The 2nd half of September brought an action-packed few weeks of waterski and wakeboard competition around Scotland.

Kyle Waterski and Wakeboard Club kicked off the action on the 19th of September with skiers from around the country making the trip to Kilbirnie Loch for a Backyard style slalom competition. The competition was organised over two rounds with participants being awarded a point per buoy and a point for each gate, giving a possible total of eight points per pass. Each participant was given a minimum of four passes and the speed was increased or the rope is shortened each time a pass was successfully run. In addition to the Backyard Score, each participant was also given a traditional competition score.

BACKYARD COMPETITIONS are primarily focused on fun and aim to bring the community together with a little light-hearted competition added in for good measure. Whether it is your first ever competition or you’re a seasoned short-line slalom skier everyone is included and everyone has the same chance of doing well.

At the end of a great day of slalom competition, accompanied by an impressive BBQ spread, Aaron Johnston a young skier from Town Loch NTS was the clear winner of the Backyard competition. Aaron completed an amazing run of clean passes of the half course, reaching speeds he’d never tried before and racked up a massive points total. Simon Fairbank – Lead Coach at Town Loch NTS – achieved the best competition score of the day with 5 buoys at 11m (55kph).

Glasgow Wake Park hosted their Backyard Bonanza on the 25th of September seeing a turnout that vastly exceeded expectations. Participants were given three passes to complete their tick runs which were scored on difficulty, composition and style. WWS Development Coach Ali Brotherton took the victory in the Men’s Open category with Debi McKay winning the Women’s. Andrew Massey was delighted to win the Masters Open in his first competition, Andrew Cash took out the Under 18s Open, Mackenzie Smith was 1st Intermediate and Richard Crawford won the Rookie competition.

Also taking place on the 25th of September was Aberdeen Water ski and Wakeboard Club’s internal Backyard competition. The club has seen an explosion in wakeboarders within its membership this year so put together a day of activity which included slalom, wake jump and spins/tricks competitions. All events were open to skiers and wakeboarders alike with spins on trick ski(s) or wakeboard and with wake-jumps scored for height, distance and style. This was the first competition at Aboyne Loch in almost twenty years.

John Smith took victory in the slalom competition with Gordon Christie, Ewan Craig and Vera Simpson finishing 2nd equal. In the spins competition, Ryan Scatterty was 1st, Vera Simpson 2nd and Curtis  Slachmuylders 3rd. Mark Stokes scored highest in the wake jump closely followed by Curtis Slachmuylders and Ewan Craig 3rd. The club awarded the best newcomer prize to Vera Simpson and most improved to Annabella Scatterty.

The next day saw the final event in the block of competitions with another Backyard style slalom competition taking place at the Town Loch National Training Site. It was brilliant to again see participants from around the country come together for another day of fun-focused competition. The event, run using the same format as the Kyle competition saw participants taking on the slalom course in some brilliant conditions and a great atmosphere.

The Backyard format again proved successful with participants of all abilities taking part. Some took on the half-course in their first competition, some took part on wakeboards and trick skis while others were aiming to round off the season with personal best performances. At the end of the day’s competition, Kim Johnston took home the prize for the best Backyard score while Ollie Jessop had the best competition score of the day – 1 ½ at 12m (58kph).

A big thank you must go to all of those – mostly volunteers – who put in a significant amount of hard work behind the scenes to make these events possible. These competitions have brought to a close a season that has been much better than anyone could have expected and has built up some real excitement for what lies ahead in 2022 for waterskiing and wakeboarding in Scotland!