Locals to fore at worlds

George Donaldson competes at the World Under 21 Waterski Championships in Canada.
Photo supplied

The New Zealand Under 21 Water Ski Team, which features two Mid Canterbury skiers, have produced solid results at the World Under 21 Waterski Championships in Canada.

Twin brothers, Hugh and George Donaldson are currently at Edmonton skiing on the Shalom Park site, a man-made lake on the banks of the Saskatchewan River.

The pair have been competing with fellow Cantabrians, Jack Engel and Taine Gibson, coming from a New Zealand winter to compete against some of the best skiers in the world in both slalom tricks and jumps.

In order to compete in the championships, the twins took the last week of their semester off to train with New Zealander Kyle Eade in Florida and with only a short preparation time had to get back up to speed quickly.

Competition started with near perfect conditions and the New Zealand team produced some strong slalom scores.

Hugh was in particularly good form skiing to his personal best and scoring 1.5 buoys on the 12 metre line while George produced New Zealand’s top score of 3880, although lost some points for a fall on his last tricks run.

The jumps event however was the event that the Kiwi team were most looking forward to and were greeted with glass-like conditions.

George produced a best of 48.6 metres while Hugh jumped 51.2 on his second jump, just short of his personal best.

Janeen Donaldson, who is in Canada with the team said the level of competition has been impressive.

We’ve seen some outstanding skiing this week, some skiers are skiing year-round and have come here intent on breaking records.

This is a site where multiple world records have been broken. Skiers are competing for men’s and women’s slalom, trick, jump and overall titles,” she said.

“An incredible five of the eight Under 21 World Records available have been broken, and the men’s world open overall record was also closely challenged.

“Team titles were won by Great Britain, Ukraine and Canada.

“We were thrilled with New Zealand’s 11th placing out of the 22 countries competing.”

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