Spectacular skiing and near-record performances highlighted the North American Water-Ski Championships held this past week-end on Lake Lashaway in East Brookfield, Mass.
Sixteen year-old Dickie An Hoyt proved the most exciting skier in the tournament by winning the girls' sialom and trick events. Her total of 288 trick points was only 10 points off her three week-old record of 2893.
Sue Bonin placed second to Dicksie in sialom and won the jumping event when Dicksie took a bad fall on an 89 foot jump which fell three feet short of Barbara Cooper's 92 foot record.
In an exciting runoff, Skip Smaha captured the boys' North American sialom title by beating out Ralph Kershaw. Both had successfully run through the sialolm course at 28, 30, 32, and 34 m.p.h. At the point Skip successfully navigated the course with 12 and 18 feet off the regular 75 foot line, picking up four more buoys with 24 feet off.
Ray Arsenault won the jumping crown in the boys' division with leaps of 90 and 94 feet, nosing out Skip Smaha who scared 95 feet for the longest jump in his class.
In the boys' trick event, Tom Chatham ran 2174 points to easily outclass the rest of the field. Chatham used the difficult and rarely-seen 360 degree toehold turn.
Judy Christenat jumped 76 and 79 feet to win that event in the women's division. She also won the slalom title by scoring one more buoy at 32 m.p.h. than Cindy Drummond.
Rough water on Saturday morning cut down the competition in the men's slalom. Wind and waves more than doubled the difficulties of the skiers trying to navigate the course at 30, 32, 34, and 36 m.p.h. Three of the favorites, Skip Charles, Bruce Sylvester and Bill Grimditch tied for 5th
Jim Drummond, the winner, scored 17 points. In an exciting run-off Jim Brunell nosed out Russ Pratt to take second place.
Under perfect water and wind conditions on Sunday afternoon, Jim Perry, winner of last year's North Americans, jumped 132 feet twice to take the crown for a second year. For the first time in his skiing career, Jim Barker broke the "century" mark with leaps of 111 and 110 feet to win the second place title.
Larry Korb came out of retirement to take a fourth place in the men's jumping event. Larry's specialty, however, is the trick event.
The American Water-Ski Association assigns point values to each trick and, in two 20-second passes, the skier attempts to combine as many difficult tricks as he can.
Larry planned his run of 3500 points around such high-point stunts as the 360 degree toehold turn both on water and in the air off the wake. Had he made his run successfully, he would have set a new Eastern, National, and World record. His lack of speed left him with 2852 points and a third place.
Bob Lilly, who spilled the week before in the Masters at Callaway Gardens, ran 2985 points to take second place.
Once again Al Tyll proved that his speed is unbeatable in the trick event. The National champion and recent winner of the Masters title added the North American crown to his laurels. Although his planned trick run of 3399 points was comfortably above his own Eastern record, Al lost 53 points to finish with 3346, only nine points below the record.
The remaining meets in the East are the Mid-Easterns, to be held in Reading, Pennsylvania; the Stoneboro-on-the-Lake Open in Stoneboro, Pa.' and the Eastern Regionals, which will be sponsored by the Sokokis Ski Club and held near Bridgeton, Maine.