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2022 Botaski Pro Am

Updated: May 11, 2023

By Jane Peel

The European stage of the Tour kicked off in style at Seseña in Spain at the weekend, giving us a tantalising taste of what´s to come on the continent over the next month. The competition at Botaski near Madrid was the first of the 2022 season to take place outside the US and the first of five consecutive weekends of Waterski Pro Tour slalom action in Europe. And it was the Europeans who prevailed in their own back yard in the men´s event, taking all three podium spots. It was, however, a different picture in the women´s event which was an all North American affair.

Botaski was hosting women pros for the first time and, with only eight skiers, all would make it through the first two rounds. Instead of a straight eight-woman final, the podium places were decided by an exciting seeded head-to-head format. The highest ranked skier from the preliminary rounds went against the lowest ranked, the second against the seventh and so on.

Canada’s Jaimee Bull proved herself worthy of her position as top seed, finishing on top of the podium and taking her first major victory since winning the slalom world title last October. She scored 3 @ 10.75m (39’5 off) three times on her way to the final. Once there, Jaimee needed less against Ali Garcia (USA) after the American could manage only 1.5 @ 12m (35’ off). Neilly Ross (CAN) finished third to take the last podium spot.

Fifteen skiers lined up on the dock for the men’s prelims and, while some of the Pro Tour podium regulars were absent – among them Nate Smith (USA) and Freddie Winter (GBR) – it was a tough and competitive field, with the top eight going through to the head-to-head knockout stage.

The last two standing may have been the oldest competitors on the start list but they continue to demonstrate that they are still two of the best slalom skiers in the world. Thomas Degasperi (ITA) and Will Asher (GBR), both two-time World Champions, could not be separated in the final. Both scored 3 @ 10.25m (41’ off). So, they had to go out again for a run-off, starting on 10.75m. First of the dock, Will went down after rounding buoy four to score 3.5 @ 10.75m. Thomas scored the full four to take the win. His compatriot, Brando Caruso was third.

The results mean it’s all change at the top of the WPT leaderboard. Will Asher currently tops the men’s standings with 70 points, just one point ahead of Thomas Degasperi and nineteen points ahead of Nate Smith. Jaimee Bull is the leading woman with 60 points, Ali Garcia is second on 58 and Allie Nicholson (USA) third on 56. See the full leaderboard at

There’s still all to play for so, whatever you do, don’t miss all the action coming up in Italy, Greece, Norway and the UK over the next four weekends. First up is San Gervasio next week. It’s being webcast by The Waterski Broadcasting Company and you can watch it all live on the Waterski Pro Tour website.

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