Water ski team hits Ponhook Lake

Nick
Nick Moase
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Ponhook Lake was buzzing with activity last week, but it wasn't just those relaxing on vacation. The Nova Scotia Waterski Team was out practicing, and for some members getting ready for the nations later this month.

 

The Nova Scotia Waterski team was on Ponhook Lake last week, practising for upcoming competitions.

Around a dozen teenagers spent the week on the lake when the weather was good, practicing their slaloms and tricks, and generally just enjoying their time on the lake. They came from all over the province, mostly around Halifax, but there were also a couple on the lake from Queens County as well.

The Nova Scotia team started about 6 years ago, brought together by Claudia Currie from Dartmouth. Currie is a national champion and top five in the world competitor in the women's 35 and over category, and wanted to build more interest in the sport. There numbers are small at the moment, but already they are producing national qualifying members.

Brody Newton, Matt Vogt, and Kate Freeman, who is from Queens County, are heading out to the nation competition on Aug. 12 in Calgary.

The waterski team came to practice in Greenfield last week through Annette Freeman, who sits on the board of directors with the Nova Scotia Waterski Association. Both her and her husband Richard are avid water-skiers, and got their own children involved in the sport when they were young.

"Most of the people that have children in this waterski as young people and got their kids involved," she says.

In competition there are three different categories to compete in: slalom, trick and jump. Each category is divided into age brackets. Nova Scotia doesn't have a jump, but plans are in the works to bring it to the province next year.

There was still plenty of work for the water-skiers however.

For slalom, each age class has a maximum speed the competitors must reach. For each run, there is a series of six buoys for the competitors to ski around as well. If they reach their maximum speed, the line is shortened to increase the difficulty. Skiers go until they either miss a buoy or fall off the line.

For the trick category, skiers are given 20 seconds going each way, and do as many tricks as they can in the allotted time. Points are accumulated for difficulty and variety of tricks done.

The association holds camps throughout the year as well, introducing children and teenagers to the sport. They end up being quite popular as well. Though summer is only half over the camps are all filled for this year, and are already filling up quickly for next year.

"Camps are always fun. You are having fun learning a new thing," says Brody Newton, a coach for the camps.

The competition side of the sport has been in a decline over the past few years in Nova Scotia, so the hope is that by holding these introduction camps it will encourage others to take up the sport.

For more information about the Nova Scotia Water Ski Association visit www.nswsa.com

More photos can be found here 

Organizations: Nova Scotia Waterski Association, Nova Scotia Water Ski Association

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Queens, Halifax Dartmouth Calgary Greenfield

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