Only one shot—that's what the 34 competitors had during the Open Men's Slalom round of the 2007 Pro Slalom Shootout. Just one shot at the purse, the podium, and a spot in the top twelve and the chance to move onto the additional events. Watch this video to see how they did and who measured up.
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Event 1: Traditional Slalom
Correct Craft Ski Nautique 196
Maibu Response LXi
MasterCraft ProStar 197
It's a tried and tested formula: traditional slalom, classic scoring, high-buoy-count wins. But we upped the ante: no preliminary round; just one shot for the cash and the crown. Thirty-three skiers battled for a spot in the top 12 to stay alive for the remainder of the Shootout events.
The podium of WaterSki Magazine's Pro Slalom Shootout seemed like a family affair. Jamie Beauchesne, Chris Rossi and Marcus Brown are nearly inseparable throughout the ski season, so when Jamie and Marcus came to Orlando for the Shootout, it was natural that they would stay — and more importantly, eat — with Chris and his wife, Ellen Rossi. “It was all Ellen's cooking,” claimed Beauchesne of his victory. “She cooked for me and Chris at the Masters in Georgia, and we both hit the podium. And here she made this huge meal for Chris, Marcus and me the night before we skied — and we went first, second, third.”
A full belly must've been helpful because with no preliminary round in this event to offer competitors a chance to warm up, there were no second chances to grab the bulk of the $20,000 payout and acquire valuable Elite points. “Without a semifinal, it was just an all-around throw-down,” said world-record-holder Chris Parrish, who surprisingly failed to make the 3 at 391/2-off cut. The abbreviated format forced all of the 33 competitors to tap their top performance levels early. “We just had to come out really aggressive,” said fourth-place finisher Thomas Degasperi. “When you don't have a preliminary round, you don't have the opportunity to go easy for even a pass.” Degasperi jammed his finger on the handle in practice the day before the event and was dealing with some painful swelling but managed to dig deep and run into the early part of 41 off.
With only the top 12 skiers from the traditional slalom round getting an invite to the second- and third-event challenges — the 38-Off Spin It to Win It and the Cold 39 Contest — the athletes soon realized that there was no reason to hold back. “I just laid it out there,” said Trent Finlayson, who skied his way into a fifth-spot tie with Glenn Campbell. “Having one shot for the money kind of took the pressure off. There was really nothing to lose, no reason to lay up and be conservative.” And no second helpings.
Open Men's Results
1. Jamie Beauchesne – 2½ at 41
2. Chris Rossi – 2 at 41
3. Marcus Brown – 1½ at 41
4. Thomas Degasperi – 1 at 41
5. (tie) Trent Finlayson – 5 at 39
5. (tie) Glenn Campbell – 5 at 39
”I definitely have a new philosophy on skiing — a new philosophy on life — this year. In the past I've definitely forced a lot of issues. This year I'm having a lot more fun with skiing, and just life in general. I used to try to ski well and go into that engineer brain — just get a little more tense and not have as much fun with it — but that definitely didn't work out as well for me. So this year, I'm being more of a free spirit, understanding that we're not going to be around forever and making the most of being here now.” — Jamie Beauchesne
“It was fun. This is probably one of the better tournaments I've had in the past year. Just coming out and skiing against the best in the world — everyone was here — was a really good time.” — Marcus Brown
“It was just like going out there and skiing practice. We all just went out and did what we've been doing all week. You should've seen the amount of talk about theory and what we're doing out there. At points I was lost; at points I was found. I didn't know where I was going — left, right, center. But I made some turns and came out on top. Pretty psyched.” — Chris Rossi