless.

I know my wife loves the ‘butt slide’ so I do a nice butt slide, look at camera, and give her a signal via the internet that ‘these two passes were for you baby.’

You can see the second video run at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA

Immediately after the trick event I call my wife and tell her ‘I love barefoot waterskiing, I love barefoot tournaments, and I’m so glad I’m here!’

The emotions in competitive barefoot skiing at a National Championships can be overwhelming. This week I had some success and some failures, and lessons learned. I didn’t achieve my goal of skiing at least 15.0 in Open Pro so that I could ski in the Open Pro finals, but I know I did the best I could.

National Record – Later I find out my score was 2700 points, the current record for Men 6 is 1310 points. After record review the runs are reduced to 2650 points; I have the current record in Men 5 and now I have the Men 6 trick record. It might be a long time before anybody breaks the Mens 6 trick record.

National Champion – My terrible slalom pass of 10.8 exceeds the 7.28 of the highest Men 6 skier, so I get 1000 points in the Slalom event for overall; my 2700 points in tricks gives me 1000 points in the tricks event. This results in an over all score of 2000 out of 2000 points; I win the 2012 Overall National Men 6 Champion and I think this is my eighth Overall National Championship win.

My season is not done, I have the World Barefoot Championships in two weeks to complete my season; I have my goals set, we’ll review them in a few weeks.

Holtzy

P.S. Joe Malenfant, the President of the American Barefoot Club (ABC) that the record set today was not accurate and that the actual record was base don my performance at the 2012 Regionals tricks event of 2740 points, which was downgraded to 2720 points!

By : Mike Holt

Ashleigh Stebbeings sets a NEW WORLD RECORD in the Open Womens Trick Event of 5,050 pts!!!

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Ashleigh Stebbeings (AUS) made history on June 23, 2012 at the Southern Glass 2012 Barefoot Waterski Tournament held in Port St. Lucie, FL. Ashleigh set a new Women’s Barefoot Trick Record of 5050 Pts. and became the first women in history to push the World Record over the 5000 point mark.” – World Barefoot Council

The Trick Pass was as follows:

First Pass: Toe Up, 180 Front to Back, 180 Back to Front, 180 Front to Back Reverse, 180 Back to Front Reverse, 180 1 Foot Front to Back, 180 1 Foot Back to Front, 180 1 Foot Front to Back Reverse, 180 1 Foot Back to Front Reverse (downgraded 100 pts) then fall on a toe back! The first pass came out to 2600 pts.

Second Pass: Back Deep Water Start, Line Step Hop (not credit due to the video footage), Line Step 1 Foot, Line Step 1 Foot Reverse, 360 Back to Back, 360 Back to Back Reverse, 540 Back to Front, Toe Back (not credit as time has expired)! The second pass was 2450 pts.

I would like to say a special thanks to my Dad and Swampy for everything they have done for my skiing. My skiing wouldn’t be where it is today without them both. They have put their heart and soul into my skiing and I really hope they know how much I appreciate it. I would also like to thank everyone at the World Barefoot Center, my family and all the barefooters in Australia and around the world for their constant support. It means the world to me and it was such an amazing feeling to FINALLY break the 11 year old record! I hope to continue to move forward and that the girls can continue to raise the bar higher.

Ashleigh Stebbeings, AUS