28 February, 2024

Youngster wins barefoot skiing event

Fletcher Ball was crowned the champion overall of the Peter Taylor Barefoot Waterski Memorial after the event was held in Dimboola on Friday and Saturday.

By Zoey Andrews

Luke Van Den Heuvel with his final jump of the night. Photo: David Ward
Luke Van Den Heuvel with his final jump of the night. Photo: David Ward

After winning the slalom and trick events, Ball finished third in the jump.

Luke Van Den Heuvel claimed the win in the jump and finished second overall, despite not completing all his runs in both slalom and trick.

William Leigh finished third overall with a score of 2351.27.

An elated Ball, from Echuca, said if he had to describe the event in one word it would be "amazing".

"I’m pumped to walk away with the results I've gotten and also catch up with a few mates I haven’t seen for a while - better yet ski alongside of them," he said.

It was a disastrous start to the competition for barefoot skiing world champion Van Den Heuvel, who missed the first day of the event.

"I had a delayed flight from Mackay straight up which meant I then missed my connecting flight in Brisbane so my journey was long and I eventually got into Dimboola at 1.30am Saturday," Van Den Heuvel

He managed one round of slalom and one round of trick, happy with his results considering the deprivation in sleep.

Van Den Heuvel hit his straps just in time, though, peaking for the jump at night, but it was no easy feat.

"Technique and timing are absolutely key for this event and extremely hard to get right," he said.

The barefooter was full of praise for the event, describing it as "unreal".

"The crowd was great - the general vibe with the food trucks and vendors made for a great day out for the family," Van Den Heuvel said.

"We're spoilt with world-class boats and officials who also help run these events."

And in exciting news for barefoot skiing fans, Van Den Heuvel said he always looked forward to the Dimboola event and would definitely be back next time.

Organiser Darren Bone declared the event a massive success, with crowd numbers estimated to have peaked at 3000.

Overall results are as follows: sub junior - Archie Hanckel (first) and Harry Roberts (second); girls junior - Elle Keen and Remmy Wright; boys junior - Gerry Hanckel, Jarvis Wright and Rhys Driscoll; under 23 women - Abbie Foster; under 23 men - Thomas Roberts, Ben Sorraghan and Robbie Humphreys; open men - Fletcher Ball, Luke Van Den Heuvel and William Leigh; women 2 - Rachel Shaw; men 2 - Hayden Knaggs and James Paprotny; senior 1 men - Adam Rogers, John Centenara and Dave Tayler; veteran women - Lisa Hanckel; veteran men - Simon Black, Brad Shearer and Aaron Wright; masters men - Peter Franks, Andrew Schultz and Tim Sorraghan; super masters men - Mark Parsons; and grand masters men - Bruce Hutcheon and Garry Bruce.


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