Backyard Slalom Series - Round 1 - Report
It was a day for the youngsters to shine as the 2023 Scottish Backyard Slalom Series got underway on Sunday (21 May) at the Town Loch National Training Site. A strong turnout for so early in the season saw 25 participants take part in two rounds of slalom and some squeeze in a Backyard Trick Competition as an added extra.
The Backyard Slalom Series aims to bring together water skiers of all abilities to take part in some light-hearted and fun-focused competition in a sociable environment. Events take place using a backyard format designed to create a level playing field and see participants receive points based on the number of gates and buoys achieved regardless of the speed, rope length or even if you run the half or full course. For those running the full course, an informal competition-style score is also given based on the first pass not fully run.
Round 1 got underway with some of our younger and newer participants taking to the half course with confidence, skiing better than ever and recording perfect scores over their four passes setting a tough challenge for those to come. The competition amongst the next group of participants was equally fierce, with only 5 buoys separating the next 8 participants in the backyard competition and some good competition scores being set including an impressive return to the slalom course for Ali Brotherton (Town Loch). As the round approached its conclusion and the experienced competition skiers took to the course, it was Kevin Lochhead (Town Loch) who recorded the best score of the round with 3 buoys at 12m (55kph).
As lunch was provided for competitors, the first Trick Ski Competition to have taken place at Town Loch for some time got underway. This simple competition, which aimed to get new people to give trick skiing a go, involved participants completing a basic pre-defined run. The run included: a deep-water start, wake crossings to the left and right, a side slide and a 180. Thanks to support from Friends of Tournament participants had been able to access free coaching sessions to help them prepare. Congratulations to everyone who got involved and, to our winners: Kim Johnston, Aaron Johnston and Alisdair Roger. Thanks also to Georgie Hutchison for performing a demonstration which impressed and inspired in equal measure. This programme will continue across the season culminating in another competition at the September Town Loch event.
The second round of slalom got underway in near-perfect conditions with Emma Roberts, Ellie Morrison, Lorcan Morrison and Amy Johnston (all Town Loch) again laying down perfect scores to top the Backyard Competition! On the full course, Alistair Joyce (Town Loch) set a strong score missing only three buoys to break clear of the others in this group and secure second in the backyard competition in the process setting his best Competition Score to date. Ian Barnett (Kyle Waterski & Wakeboard Club) and Gordon Christie (Town Loch) were also able to improve their competition scores. None of the podium contenders were able to record improved scores so the podium remained unchanged with Kevin Lochhead topping the event.
Thanks must go to the Town Loch Team, all those who got involved with Driving and Judging on the day and to the Town Loch Café for their catering. The next event of the Scottish Backyard Slalom Series takes place at Kyle Waterski and Wakeboard on Sunday 11 June.
- Emma Roberts/Ellie Morrison/Lorcan Morrison/Amy Johnston - 64pts
- Alistair Joyce - 55pts
- Ali Brotherton - 51.5pts
- Kevin Lochhead - 3@55kph/12m
- Chris Heron - 3@55kph/13m
- Georgie Hutchison - 5@55kph/14m