By Jane Peel
What a way to kick off the 2022 Waterski Pro Tour!
The Swiss Pro Slalom in Clermont, Florida, on Sunday 1 May, was a showcase of awesome skiing, ending with two familiar faces topping the podium.
Regina Jaquess (USA) maintained her position as the Queen of Swiss, winning for an incredible 8th consecutive year. She is undefeated at the Swiss Pro since the event began in 2015.
Regina didn’t have it all her own way. She faced a run-off for the top spot with Whitney McClintock Rini (CAN) for the title after both scored 1 @ 10.25m (41’ off) in the 5-woman final. Whitney went out first on the 10.75m line (39.5’ off) and managed 2 buoys but Regina went one better with 3. Allie Nicholson (USA) was 3rd with 5 @ 11.25m (38’ off), securing her first Swiss Pro podium.
The Florida afternoon wind blew up as the men’s 8-man final got under way and, with the rules forcing a 12m-line start, only three skiers were able to complete the 10.75m (39.5’ off) pass in the tailwind, all of them previous champions.
Defending champion Nate Smith (USA) prevailed, taking his 5th win and 7th podium at Swiss. His 5 @ 10.25m (41’ off) was just half a buoy ahead of Will Asher (GBR), who finished 2nd. Fellow Brit, Freddie Winter, was 3rd with 3.5 @ 10.25m.
Skier of the day (audience vote): Whitney McClintock Rini (CAN)
Women’s strongest pull: Taryn Grant (USA) – 307kg/677lbs
Men’s strongest pull: Rob Hazelwood (GBR) – 455kg/1003lbs
Next up on the Waterski Pro Tour is the Lake 38 Pro Am in Tallahassee, Florida, on 4-5 June. Save the date.