Moree’s Lucy Christie has been crowned the best female slalom water skier under 21 in the country after winning a national title at the recent Australian Waterskiing Championships held in Goondiwindi.
The national win tops off a stellar season for the 19-year-old, who last month brought home gold from her first international event, winning the under 21 women’s slalom event at the under 21s Oz Kiwi Water Ski Challenge in New Zealand.
She has since continued that winning form, taking out the women’s under 21 slalom Queensland state and national titles, both held at Goondiwindi. This was the fourth year Lucy has won a state title, however the first time she has received gold at nationals, having placed second the previous two years.
She also recorded an equal tournament personal best in the finals. “It was very exciting,” she said. “I was happy.”
Going into state, which was held on March 24 to 26, Lucy was feeling confident after her win in New Zealand, although a little less sure heading into nationals – held over the Easter long weekend from March 29 to April 2.
“There were girls I skied against at nationals that weren’t in New Zealand, so I wasn’t sure what scores they were skiing,” she said.
“My main competitor at nationals wasn’t at states, so I wasn’t sure how they’d been skiing either.”
In the national finals, Lucy was ranked top seed and had to ski last. She ended up receiving the same score as the second-ranked skier, so the pair had to return to the water to do a run-off to determine the winner.
“We had to flip a coin to work out who chooses to go first or second,” Lucy said.
“I won the coin toss and elected to go first.
“You have to start at the pass before the one where you fell off, so it’s a lot harder than a normal competition.”
Lucy ended up with the higher score, getting three buoys on the 13 metre line at 55km/h, which saw her win the gold medal.
“It was very close; very exciting,” she said.
Lucy will now compete in a few smaller tournaments in the next month or two before the end of the season.
During the off-season she’ll keep skiing at Moree Water Park until it gets too cold and then she’ll just do gym training to keep up her fitness. Last year she went to America during the off-season, however after starting university this year, she’s not sure if she’ll be able to go back to the US this year.
Throughout the ski season, Lucy trains on the water about four times a week.
“I’m on the water throughout the season; I try and ski as much as I can,” she said.
“I’ll also run or go to the gym most days to keep up my fitness.”
Lucy is keen to defend her national title at next year’s Australian championships, which will be held in her own backyard, at the Moree Water Ski Park. Next year’s state titles will also be held in Moree.