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Having FUN Today...Building CHAMPIONS For Tomorrow
Having FUN Today...Building CHAMPIONS For Tomorrow

Smith, Jaquess Win Soaked Titles

U.S. water ski athletes Nate Smith and Regina Jaquess each won respective slalom titles Saturday night at the inaugural Soaked water sports festival on Orlando's famed Lake Eola.

Smith won the men's slalom title, out-dueling Italy's Thomas Degasperi in a thrilling showdown. After both skiers tied in the finals with 1 buoy at 43 feet off, it took four runoffs before Smith was declared the winner in head-to-head rules, scoring 1 buoy at 43 feet off as the first skier off the dock. Degasperi needed to better the score to win, but he tied with 1 buoy at 43 feet off. Prior to that runoff, Smith and Degasperi tied in runoffs with scores of 3 at 41 off, 1 at 43 off and 1 at 43 off.

Jaquess won the women's slalom title, scoring 1 buoy at 41 feet off. France's Manon Costard finished runner-up, scoring ˝-buoy at 41 feet off. The men's and women's slalom competitions were run on a 4-buoy course.

Combining extreme sports, family-friendly entertainment and music in the world capital of water skiing, Soaked was a new extreme water sports festival taking over downtown Orlando's iconic centerpiece, Lake Eola. Soaked featured world champion water skiers competing for $100,000, along with live bands and more. Some of the best athletes from around the world hit the lake during the day for slalom skiing, while in the evening the grand finale was a spectacular night jumping competition set on an illuminated Lake Eola.

Canada's Ryan Dodd won the men's jumping title, defeating U.S. water ski athlete Freddy Krueger in the head-to-head super final with a distance of 208 feet to Krueger's 206-foot effort.

Dodd earned the top seed for the finals of men's jumping with a distance of 220 feet. Krueger earned the No. 2 seed with a distance of 219 feet. Other jumpers earning berths in the finals were U.S. athletes Jimmy Siemers and Scot Ellis, Great Britain's Tom Asher and Chile's Rodrigo Miranda.

France's Marion Mathieu won the women's jumping title, defeating U.S. athlete Lauren Morgan by one-tenth-of-a-meter. Belgium's Kate Adriaensen earned the top seed in the finals with a distance of 155 feet, followed by Morgan (155 feet) and Australia's Jacinta Carroll (154 feet). Other jumpers earning berths in the finals were Mathieu, Jaquess and Greece's Marie Vympranietsova.

Jaquess earned the top seed for the finals of women's slalom by scoring 1 buoy at 41 feet off. Canada's Whitney McClintock scored ˝-buoys at 41 feet, but injured an ankle in the process and did not compete in the finals. U.S. athletes Karen Truelove and April Coble-Eller also advanced to the finals, along with Canada's Breanne Wagner.

Great Britain's Will Asher and Degasperi earned the top scores in the semifinals of men's slalom, each scoring 1 buoy at 43 feet off. Other finalists were U.S. athletes Chris Rossi (3 at 41), Smith (3 at 41) and Jon Travers (2-1/2 at 41), along with New Zealand’s Aaron Larkin (2 at 41). Larkin defeated U.S. athlete K.C. Wilson in a runoff for the final spot. After both skiers tied with scores of 2 buoys at 41 feet off, Larkin scored 1 at 43 with Wilson failing to get through 39-1/2 off.

In other events, U.S. athlete Russell Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) won the Chipotle Trick Challenge, earning a $1,500.00 cash prize and a year of Chipotle burritos.

























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