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.
Day two breaks at the Moomba Masters and the juniors take to the Yarra River for the final round. Again, the weather is cooperating. It’s hot and sunny, and I have never seen the Yarra look so good. The conditions are known to change hourly but today the current and the water level stayed perfectly idle.
Makayla Haw looked like a season veteran, destroying 32 off and easily rounding 3 at 35 for the win. When the boys took to the water, it came down to two skiers: Zane Nicholson and Tim Bradstreet. Zane was out first and made a bold move by starting at 28 off, where the rest of the field elected a 22 off start. After crushing 35 off, Zane went on to set the Jr. Moomba record with 4 at 38 off. Tim obviously wasn’t fazed, as he too nailed 35 off. Carrying a 1.5 buoy advantage from the previous round, Bradstreet only needed any part of 3-ball for the win. After a decent start he got stood up at two-ball and had to settle for second place.
With the Masters not starting until tomorrow, I’ve been trying to take it easy. I got to bed around 10:30 last night and was enjoying my sleep until 9 a.m. when Marcus Brown decided that it was time to wake me up to hit the local aquarium with Terry Winter and his wife Kristin. Still adjusting to the 16-hour time change, I skipped the trip and took my business downtown for some brunch.
By this afternoon, the last of the pro field had arrived. The cool thing about this tournament is that everyone is anxious to get to the event. Typically, when we land in a host city we check in to the hotel and then go do our own thing. Hanging out at the site is the last thing we want to do. But it’s different here. Everybody lands and takes taxis from the airport directly to the river.
We all gathered around the skiers’ area, watched the juniors shred and got caught up after a winter without seeing one another. Of course, there are still a few guys out there trying to pull some ‘Jedi mind tricks’ with stories of just how little they’ve been skiing or who’s nursing what injury.
Tomorrow is the big day: The preliminary round. Unlike the Jr. event, there will be cuts after the first round and lots of them. More than half of the skiers will be sent home after the first day. Also, as if on cue, it looks like the weather is turning on us. The temperature is going to drop and produce some strong winds and a 50 percent chance of rain. Sounds like the last two months we’ve had in Florida, so we’re ready.
The adverse conditions should play to certain skier’s strengths and create a few surprises. I look at the list and expect top scores from the usual suspects: Chris Parrish, Nick Parsons, Marcus Brown, Terry Winter and Jon Travers. My dark horse is Tom Brantley who trains on a river back at his home in New Mexico, but I will really be keeping my eye on Mike Morgan. He won this event 25 years ago and is competing against us tomorrow.
As far as the jump event is concerned, my pick of course goes to Freddy Krueger. Zack Worden, Tom Asher and Damien Sharman have been chasing and charging lately, so it could be a complete showdown.
Tonight will be the mellowest night for us here in Melbourne, as everyone prepares for tomorrow. I’m definitely looking forward to hitting the water tomorrow — no matter what it brings.