KNYSNA NEWS - South Africa's top slalom skiers are looking forward to taking part in a four-round competition taking place at Portland Manor in Rheenendal, just outside Knysna, this coming weekend, 12 and 13 January.
The contestants will ski on a dedicated lake with a homologated six-buoy slalom course set up by local Belvidere resident, organiser and skier Andrew Stam.
"The competition has a high-standing list rating, which means top skiers have a chance at breaking an SA African record or being ranked internationally," explained Stam.
Co-organiser Jan Johnson, who is currently ranked number two in Europe and Africa for the ladies 55+ group, is hoping to establish a new African/European record for her new age group at the competition. "Andrew and I train daily and we both usually get into a 12m length rope… The shorter the rope, the more challenging the pass," she said.
Other top skiers
Other top skiers who will take part include Nicholas Stegmann who broke the African record in the U14 age group. Now aged 17, his best score is an impressive two buoys on 10.75m. Considering that at right angles the rope is 11.5m from the boat to the buoy, one can only imagine the force required to get the ski out and stretch to go around the buoys at that length.
To put this into perspective, the current world champion gets into 9.75m – the shortest ski rope length. Stegmann can expect a challenge for the U21 title from Dylan Lowe from Pietermaritzburg.
SA Open Ladies record holder Robyn Viljoen from Worcester will also be competing, as will 45+ skier Anton Viljoen who spends most of the year in West Palm Beach in the USA to train. In the same age category as Andrew Stam and Anton Viljoen is Wayne Cammidge from KZN's Durban and Andrew Bowes from Cape Town.
Mossel Bay resident Marcel Griffioen will be the chief judge, assisted by Stegmann as chief calculator, and she will double up as site doctor, as will Dr John Blott, head of Perth Hospital's ICU department, himself a Springbok skier in the '70s.
The skiers will be towed by a Malibu inboard official competition tow boat with an engine management system which regulates the boat's speed to ensure fairness to all the competitors and necessary to ratify records.
Entry for spectators is free, and refreshments will be available at Portland Manor.
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