Eric Steiner File Photo
Erika Lang won women's tricks at the 63rd Nautique Masters.

U.S. Water Ski Athletes Win Titles At 63rd Nautique Masters

by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.) and Hanna Straltsova (Zachary, La.) won titles in respective events at the 63rd Nautique Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament, presented by GM Marine, May 27-28, at Callaway Gardens’ Robin Lake in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Jaquess won women’s slalom for the second consecutive year and ninth time in her career, scoring 3-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. She also placed third in women’s jump (164 feet).

Lang won women’s tricks for the second consecutive year and fifth time in her career, scoring a Robin Lake course record of 11,030 points, breaking her own mark of 10,930 points from her winning run in 2022.

Smith won men’s slalom for the second consecutive year and eighth time in his career, defeating Great Britain’s Will Asher in a runoff. After both athletes tied with 3 buoys at 41 feet off in the finals, Smith won the subsequent runoff, scoring 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off to Asher’s 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.

Straltsova won women’s jump for the second time in the past three years, soaring 173 feet.

Other champions from the 63rd Masters were: Mexico’s Patricio Font, Men’s tricks (12,470 points; Robin Lake course record); and Canada’s Ryan Dodd, men’s jump (223 feet).

Among other highlights, Sasha Danisheuskaya (Winter Garden, Fla.) finished second in women’s jump (168 feet); Freddy Krueger (Winter Garden, Fla.) finished third in men’s jump (215 feet); Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) placed fourth in women’s tricks (6,730 points); Allie Nicholson (Gallatin, Tenn.) finished fourth in women’s slalom (4-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off).

Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.) won Junior Men’s tricks on Friday (May 26) at the 30th Nautique Junior Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament. Some of the world’s top junior water ski athletes (age 17 and under on Dec. 31, 2022) competed for titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall. Abelson scored 11,390 points to win. Abelson scored 11,390 points in winning Junior Men’s tricks for the second consecutive year.

Other champions from the Junior Masters were: Canada’s Hannah Stopnicki, Junior Women’s tricks (5,960 points); Chile’s Trinidad Espinal, Junior Women’s slalom (1 buoy at 38 feet off); Canada’s Charlie Ross, Junior Men’s slalom (3 buoys at 38 feet off); Australia’s Kristy Appleton, Junior Women’s jump (138 feet); France’s Tristan Duplan-Fribourg, Junior Men’s jump (183 feet) and overall (2,820 points); and Canada’s Megan Pelkey, Junior Women’s overall (2,720 points). Alexia Abelson (Holderness, N.H.) placed second in Junior women’s tricks (5,620 points); and Alana Jones (Church Point, La.) finished second in Junior Women’s slalom (4 buoys at 28 feet off).

The Ski Nautique was the exclusive towboat. Nautique is a National sponsor of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.

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