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Wade on Worlds Round 3

Worlds Race #3

The Sunrise on Day three of the 17th World titles, revealed a course of dead flat water and no wind at all, in direct contrast to the conditions that heralded the start of the World Championships.
The ‘Dolphin Discouraging’ boats were out nice and early once again, doing their figure 8 drive-bys and this looked like the answer to the hold-ups of Day #1.
The Open Women and Formula 2 Women were first up, and as they lined up along their start grids, there was a huge crowd gathering at both ends of the foreshore.
This race was to be run on a different course to the previous two days, with the starts visible to all spectators, as well as the racing to be run almost parallel with the foreshore.
It was definitely better for spectators, as they could now see how hard the skiers and boats were working in the races, instead of just during the end turn area.
The Women all got away cleanly, bar Lori Dunsmore, who uncharacteristically missed her start. Like the champ that she is, she was up and racing in an incredibly quick time.
Coming around for the first time, it was Lauryn Eagle leading the way, trying desperately to make up the ground, points and placings, lost in the first two races. She lead thru both Katelin Wendt and Erin Saunders from the USA, by a small margin and they all headed back up the course on lap two at breakneck speed.
In the Womens F2 Class the first wave came thru, with Leanne Campbell leading from Tania Teelow, behind With Envy and Lena Feringa from Belgium.
Trudi Stout, skiing behind Still Kidn’, immediately stamped her desire for a win on the race, in the second wave, making up 1 second in the first lap on the Ladies racing, a wave in front, followed by Sabine Ortlieb, Cheryl Ruston and Dawn Wallace.
The next lap it was to be Lauryn Eagle with one rope length to Katelin, with Lauryn and the Superman crew, trying their hardest to build up as much of a lead as possible in an attempt to outweigh the previous 2 race’s of bad luck on points.
Team 50, towing Leanne was starting to make space on With Envy, towing 2 x World Champ Tania Teelow and Revolution Racing, towing Lena.
Trudi Stout had already caught 1st wave skier Paula Newland from Great Britain and headed off chasing down Leanne and the girls.
In the Open Women, Lauryn was really stamping her authority on the race and had moved to 3-4 rope lengths in front of Katelin & Erin. Columbia Cox was holding onto 4th position.
At about the 12 &1/2 minute mark, the Red Flag was unexpectedly held up and all competitors forced to stop, as Dolphins had been spotted dangerously close to the course. With the incredibly tight environmental impact rules that these World Titles have had to adhere to, the race boats and crews returned to the shore, re-fuelled and re-set all of their ropes, etc, and got themselves ready to start racing once again.
The re-start was under way within ½ an hour and crews quickly hit top speed once again.
Once again it was the Lauryn, Katelin, Erin fight for the lead, but as they all straightened up, disaster struck for Lauryn as she fell heavily, right in front of the crowd. For a few tense moments she lay, barely moving on the water, but thanks to the production cameras, we could see her up closely and could see that she was conscious, lying flat on the water, but consciously moving her arms around, getting her bearings again.
This gave the lead to Katelin, who stormed back up to the far end turn buoys, with Erin closely behind and Maddi Boyer, from Australia, skiing behind SBR, moving into 3rd place. Kathrin Ortlieb also moved up a placing, to 4th place.
In the Formula 2, when the spray settled it showed us that Trudi Stout was the quickest on the course, out of the two waves, behind Still Kid’n. @nd in F2 was the leader of the first F2 wave, Leanne Campbell, behind Team 50, with both Tania Teelow and Lena Feringa breathing down her back.
As both Katelin and Erin passed Lauryn the next time around, we could make out that she was up on the side of the boat, and showing massive courage, was now hopping onto the deck and putting her Rail back on again !
With Envy, was the next casualty, pulling into the centre of the course and ending Tania Teelow’s day.
The next lap had the commentators manning their stop watches and revealing the Trudi was now 5 seconds up on Leanne, who was really taking even more ground away from Lena.
It was heart warming to see Superman running out Lauryn’s rope again and getting her back up onto the top of the water, but with a noticeable hunched over skiing style, that just looked like she was carrying a lot of pain to achieve it.
Unofficially now in F2, it was Trudi, Leanne, Sabine, Katharina and Lena had dropped back to 5th position.
Katelin was going so hard that she soon overtook Kylee Jones from Australia, just as 99 Psycho Clowns F1, towing Erin Saunders, headed for the centre of the course with motor trouble, effectively ending her day, after holding onto the 2nd position. This moved Maddi Boyer up to 2nd position, followed by Katharin, Kylee and Lauren in 5th.
Trudi had, by now made up the 30 seconds on the wave in front and was running side by side with Leanne.
Lauryn had shown her mental toughness and was now back to full race speed.
Then incredibly, both Trudi and Leanne took over the 1st and 2nd outright positions in the race, with Katelin in 3rd. On this lap both F2 girls overtook 3rd and 4th place in F2, lapping each of them.
The Blue Flag went up and Katharina decided it was now or never and overtook Maddi Boyer and was to hold onto second over the final lap.
Katelin took the Open Womens race, with Katharina 2nd and Maddi 3rd.
In F2 It was Trudi Stout, followed by Leanne Campbell and Sabine in 3rd place.
There was a short presentation, hosted by Dave Bishop, as the Junior skiers waited on the beach for their chance to shine.
For both Jack Houston and Kelsey Feros, one more win would mean 3 in total, thus securing them a World Title each, so the pressure was really on these Champions to have a clean, trouble free run.
The water conditions were still calm and flat, as the crowd built on the shore, hoping to be witness to some history being made.
Jack made the most of it, going to an early lead over Trevor Wendt, Lloyd Williams, Jake Frame and Mitchell Horan.
The next time thru past the crowd Jack had already stamped his authority on proceedings, pulling out 1 & ½ rope lengths.
In Junior Girls It was Kelsey Feros, behind Prima Donna, leading by only ½ a rope to Yolien Bormans, who had the outside draw behind Burnin’. Further back was Tayla Wright, behind Neville Freeman’s ORSM, with Columbia Cox bringing up the rear, behind Sacrifice.
Kelsey extended that lead to 1 & ½ rope lengths on the next lap.
Jack was still roughly the same distance in front of Trevor. Lloyd was around 1 rope length in front of Jake as they staged their own two man war.
About now, Trevor put the bit between his teeth and started to catch back up to Jack slightly, eventually coming right up alongside him, as if to say ‘Don’t forget about me mate’.
Luckily for Jack, he managed to have the inside pole, as Trevor took the wide way around Columbia Cox and Sacrifice. This lost him all of the ground that he’d worked so hard to regain unfortunately and Jack was back out to a rope and a ½ lead again.
Kelsey couldn’t shake Yolien although at this point Yolien and Burnin’ jumped into Kelsey’s wash. No one on the shore could figure out if it was tactics or not.
Jack Houston had to make sure that he didn’t get distracted by the Chopper that was tailing him and Stinga. With a little over 10 minutes left in the race, Lloyd and the Thundernuts crew started chasing down Trevor, eventually overtaking him and laying claim to the current 2nd placing, with 5.8 seconds made up in a flying lap, for the young Victorian skier.
With the Blue Flag being raised Jack was now miles in front. Lloyd won the mind games with Trevor and Trevor conceded his place, dropping into Lloyd’s boat wake.
Kelsey came thru for her last lap as well, out on her own.
As each of these Super Star young Aussies crossed the line, the crowd gave them a round of applause and huge cheers.
Second in Junior Boys went to Lloyd Williams and Trevor came thru for a 3rd placing.
This gave Jack the distinction of being the first ever skier to win dual Junior World Championships.
Kelsey also became the 2011 World Title holder, after both of them had won their previous 2 rounds/ races earlier in the week. Kelsey was followed home by Tayla Wright and Columbia Cox.
As you are able to drop your worst result for one race in the 4 race series, and due to them both winning the first two, wrapping up their campaigns early must have been a huge load off for them both.
As each of them did drive by’s in their boats post race, both were armed with the Australian Flag, and proudly displayed it for the cheering crowd.
Making their way to the ramp and shore, they were both mobbed by well wishers and deservedly so.
While they were being presented to the crowd on the main stage, the Open and F2 Men took their places on the beach.
This was another World Title that could go the way of 2 race winner Chris Stout, but not if Peter Procter had anything to do with it.
All boats left the starting area cleanly and all Mens skiers were absolutely hauling, going down the first 2 untouched pieces of water.
Rounding the crowd’s corner for the first time, it became evident that this was going to be a hum-dinger of a race between these Champs. Stouty with a World Title at stake and Peter trying to get a large enough gap between the two of them, to nullify the previous winning results of Chris’s.
Chris was not playing into Peters hands though, with everything to gain and nothing to lose as he pulled out around ½ a rope length.
Troy Hooker was still in the mix, though dropping back further each lap. He was still in 3rd place though.
99 Psycho Clowns F1 had trouble going up the very first straight, with Great Britain’s Russel Cox in tow and retired from the race.
In the F2 Class, it was Team Weaver, followed by Grant Turner and Daniel Cotton behind Team 50, that were really flying.
Grant Turner wasn’t going to be out skied though and within a few laps, had caught and passed TWR.
Stouty, this lap, pulled his lead out to a rope length now. ..Then 2 as Pete got traffic in his way. The inside pole is a huge advantage in racing this close.
In F2 It was now Grant Turner and Target in the lead by just metres, from Team Weaver, 373, 73 and Bernico Racing.
Still Kid’n, leader of the 2nd wave, towing Dave Vansteelant of Begium, were already 24 seconds down on the first wave.
The leaders broke into 2 distinct 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th battles, with Andy Anderson and Daniel Cotton trying desperately to out maneuver each other for the minors.
Crowds were treated to a fly by of twin 99 Psycho Clowns outboards, racing each other, towing both Alioune Cisse from France and Richard Kirk from Great Britain.
Weaver Racing managed to get up on the inside pole of Target this time and had pulled up a rope length from the advantage. Peter Procter had pulled up a ropes length on Stouty too and was right besides him. A lesson in never giving up.
At the 24 minute mark we saw Stout, again with the lead, pulling away from Peter.
The current provisionals had the leaders as Open – Chris Stout, Peter Procter, Troy Hooker.
F2 – Mark Weaver, Grant Turner, Daniel Cotton.
At almost 29 minutes it was Stout with a commanding lead. In F2 Daniel Cotton had caught Pidge/ Target and looked like he was off after Weaver.
Chris Stout had built a lead of 10 seconds up from Peter, with Troy still in 3rd. Over the next 10 minutes Peter made up 4, then another 2 seconds, and by the end of it, was up beside Stout, challenging him again.
In F2 the lead boat was Team Weaver, with 4 or 5 rope lengths, from Target, with Atomic slipping back a fair bit on that lap.
Unbelievably, just laps later it was Turner again, leading by a country mile, with just 15 minutes left.
6 and ½ minutes to go and the Stout vs’ Procter battle showed no chance of letting up. Each of them kept taking then losing a full, then half rope length on each other. This was some epic World Titles racing.
Lap times saw the quickest laps at the time in Open to be Stout with 2:24, while in F2 it was Pidge in 2:34.
With only 2 more laps to go, the Commentary Team erupted with excitement as Marcus Cranny piloted Tru Blue up the inside of Stouty, and they were now a rope length up.
The Blue flag was up as the battles continued.
Fighting it out right to the finish buoy, it was Peter Procter and Tru Blue across first, followed by Burnin’ towing Christopher Stout. The crowd of the bank erupted in cheers, as they’d just watched some great head to head racing. Third place went to Troy Hooker from the USA.
Unfortunately, the driving by Marcus was called into scrutiny, by 5 different on course judges and he was given a 1% penalty for each. This brought them back to 2nd place and Chris Stout was awarded the title of 2011 Open Mens World Champion.
In F2 Class first place went to the crew from Target, towing Grant ‘Pidge’ Turner. 2nd placing went to a valiant Team Weaver, towing Mark Weaver, and 3rd place went to Daniel Cotton behind, Atomic Boats. It was an all Aussie affair.
This meant that the final round of racing would see a race for honours between these super athletes and others waiting to swoop, should any mistakes be made.

At the end of the day, congratulations went to Christopher Stout and Burnin’, Noel Griffin, Mick Kelly, for winning the Open Mens World Title.
This made a bit of history as well, with Chris being the first skier ever to win a Junior, F2, and Open World Title.

Another to be congratulated was Team Stinga, with Greg Houston and Kevin Boylan, towing Jack Houston to his 2nd Junior World Title, as well as becoming the first skier to ever achive that in the sport’s history too.

Kelsey Feros continued her domination of the Junior Girls class and with a clear sweep of wins, securing her first World Title. Prima Donna, crewed by her ‘proud as punch’ Dad Nick, and Brett Armstrong, performed brilliantly to come in for the win.

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