The Saskatchewan Water Ski team is training hard for the upcoming national championship next week in Edmonton. Both the U17 and U21 boys teams are getting ready to show off their skills.
Several of the U17 Saskatoon boys are hard at work, training under the watchful eyes of veteran Jack Critchley, a water skier from the U.K., who is ranked third in the world for the Men’s Elite Jump.
Critchley was asked by former pro and Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Famer, Jim Clunie, to come and train the Saskatchewan team.
“Jim was one of the best water skiers in the world. His son, Samson, skis at the Saskatoon club so he asked me to come coach him and all the other kids.”
The Saskatoon boys are no slouches, either, with Team Canada’s Carter Lucas recently returning from the U21 world Championships in Chapala, Mexico placing fourth in Jump and Enzo Kristian winning all golds in Slalom, Trick and Jump during the Western Canadian Waterski Championships in British Columbia.
“These kids are doing awesome. They are improving every day. I got videos from the start and end of the week and the improvement is amazing to see. These kids, for sure, have a good chance to really show up during the championship in Edmonton.”
Jumpers can reach speeds up to 110 km/h. The U17’s reach speeds up to 90 km/h.
“It looks intimidating, but we start off slow and build up to these big and fast jumps. It is mostly hard on your feet. They are squeezed into those skis real tight. During tournaments, it is not uncommon for me to see my feet come out purple out of those,” 14-year-old Enzo Kristian said.
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Critchley commented that Saskatchewan has a great growing water ski scene.
“All we need is more kids to sign up and give it a go. I recommend anyone to try it. The rush of adrenaline from the speed is something else. Anyone can come over to the Saskatoon Water Ski Club, get their name on the list and try it out.”
The National Water Ski Championship will be held in Shalom Park, Edmonton next week.
Saskatoon will be hosting the provincial championship in two weeks on the weekend of the 17th of August. Both events will be open to the public.
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