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Monday August 19, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

First, we brought news that GB's top skiers were competing in a World Championships. Now the results and some fab photos.

The World Championships were on water, not snow.

But you didn't seem to mind and you read our story, anyway:
So it seems only fair to let you know what happened.

It's also an excuse to share some of the amazing photographs taken by official photographer David Crowder.

Joel PolandWorld Waterski Open Championships - photo David Crowder/IWWF

And, if you want to know more about this spectacular sport, we have a little explanation of how it's scored at the end of this article.

The IWWF World Waterski Open Championships were held in Malaysia and concluded on Sunday, with both success and disaster for the British team.

Defending slalom champion Freddie Winter had to settle for silver as Great Britain picked up four medals on the final day of action at Putrajaya Lake.

Freddie WinterFreddie Winter slaloming to silver in Malaysia - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Winter was joined on the slalom podium by team mate Will Asher, who won bronze.

29-year-old Winter and Asher, who's 37, were beaten in water skiing's equivalent of a penalty shoot out.

They were in a three-way tie for first place with Australia's Joel Howley after all 12 finalists had skied, forcing a run-off with the Aussie triumphing.

Will AsherWill Asher slaloming to bronze in Malaysia - photo David Crowder/IWWF

20-year-old Joel Poland fell short of becoming the first Briton since 1977 to win the overall Open title, but he did enough to win bronze in the overall and an individual bronze in the last event of the championships, the jump.

He made the jump podium with a leap of 64.4 metres (211 feet) off the ramp, not far off his personal best.

Joel PolandJoel Poland jumping to bronze in Malaysia - photo David Crowder/IWWF

The overall medal, where scores in the three disciplines of slalom, tricks and jump are taken into account, is a huge result for the rising star of British water skiing.

It was his first senior World Championships and came just six weeks after he won the Under-21 overall World title.

Joel PolandJoel Poland competes in tricks in Malaysia - photo David Crowder/IWWF

"I came into this year with the aim of the under-21 Worlds, to win that and see how it went for the Open," Poland said.

"Just being on the podium is a great achievement for me but I always want a little more."

Great Britain had hopes for another medal in the men's jump but, unfortunately, Jack Critchley ended the day in hospital rather than on the podium.

Jack CritchleyJack Critchley - photo Steve Sopp

Critchley, who's 22, crashed badly on his second attempt over the ramp and suffered a dislocated hip.


The good news is that he is reported to be recovering well after having his hip put back in place.

Here are some more photos of the GB team in action for you to enjoy....

GB skier Rob Hazelwood Rob Hazelwood  - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Eleanor BenjaminEleanor Benjamin - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Joel PolandJoel Poland - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Joel PolandJoel Poland (powering towards the jump ramp) - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Harry Spavin - photo David Crowder/IWWFHarry Spavin - photo David Crowder/IWWF

Charlotte WhartonCharlotte Wharton - photo David Crowder/IWWF


Classic (also known as tournament) water skiing divides into three events.

There is a winner in each event and an overall winner where the points scored for each event contribute to the overall result.


This dramatic spectator event involves skiing over a ramp at speeds of up to 70mph, taking off and landing on the water to ski away. Each skier has three attempts at the ramp.

There are no style points. All that matters is the distance achieved.


The boat travels at a constant speed in a straight line down the middle of the slalom course. At elite level the speed is 58kph (36mph) for men and 55kph (34mph) for women.

The skier has to go through the entrance gates - a pair of buoys in the middle of the course - then virage from side to side across the boat wakes, successfully rounding six turn buoys before going through the exit gates.

Each successful pass results in the rope being shortened, making it increasingly difficult to reach the turn buoys.

Eventually, the rope length becomes less than the distance from the boat to the turn buoys. The winner is the skier who completes the most turn buoys at the shortest rope length.


The skier is given two 20-second passes to complete as many different tricks as possible.

These can vary from a simple 180 turn to a somersault with a twist. There are also ‘toehold' tricks where the skier holds the rope with one foot.

Each trick is worth a given number of points according to difficulty. Points are awarded only if the tricks are deemed to have been successfully performed.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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