Pro slalom skier Bill Susi is covering the 2010 Moomba Masters for waterskimag.com. He’ll provide daily updates with results and commentary, so stay tuned to waterskimag.com.
Well, I finally touched down in Australia, but more importantly, my skis landed with me. Despite traveling for more than 30 hours, I feel surprisingly good. I unexpectedly had to fly this one solo but it went by fast. I left Orlando for Melbourne, Australia, with connections in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Sydney. As a Delta frequent flyer I set up as many connections as possible because:
A: I love layovers and airports
B: It’s safer
C: I collect more Skymiles
Boarding my plane in Los Angeles, I find the thing nearly empty, so I got three seats to myself. This is like finding out you get a king-size bed instead of a kitchen table chair. I danced down the aisle (literally) and found my seats. I sprawled out and took in my first movie during dinner. After that, I made a small bed with the seats I had and crashed for 8 or 9 hours.
I was coming off of a small fever and I guess I had some sweats while I was sleeping, because when I woke up I smelled terrible — even I was repulsed. None of my friends were around to blame the smell on, so when we landed I jetted to the Crown Room (which turned out to be my all-time favorite.) Luckily, it was one that had a shower, so I took a Kevin McAllister from Home Alone approach, washing every nook and cranny.
Once I landed in Melbourne, I strolled through the downtown and up to the river to catch the end of the Juniors’ preliminary slalom round. My personal favorite Zane Nicholson from Tennessee was top seed but went down two buoys to British skier Tim Bradstreet at 35 off. Both looked solid, but Zane, last off the dock, tried to kill it too early and ended up in the Yarra. On the girls’ side, U.S. athlete Makayla Haw ignored the jitters on her first trip Down Under and put out an amazing leading score of 3 at 35 off.
Tomorrow is the finals for the boys and it looks to be a good one. The promoters have done an awesome job. The shorelines are slammed with carnival rides, games, food and grand stands. This is going to be a huge weekend. There is no doubt that the crowd will reach 100,000-plus people. The Masters start Friday, so stay locked to waterskimag.com for details.