KNYSNA SPORT NEWS - With perfect waterskiing conditions at play at Portland Manor last weekend, 15 skiers took to the water for the first event of the waterskiing season courtesy of the Knysna Tournament Waterski Club.
This, the opening event on the South African waterskiing calendar, has taken place in Knysna since 2017.
As usual the event was organised and put together by local skiing veteran Andrew Stam. Stam was in charge of organising and arranging the course as well as maintaining the lake. Despite some challenges with maintaining the level of the water due to the lake's feeders being low, Stam was able to produce conditions enjoyed by all over the weekend.
"Everybody loved the conditions, it was nice and warm and the water was soft so it was great all round," said competitor Jan Johnson. Johnson trains in Knysna but resides in Cape Town.
The event was not only attended by South African skiers, but three international skiers also took part as it is currently winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Two of these competitors are Belgian and the third an American.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday 11 January with a round of slalom racing in the morning and early afternoon. Johnson was the best skier in the first round, managing to negate 2.5 buoys at a rope length of 12m in the over 65 women's category. This was followed by another round of slalom, after which Johnson and Brett Nieuwstadt both achieved 2 buoys at a rope length of 12m with Nieuwstadt competing in the over 55 men's category.
The final skiing of the first day came in the form of some highly-entertaining trick skiing, during which former USA champion Leza Harrison emerged as the top skier while former world champion Yves Saintviteux finished in second.
The third and fourth rounds of slalom skiing came the next morning with Saintviteux emerging as the top skier of the weekend, having achieved three buoys at a rope length of 12m. Johnson was second thanks to her first round score, while Nieuwstadt was third thanks to his second round score which he mimicked in the third round.
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