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mayo 22, 2017
By: Anna Gay, Masterline Trick and Slalom Skier
" Any competitive waterskier dreams of skiing at the Masters in Callaway Gardens, Georgia. It is the most prestigious and exclusive tournament in all of waterskiing and there is nothing quite like competing on Robin Lake. This coming Masters will be the 18th one I’ve attended and the 6th I’ve had the privilege of competing in. One of the fondest memories I have as a kid is standing on the pavilion watching my dad (Russell Gay) compete. This was the moment I knew I wanted to ski here and began planning how I’d one day meet my goal.
When I was 12 years old, I received a letter in the mail inviting me to compete at the 20th Jr. Masters. To say I was thrilled, would be an understatement. It had been a dream of mine and I was filled with anticipation. Competing in the tournament exceeded my expectations. I was nervous and excited but most of all, I was ready. I stood up on both of my runs and placed second. This was only the beginning, the following two years I went on to win and in 2015 I made the decision to compete with the Pros. Unfortunately this didn’t go how I had planned, as I fell early and didn’t make it into the finals. I was disappointed, as any competitive skier would be. But over the years I’ve come to realize that no matter how many times you practice or how well you are at skiing, things aren’t always to go your way. Anything can happen, that’s just part of it. I’ve had many experiences where I had been skiing great, but fell early in the tournament on a trick I wasn’t even worried about. Those are now the kinds of moments that just push me to work harder and to become better. Then last year, I won my first Open Masters. Going into the event, I was confident in my runs and knew there was a chance I could win if I perfected both passes. The key to being under pressure in a big competition is to be mentally strong. You have to know you can do it. Skiing is a mental game, and it’s one of the things I had to learn to go from being a junior to a pro. Without it, it is very difficult to be consistent.
It is now May and Master’s is coming up quick. I have a few weeks of school left and between training and exams it’s getting pretty hectic. This year, I am excited about skiing with one of my best friends, Masterline Trick and Slalom skier Neilly Ross. It helps to see a familiar face on the dock and know that we are rooting for each other. One reason the Masters is one of the most difficult tournaments is because they only take the top 5 skiers. If you aren't one of those five, you have an opportunity the weekend before to try and beat the qualification score to make it in. This year, I worked hard at my attempt to qualify at at tournament in slalom for the Junior Masters. As skiers, we work all year long to make sure we are getting the scores we need to be invited back the next year. I think this is what makes it such a special event. You have to work so hard just to be able to have less than 5 minutes on the water. It’s short, but certainly sweet. Leading up to the Masters, on average I trick twice a day and slalom once. The purpose of my trick sets are to get my runs as consistent and fast as possible. When I slalom, my goal is to get into deep 38, since I need 4@38 just to qualify. The scores to qualify for every event, both Junior and Open are difficult and very high. I am excited for this year’s Masters and what it will bring and I’m very thankful for all the sponsors, especially Nautique, because without them it wouldn't be the same. "
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julio 18, 2018