Freddy Krueger, Ryan Fitts and Jaret Llewellyn
For Immediate Release Contact: Patrick Wampler
Public Relations Director
MasterCraft Pro Waterski Championship
Presented by Chevy Trucks and GM Vortec Engines
Finals Are as Close as They Come
Charleston, South Carolina (May 5, 2002) - The final round of the MasterCraft Pro Waterski Championship presented by Chevy Trucks and GM Vortec engines ended with great efforts and different faces gracing the top of the podium.
With $100,000 in bonus prizes for breaking the World Records in addition to the prize purse, all eyes were on favorites Andy Mapple, Freddy Krueger, Jaret Llewellyn and Kristi Overton-Johnson to win and maybe break a record behind the GM Vortec powered Indmar Marine engine MasterCraft towboats.
At the end of the day all records stood where they were set before the event, but not by much as the world's best professional water skiers let it rip. Each final in men's slalom, women's slalom and men's jump went down to the wire.
In men's slalom three men tied for the top spot at the end of the final round. Mapple, Chris Parris and Drew Ross all turned in performances of 2 @ 41 off to get to a three-way runoff. In the end the youngest man of the three, Parrish, outlasted Mapple and Ross for the victory after three grueling runoff rounds. In the final runoff, Parrish bested Ross by ½ buoy with a victory at 1 ½ @ 41.
Andy Mapple, Chris Parrish and Drew Ross
''I really couldn't be happier with my victory than I am today,'' said Parrish. ''It was a long event with a lot of skiing, but I persevered and in the end that paid off.''
The women's slalom final was just as close with ½ buoy deciding the final outcome. Karen Truelove, coming off an injury plagued 2001 season, came back for the biggest victory of her career. The win is Truelove's second victory in two professional events in 2002, she won in Australia earlier this year.
Natalie Hamrick, Karen Truelove and Geraldine Jamin
''This win is so big for me,'' said Truelove. ''My win earlier this year was great, but the field wasn't as strong as this event. These are the top women's slalom skiers in the world.''
In men's jump the margin separating the men in position one through three was four feet. In the end, Ryan Fitts, who had been quiet throughout the competition, took home the victory. Fitts went out early and nailed a jump of 224 feet, then sat back and watched the rest of the field try to catch him. Both Krueger and Llewellyn gave chase, but fell short with Llewellyn finishing second at 221 feet and Krueger just one foot behind at 220 feet.
''The conditions were so great out there today, I knew I could do something special,'' said Fitts. ''MasterCraft has such a great boat with the Indmar engine. I felt really comfortable and that helped me go out and push it.''
Men Slalom FINALS
1 Chris Parrish (FL)2 @ 41 2 @ 41 1 1/2 @ 41
2 Drew Ross (CAN)2 @ 41 2 @ 41 1 @ 41
3 Andy Mapple (GBR)2 @ 41 5 @ 39 1/2
Ben Favret (FL)1/2 @41
Terry Winter (CA)5 @ 39 1/2
Steve Cockeram (NZL)4 @ 39 1/2
Jason Paredes (CA)4 @ 39 1/2
Wade Cox (FL)3 @ 39
Jodi Fisher (GBR)2 1/2@39 1/2
Fabio Lanni (ITALY)2 1/2@38
Men Jump FINALS
Ryan Fitts (LA)224
Jaret Llewellyn (CAN)221
Freddy Krueger (FL)220
Scot Ellis (FL)217
Curtis Sheers (AUS)216
Jesper Cassoe (DEN)213
Jason Seels (GBR)211
Ryan Green (AUS)209
Jimmy Siemers (TX)208
Sebastien Di Pasqua (SWI)207
Women Slalom FINALS
1 Karen Truelove (FL)3 1/2@38
2 Geraldine Jamin (FRA)3 @ 38
2 Natalie Hamrick (FL)3 @ 38
Kristi Overton Johnson(NC)2 1/2@38
Rhoni Barton (FL)2 @ 38
April Coble Eller (NC)1 1/2@ 38
Jill Knutson (WA)1 1/2@38
Sarah Gatty Saunt (GBR)1 1/2@38
Jennifer Leachman (FL)5 @ 35
Lori Krueger (TX)2 1/2@35
117 Darin Shapiro (FL) 71.89
21 Erik Ruck (WI) 64.45
37 Josh Sanders (AUS) 61.68 9 Trevor Hansen (FL) 59 16 Froggy Soven (FL) 58.88 2 Brett Eisenhauer (AUS) 57.7 3 Parks Bonifay (FL) 48.37 6 Chad Sharpe (CAN) 44.92 11 Chris Law (FL) 23.46 4 Mark Kenney (AUS) D Q