Greatest Moments of The 2017 Nautique Masters Tournament
By: World Record Holder, Anna Gay
I am so thankful for the opportunity to compete at the Master’s the last six years. Nautique does an amazing job putting on the event and this years performances were incredible across the board. I’ve never seen a finals like I saw this year. The Women’s trick podium consisted of scores almost all above 10,000 points and the Men scored up into the 12,000 point range. For slalom, the Woman’s course record was broken twice, once by Regina Jaquess and twice by Whitney McClintock and almost all the men skied into 41 in the prelims. In the finals there were two runoffs. The first being by John Travers and Stephen Neveu and the second between Will Asher and Nate Smith. The scores were insane! Nate ended up taking the gold, Will the Silver and Stephen the bronze. Ryan Dodd killed it in jump, flying 243 feet on the first jump. Then Jacinta jumped 186 feet with Regina and Marion following behind. Needless to say, it was a very exciting weekend.
I tricked Saturday in the prelims and finished with a score of 10,220 points, putting me top seed going into the finals! On Sunday, The Finals began with an Athlete introduction boat parade and National Anthem. Any athlete that makes it into the Finals or any Junior that won an event on Friday has the opportunity to participate in this event. It is a very special tradition because it is the only tournament who holds this kind of ceremony and very few ever get to be a part of it. This year, I was able to ride with one of my closest friends, Brooke Baldwin who made it into Pro Women Slalom Finals at only 16 years old. Brooke and I have been friends since day one and are lucky to live on the same lake here in Florida. We try to ski together whenever we can. Being able to practice and spend time together doing what we love is part of what makes skiing so much fun. It was amazing to be able to represent USA in the boat parade together.
On Sunday, Erika Lang and Neilly Ross put up huge scores, so I knew I needed to perform my more difficult run. I did a good toe run and decided to switch up the start of my hand pass doing SL5F and SLBB instead of SLBB and SLB. I got through the beginning, but over rotated my front flip which then put me on edge and on my front foot. Unfortunately I was unable to do my second flip and had to jump the wakes instead. I stood up the pass, but lost 750 points and scored 9,880. I was disappointed with how I skied, but happy for Neilly who won her first Open Women’s Trick Title at the Master’s. She and Erika skied so well and definitely put the pressure on. It was one of the most exciting events I’ve ever been apart of. The skiers get all the credit, but this tournament would not be possible without all the sponsors, officials and volunteers who helped make it the best Master’s we’ve ever had.
Thank you to Nautique for always providing us with the best boats on the market, and to MasterlineUSA for setting me up with the latest and greatest gear!
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