Posts Tagged ‘Groen’

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

My journey back to Kiwi-Land!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

As most of you know, this January I returned to my homeland, New Zealand, for a quick vacation to catch up with family and friends (and a little bit of skiing). After 14 months in the United States, I was shocked at how climatized I had become to the American (and by American I mean mainly “Southern”) culture, without even realizing it. Small things that had once seemed bizarre to me, things like tax not being included in the price displayed, the average vehicle being the size of a small elephant, Police with guns (Not allowed in NZ!!!), and 400lb people wedging themselves into little carts to buzz around Walmart, had become a usual sight for me, and the change when I got home was unreal!!

Walking through the shopping mall when I was home, I was suddenly immersed back into familiar slang, food, and fashion. I know it sounds silly but it really is that obvious! People walking past in Stubbies, a singlet, and jandals (Roughly translated, that would be short, thigh length shorts used for playing rugby, a beater/tank top, and flip flops), or all the cafes, wedged between every second or third shop, with folks sitting outside stopping for a quick coffee and “sammy” (Sandwich) on their lunch break.

Walking through Wellington city in the late afternoon/evening it was just nice to see people finishing their days at work or Uni (college) sitting down in parks, or big open areas of grass, just unwinding. A group of young guys throwing a rugby ball or Frisbee around, or a few stranglers with their noses in books, or some people just there to people watch, as everyone made their commute home, either by foot, or what seemed like the second most popular mode of transport – skateboard. I guess the only place I’ve really seen with a similar culture like this in my time in the States would be San Fran.

Anyway, that’s enough about culture. I was only home a matter of hours before I was reminded as to what made Florida so appealing. The infamous Wellington winds started gusting up, turning our lake into something similar to the ocean, with the temperature being cold enough for a Floridian local to dress in snow gear. In actual fact, it was still around 60-65 degrees – but that’s cold enough!!! Luckily the winds gave up and we were granted beautiful water, sadly the not-so-warmness hung around. One big thing about New Zealand that you have to be really careful about, apart from speed cameras, is the sun. There is a big hole in the ozone above New Zealand, and it makes a big difference!! In Florida you can happily sit out in the sun for 3 hours – unless your last name is Small or St. Onge -and you may get a little pink, but you won’t notice it too much. In New Zealand however, if you don’t slop that sunscreen on, those 3 hours will nuke you!! I made that mistake the second day I was back, falling asleep in the warm sun for only two hours in nothing but shorts, and after my entire body shedding a layer or so of skin, six weeks later, and I am still rocking distinctive tan lines halfway up my legs!!

As far as the quality of skiing goes in New Zealand, I will admit we are a little behind the times, with anyone who can do a Front to Back automatically advancing to being one of the best trickers in the country. And with fairness – that front to back is a sucker to learn!!! But these days, we’re starting to catch up with the rest of the world, with more kiwis travelling out to Florida to ski with us at the World Barefoot Center and taking what they learn home, modern coaching techniques have been introduced and its great to see a group of young kids coming up, learning the correct way. What was once just another ski school, the name barely memorable only a couple of years ago, has now become an icon for barefooting back in New Zealand, helped greatly with today’s social media, and more importantly, the results of the skiers that come back after weeks/months of training at the school!!!

So, even though there are some major differences dividing these two countries from one another, there is also one big similarity – the passion for barefoot water skiing, and the huge sense of family you get from anyone else involved in this great sport, no matter where you are on the planet. The greatest thing I think I noticed while in New Zealand was the general level of skiing, as us kiwis move into the modern era of footing, all thanks to what’s been going on here at the school. As far as myself goes, the journey I have taken personally here at the ski school has been a life changing one, with life-lasting friendships being formed, finding a second family, a second home, and a whole new platform for my skiing.

And as much as I have loved every minute of this trip….it’s always nice to go home :)

– Ben Groen, New Zealand