These two prestigious events held back to back in great, sunny weather conditions at the Vineyard Lake in Stellenbosch, the Suzuki SA and All Africa Championships can only be described as an outstanding success. We welcomed back our Namibian skiers,who made an enormous effort to attend the event and had new skiers who competed in the mini course . Testament to the resounding success of the tournament were the accolades and thanks that streamed in after the event.
Vineyard Lake’s host,Ross Alexander pulled out all stops and the site was pristine.His coaching and good humour keeps people coming back for more! His supportive wife, Lisa,family and team were on board to assist and ran the food station. Andrew Bowes was the organiser and worked closely with Ross and dealt with the administration of the tournament. His company, Suzuki Marine in Montague Gardens,were generous sponsers of the tournament.
Under the watchful eye of the ever-efficient and popular Chief Judge Marcel Griffioen, the SA champs competition got underway on a chilly Saurday morning, which comprised of two rounds of slalom and trick skiing.
Richard Levey got best score of the day with 1,5/11,25/58.
65 plus ladies skier Jan Johnson improved on her Europe and Africa number one standing by scoring one buoy on 12/49. She is an inspiration to us all.
The Namibians gave an impressive display of tricks with Luke Schmidt and Morne Mostert scoring 1270 and 1030 respectivly. Angela Swain, the only SA tricker, never loses her touch with an impressive 2170.
The day ended in a lovely gathering in a Stellenbosch resturant, organised by Jan Johnson. It was a great opportunity to socialise and awards were given out including a few straf dops. National colours were awarded to Lloyd Stocks and Andrew Bowes and re-awarded to Jason and Nicholas Stegmann, Andrew Stam,Jan Johnson, Richard Levey, and Angela Swain.
Sunday was a beautiful windless day and the setting amongst the Helderberg mountains was breath taking. The All Africa Champs comprised of SA and Namibia teams and we had our friendly “local” Belgium Luc Van der Hofstadt.
The SA team comprised of Mia Hyland, Jason Stegmann, Nicholas Stegmann,De Wet Rademeyer, Andrew Bowes, Andrew Stam, Lloyd Stocks, Jon Jon Keegan, Jonathan St. Clair, Richard Levey,Jan Johnson, Angela Swain and Ralph Katzwinkel,
The shining star of the day was undoubtedly Jason Stegmann , aged 16, who got 2 scores of 1 and 0,5 /11,25/58km. This was a 9 buoys improvement of his best competition score to date.Nicholas Stegmann got the best score of the day with 4/11,25/58. Impressive considering he has hardly been skiing.There were 2 more scores on 11 m; Richard Levey ( 1/11/55) and a PB from Namibian Kyron Sprake (2/11.25/58) De Wet Rademeyer equalled his pb of 4/16/58. There were lots of whoops and cheers from supporters. Well done.
Our mini course skiers, Piper Bowes, Robyn and Isabella Alexander are not far from being competition ready.
Mia Hyland competed in her first competion in the under 17 ladies and did a respectable 5,25/49 and earned herself the Most Improved Newcomer trophy.
SA SKIERS awards:
U17 girls: Mia Hyland
U17 boys- Jason Stegmann
U21 men/ Best Score- Nicholas Stegmann
+45 MEN: Richard Levey
+55 woman: Angela Swain slalom and tricks
+65 woman: Jan Johnson
+65 men: Ralph Katzwinkel
Every tournament needs dedicated officials. Thanks go to homologator Brett Nieuwstadt (who sadly injured himself before the tournament so he could not compete). Chief judge Marcel Griffeon, Seniors judges; Ross Stegmann, Eric Cornhill, Jan Johnson and Andrew Bowes, calculator Debbie Stegmann, assisted by Sally Gaze and national judges, Angela Swain ,Richard Levey and Andrew Stam. Our drivers Martin Schmidt and Ross Alexander . Thank you for your time and dedication to the sport.
The spirit, happiness and support was incredible and the Water ski family keeps going. Vineyard Lake and coach Ross have played a big role in this.
We look forward to seeing our neighbours from Namibia again and they have pledged that the next All Africa champs will be hosted in Namibia in 2024.
Please visited the updated website for SA waterskiing, kindly managed by Howard Ramsden. There are pictures. https://www.sawaterski.co.za/Tournament.html
Yours in skiing.