Newby-Ricci, 70, wins at Waterski Championships

WATERSKIING: Tony Newby-Ricci may have turned 70 in February – but he isn’t slowing down just yet.

And far from it. No doubt inspired by the success of Team GB in the Olympics, Newby-Ricci, from Harpenden, recently competed in and won the Slalom discipline for his age category (65+) at the British Senior National Waterski Championships.

Held at Southlake in St Neots last week, the annual championships attracts Waterskiers from all over the UK to prove their skills in slalom, tricks and jump events.

The Slalom event has the ski boat travelling at a constant 34mph in a straight line and challenges the skier to repeatedly go through a set course of six buoys with each successful pass leading to a shortening of the tow rope. Ultimately the skier will either miss a buoy or fall so he/she scores all the buoys successfully rounded up to this point.

Over the weekend the scores were incredibly tight with Newby-Ricci ahead by only half a buoy in the first qualifying round on Saturday. The final on Sunday followed with him again reaching the 13m line, this time scoring two buoys and tying with Mike Hornigold from Norwich and in the process forcing a run-off situation.

Each of the tied competitors were taken back out on to the lake at the last completed rope length (14m) in a bid to separate their scores. After a nail-biting challenge the Harpenden man emerged victorious by successfully rounding 1.5 buoys more than his competitor.

Also a keen snowboarder, he learnt to water-ski while on holiday in Spain in the 1960s and has never looked back, regularly competing around the world, having also represented his country multiple times at the World and European Senior Championships.