World title for Harpenden waterskier
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 September 2016
Jeremy Newby-Ricci scythed through the opposition to take the top step in the World 35+ Waterski Championships.
Almost 250 competitors from across 27 countries took part in the event in Toledo, Spain, looking for titles in slalom, jumping, tricks and overall.
And the Harpenden skier reached the top step of the podium in the 45+ Slalom category on Sunday.
It is not the first time he has taken a slalom crown, having come out on top in 2008 in the age category below.
The 45+ slalom is open to skiers between 45 and 55 and is one of the most competitive at the Championships.
The event sees skiers attempt to make it round as many buoys as possible with an ever-decreasing length of rope.
The early standard was set by Canadian Dave Miller who completed the challenging 10.75m pass, where the rope is 0.75m too short to reach the turn buoys, and managed one buoy on the 10.25m rope, where the deficit is 1.25m.
Newby-Ricci then also made it through 10.75m before recording two buoys at 10.25m of rope with two skiers left to go.
Greg Badal from the United States followed and despite incredible efforts which saw him throw himself at number two, he came up short and scored one at the 10.25m rope.
That left Jeff Milford, also from the United States and the leader in qualifying.
He ran some smooth passes of the course as the rope shorted its way from its 14.25m start point.
But he was unable to find his earlier form and failed to make it out through the gates on his 10.75m pass, gifting Newby-Ricci the win.
The new champion said: “I was happy with my performance and knew it would be hard to beat, but did expect a tie break because I had scored two full buoys, so was ready to go back out.”
Newby-Ricci is from a Waterskiing family with father Tony, 74, still regularly competing.
And both of Jeremy’s children, who go to St Nicholas School, are just taking to the water.
Ten-year-old Max shows promise in wakeboarding while his brother William, five, looks set to follow his father’s example on skis.