The Forbes Aquatic area was a buzz with activity this weekend when more than thirty competitors took to the water to test their skills in the NSW Barefoot Skiing Club sanctioned event. Marcus Morrison, event committee member, said competitor numbers were similar to that of the inaugural event last year. He was also very pleased with the number of spectators who lined the foreshores over the two days of competition to watch these talented athletes tear up the water.
The competition consisted of two parts – each part judged and scored by three judges who ride in the boat. The skiers are also recorded on video, which can be viewed in the event that judges or competitors need clarification on the points awarded. The Slalom is the first part and skiers must cross the wake created by the boat as many times as possible in 15 seconds on two feet, one foot, forward or backward.
They are given two runs and are penalised if they complete both runs in the forward position. The second part is the Trick Run and competitors must perform a start trick and perform as many tricks as they can during the 15 second trick pass area. Tricks that are repeated in the second run do not receive a point.
Competitors hailed from all over the state and organisers were pleased that about half of them were from the local area. The Forbes event attracted some excellent junior competitors including Connor Rogers and Teejay Russo who are the current NSW Leaders in the sub junior class and who are ranked 3 and 4 respectively in the World rankings. Local boy, Tom Morrison is ranked 28 which is a fantastic effort considering the short time he has been barefooting. Tom attributes his success to the encouragement and support of Jim Cronin who has been the driving force behind the barefoot competition being held in Forbes.
Two of our young hopefuls, Jenna Redfern and Lockie Miller, were thrilled when Elaina McClung from Branxton had her photo taken with them. Elaina is the current Australian U/14 Girls Champion and is ranked 7th in the World Under 18 Juniors. She will be travelling to America in August to represent Australia in the World Titles. Both Jenna
and Lockie attended the coaching clinic on Friday which was very well attended to the delight of Jim Cronin and his committee.
Jim was grateful for the experienced coaches who attended the sessions and volunteer their time to promote the sport and encourage more participation by people of all ages but in particular the juniors. Sue Russo, from the NSW Barefoot Club and Chief Judge for the weekend, was amazed by the number of spectators who came to watch the competition. “Forbes’ one day competition attracted a larger crowd than the National Titles held in Liverpool,” she said. The barefoot season runs from September through to April and skiers have the opportunity to compete in eight competitions including the State and National Titles held at Liverpool. Even though the Forbes course is just over 600m in length in comparison to the normal length of 800m, it is a great course, Sue added.