1999 Fall Newsletter

Council Members
Eastern Region & National Committee
From the EVP

Collegiate News
Officials Needed
Nationals Results
Eastern Region News
Junior Development Program
For Recreational Skiers
Trick Tips
National Ski League
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Steve Lohr (EVP) 			(804) 633-5285
Bill Baker				(610) 539-0172
Roger Hammel				(703) 471-7769
Paul Allebach				(215) 368-1775
Council Representatives:
CT	Tonya Maurer			(203) 628-9361
DE	Ed Nichols			(302) 737-6490
MA	Howie Emerson		(508) 363-5129
MA	David Allen			(508) 481-8876
MD	Bob Morris			(301) 956-4910
ME	Bob Letourneau		(207) 363-3892
NH	Chris Ober			(603) 228-5972
NJ	Jennifer Eggers			(201) 827-0269
NY	Alan Frederick			(716) 692-3611
NY	Dean Rudy  			(315) 342-2271
PA	Barry Sangrey			(610) 777-7990
PA	Doug Robbins			(412) 452-2042
VA	Bill Harris			(540) 899-8015
VA	Ken Crofton   			(804) 925-0866
VT	Mark Dingman			(802) 862-0732
WV	Jim Powers			(304) 291-0430	


Tournament Coordinator 
	Donna Laskey 					(757) 547-1360
Communications/Guidebook Coordinator
	Debbie Wagner				(410) 573-0315
	Leslie Carr					(410) 757-9056
	Sara Allebach					(215) 368-1775
	Marie Baker					(610) 539-0172
Collegiate Advisory
	Kathy Robbins					(412) 935-0538
Web Master 
	Jim Meis 					(973) 827-0269
Special Officials Blue Ribbon
	Roger Hammel					(703) 471-7769
Regional Awards 
	Bill Wenner					(252) 586-7567
Regional Nominating 
	Sara Allebach					(215) 368-1775
Regionals Site
	Barry Sangrey                 			 (610) 777-7990
	Bill Harris  					(540) 899-8015
Boat Driver's Rating and Classification
	Doug Robbins					(412) 452-2042
Speed Control
	Ralph Hall					(804) 739-6407
International Activities
	Jon Thacher 					(703) 250-0215
	Bill Baker					(610) 539-0172
	Bill Wenner					(252) 586-7567 
Judges' Qualifications
	Joe Deltondo					(412) 828-8822
Junior Development
	Debbie Lamb					(978) 682-1868
	Ken Roach					(804) 282-9353
NSL Tournaments
	Ron Ramsey					(540) 776-0638
National Coaching Advisory
	Tom Hinman					(860) 379-7796
National Tournament Seeding
	Jennifer Frederick 				(716) 692-3611
National Tournament Towboat Study
	Ralph Hall					(804) 739-6407
National Nominating
	Rick Norford					(908) 818-8323
	Lee Mershon 					(804) 229-2877
	Ralph Hall					(804) 739-6407
National Awards
	Marie Baker 					(610) 539-0172
	Suzan Andrews					(610) 277-6325
Sports Medicine & Science
	Jeff Sargent					(860) 673-4510
Skiers' Rating
	Gordon Gay 					(540) 373-5555
	Jim Meis 					(973) 827-0269
Time and Place
	Bill Baker					(610) 539-0172
Water Skiing for the Disabled
	Craig Miller					(215) 855-2601
Waterways Education 
	John Wagner 					(410) 573-0315

								Please Get Involved & Help
Randall Appleton, Chairman		(540) 230-6007	To volunteer call Steve Lohr 
Stuart Abelson, NatlDirector		(860) 571-8560	@(804) 633-5285 or
Amy Litwiler, Treasurer 		(607) 562-3080	e-mail (slohr@bealenet.com. 
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This newsletter is dedicated to the weekend skier, the potential tournament skier, and the new tournament skiers of 1999 and in the new millennium.  New faces will rejuvenate our sport.  If you receive this newsletter and have not attended a tournament, come to the winter meeting and plan to attend a tournament this summer.  Events are planned for all levels - from NSL for those new to the competitions to the Nationals for the big guns.
Read Natalie's articles on getting kids involved and Mike's article on getting himself and his family involved.  We have over 4,000 members in the Eastern Region, which is a large brain trust of talent to help each of you get involved.  If you can't find someone nearby to help you get involved, contact me and I will help you find a waterski mentor.  The more involved you become the more fun you will have water skiing.
Steve Lohr     (804) 633-5285

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Randall Appelton

Collegiate skiing in the Eastern Conference.
Report from the New Conference Chairman…
After being a member of the Virginia Tech Water Ski Team for over 4 years, I have taken over the responsibilities of Conference Chairman from Rusty Richardson.  The ECWSC expresses its gratitude to Rusty for the all the work he has done over many long years.  As a coach, tournament director, liaison, and friend, he will surely be missed.  We wish him only the best as he begins his next adventure with twins…
The ECWSC had a roller coaster of a season this fall.  Thanks to Hurricane Floyd, the semi-annual Bates Classic in Avon, CT was cancelled due to flooding.  Therefore, the entire season came down to the Virginia Tech Fall Collegiate at Timberlake, in Sparta, VA, on September 25.  Four colleges were represented at the tournament: Bates College, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and The University of MD.   There were strong showings from all colleges, with outstanding performances from Katie McElhinney and Ryan Bouchard from Bates College; Nikki Mirra and Troy Stork from Penn State; Breann Shirkey and Shawn Miller from Virginia Tech; and Todd Gibson and E.J. Scofield from the Univ. of MD.  At the end of the day, Virginia Tech regained the coveted Conference Championship, while Bates came in a close second.
As the Eastern Conference Champion, Virginia Tech earned the right to travel to Shortline Lake, in Sacramento, CA for the National Collegiate Water Ski Nationals on October 14th – 16th.  The week was full of incredible skiing including a new men's jump record and a tied men's slalom record.  At the close of the competition, Virginia Tech walked away with 13th Place.  But more importantly, they walked away with an experience they will never forget.
I would like to thank all the judges and officials who made the tournament at Timberlake such a success.  Your support and generosity is very important to us, and without it, we could not survive.
Myself, Virginia Tech, and the rest of the ECWSC look forward to a short winter and a successful 2000 season with the Eastern Region.  Happy Holidays and Thank You!


Judges, Drivers, Scorers, Safety Directors, Technical Controllers and Announcers are needed for the MasterCraft Eastern Regionals to be held at Lake Holly, Sparta, Virginia, August 3-6, 2000.  Drivers, Scorers and Judges are also needed for the Nationals.  Please e-mail or mail a brief resume of experience to Steve Lohr before December 31, 1999.   We need you.  Please respond.

Regionals officials appointed to date are:  Check AWSAEAST for
 Chief Judge  Roger Hammel additional appointments.
 Chief Driver  Doug Robbins

AWSEF Hall of Fame

Please don't forget to contribute to the new Water Sports Complex-our "Quantum Leap" campaign.  This is our opportunity to showcase water skiing.  Eastern Region skiers have contributed over $8,000.  Please be a part of the effort.
Send your tax deductible contribution to "Quantum Leap" Campaign, 799 Overlook Dr., Winter Haven, Fl 33884-1671, or call (941) 324-2472, for more information.

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The Eastern Region skiers represented us well at the 1999 Nationals held in Bakersfield, California.  We brought 23 metals home. We sent 65 skiers west to represent us (plus one that only represented us at the Board meeting), 14 of them won at least one metal.  Harry Fulton won the only gold, which was in Boys 2 Jump. We congratulate each of our National participants and remind them that just being at the Nationals is a real accomplishment. I hope the decline in participation was due to the Nationals being held in California instead of the East.  With the great reviews of the site (it is excellent), let's get the numbers back up in 2000.


State competition results were again computed for the Regional Championships- and of course Virginia, the 1997 and 1998 winner, was victorious (not quite the slaughter experienced in 1998).  State team results are based on the combined top 5  NOPS scores for both men and women in each event  Virginia outdid the rest of the region in slalom and tricks, but Connecticut again successfully out jumped the rest of the Region, Pennsylvania was second, and Virginia third.  Overall honors went overwhelmingly to Virginia, with Connecticut second, and Pennsylvania third.  We had a total of 155 skiers. A superb site and a gracious host club  made the 1999 Eastern Region Championships a truly great tournament. We look forward to being at Lake Holly in the next millennium!


Jim Meis, our Regional Tournament Director and Region's Web Master, received the Tiny Richard's Award, presented to the judge displaying the most skill, knowledge and dedication to the sport.  The James G. Sylvester Memorial Award, presented to the individual demonstrating the highest degree of sportsmanship and integrity in the sport of water skiing, was also presented to Jim.
 The Ken Mead Memorial Award was presented to Don Henderson.  This award is presented to the Men III or older skier who exemplifies Ken's values and love for water skiing.  The Tommy Kelly, Jr. Memorial Awards went home with Jena Hinman and Gordon Gay, the female and male skiers with the best overall NOPS scores.
Congratulations to these skiers.

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This year we scheduled three clinics for our junior team members.  They were in Sparta, Virginia, Oakham, Massachusetts, and Monroe, New York.  Unfortunately, due to the water levels at Monroe, that clinic was canceled.  However, the other two clinics were successful with Warren Ramsey coordinating the Oakham clinic and Marie Fields coordinating the Sparta Clinic.  Many thanks to all of you who volunteered your time to cook, drive, coach, etc.  Also, thanks to the owners who permitted the juniors to use their facilities and to those who allowed us to use their boats.
After much discussion at the National committee meeting, the USOC clinics will be a little different this year.  The USOC clinics will not be handled locally as has been done in the past.   First, like last year, the International Activities Committee will select a National Team, which will be based on particular criteria from Class C tournaments and above. The National Team will receive one clinic in the spring of 2000, similar to last year's.
Next, a group of 24 skiers (boys and girls 2 and 3)will be selected  from all five regions, again from Class C tournaments and above.  The selection criteria for both of these groups will be published in the regional guidebook. The 24-member group (The National Junior Development Team) will be split into two groups according to their location.  Each group will receive one clinic.  This 24-member group clinic will replace the local USOC clinics.  Sometime during the month of November or December, this 24-member team will be notified of their selection and given an invitation to participate in a clinic in the spring or early summer of 2000.  Team members of both the National Team and the National Junior Development Team (24 member) will be published in the regional guidebook.
Forms have been sent out to various sites requesting information for next year's clinics so that as many clinics as possible can be published in the regional guidebook.  These clinics can be anything from learn to ski clinics to clinics for the junior team members.  Some junior clinics may be held in conjunction with an adult clinic.  If you are thinking about possibly holding any type of clinic, even if you are unsure about exact dates, please contact me so that I can get any information about your clinic into the 2000 guidebook.  Contact: 978-682-1868 or email: 102072.372@compuserve.com.

All of the Junior Development Team members should have received their letter of selection to the 2000 year team and should have responded with their picture and write up for the 2000 Regional Guide.  Thanks to those of you who had their information ready and handed it in at the regional tournament.
To save on postage costs and to communicate more efficiently, further communications about swimsuits, clinic dates and other news will be sent to you by email if you have an email address.  Those who don't  have an email address will have a regular letter sent.  So, PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL!!!!  As always, look for news in the Waterskier Magazine and at our web site (www.awsaeast.org) as well under Junior Development.
Please consider coming to the winter meeting to hear the junior development committee report and to speak with me or other junior development committee members.
In April, we will have an equipment sale opportunity.  Items will be listed on the web site (www.awsaeast.org ).  This will be a great way for some of you to clean out your closets of skis that your juniors have out grown.  It will also be an opportunity for others to pick up some great buys!  More information will be forth coming on this event.
Many thanks to the people who helped to make the auction at the regional tournament a success.  We had a wide variety of items and I especially thank each of you who donated something to the auction.  Information on money made and where this money may be used will be discussed at the winter meeting.
Thanks to MasterCraft Boat Company for again sponsoring our junior development party at the regional tournament in Monroe. (Rumor has it that the party will return to Pitts Pond this year.)  Also, a special thanks to MasterCraft for purchasing and printing jackets for our All Star Team.
Thanks again to Jennifer Curd at O'Brien Ski Company for supplying 8 junior siege slalom skis for our boys one and girls one skiers.  Please contact me if you know of a boys one or girls one skier who could benefit from this program.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the junior development committee for their help and would like to thank the new committee for volunteering: John Corkery, Marie Fields, Warren Ramsey and Phyllis Swift.

National News
A National Junior Pizza Party was held at Bakersfield this year where over 200 kids spent time eating, dancing and having fun.  Also, each junior competitor received a medal for competing at the 1999 Nationals.  Each region helped to support these activities with a $100 donation.  The 2000 Nationals will again give medals for competing and hold another great party. Plan to be there!

Please feel free to call, write or email me with your questions, comments, or suggestions about the junior development program.  Spread the word about our sport, encourage other juniors to come to tournaments to see our sport.  Get involved in teaching new skiers, our sport depends on it!
Debbie Lamb
(978) 682-1868

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Please keep up with all Eastern Region news by accessing AWSAEAST, located at www.awsaeast.org.  Our webmaster, Jim Meis, has worked hard to keep us informed, so please be sure to take advantage of up to the minute news.  Also, send Eastern Region news to Jim at 6 Pond Hollow Rd, Sussex, NJ 07461 or via e-mail at 74567.711@compuserve.com. Our web page is hosted by Bowling Green Electronics/Bealenet, of Sparta, VA, free of charge.  You may wish to thank Frank and Jan at frank@bealenet.com.  Also, please register your e-mail address in the AWSAEAST e-mail directory.


Please submit your committee reports to the EVP by January 10, 2000, via e-mail, snail mail, or pony express.  All reports will be available at the winter meeting and on AWSAEAST.

Ski 2K Regionals
Plan to attend the first Eastern Regional Championships of the new millennium.  The Lake Holly Ski Club cordially invites you to attend the MasterCraft Eastern Regionals on August 3, 4, 5, and 6, 2000.  Consult the Guidebook and AWSAEAST for complete details, but count on great skiing, good fellowship, and perhaps even a visit to Pitts Pond!


National Ski League (NSL) Tournaments are fun and a great way to involve new skiers in our sport.  It is not too late to plan an NSL Tournament on your site.  Ron Ramsey of Virginia is our Eastern Region representative on AWSA's NSL Committee, and Kevin Driggers of Lake of the Woods has a proven format that is fun and generates interest.  AWSA Headquarters' staff can also help!


Debbie Wagner of Annapolis, MD has again agreed to edit the 2000 Tournament Guidebook for the Eastern Region, aided this year by Leslie Carr, also of Annapolis.  Please help Debbie and Leslie by making sure all results, bios, pictures, or other information is submitted early.  Debbie's address is 209 Cinnamon Lane, Edgewater, MD  21037, phone # (410) 573-0315, or e-mail jdwagner@annap.infi.net. Council members should send photo and updated bio to her.


Our Seeding Coordinator Jennifer Frederick reminds us that a copy of any performance sheet for an out of region tournament that we ski in should be sent directly to her, so they can be included in the Guidebook results.
Jennifer's fax # is (716) 892-1426, or e-mail at. 105575.450@compuserve.com.  Her address is 123 Glenhurst Rd, Tonawanda, NY  14150.

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By Michael Shepard

This is to all those "public" water skiers who love to go out and throw up that big spray.  I have seen lots of tournament boats out on the public waters, especially the open bow models stuffed with kids.  I know the average skier doesn't go out and buy a tournament boat, so you have to figure at least one of the occupants is a pretty good skier.  With this generally being the case, I always see somebody out there cutting it up pretty good.  If you are one of those people, I urge you to take it up one more level and get yourself and your family out on a water ski slalom course.  I always thought you had to be a world-class skier to run on the course, but I was wrong.  This is my story.

I have been a recreational skier for 32 years, the last 10 years with my family.  Skiing mostly on big public lakes, there was never the opportunity to ski through a course.  As our daughter progressed we started to wonder if she was good enough to compete. Not knowing anything about it we decided to watch a tournament and get a feel for what it would take.

We went the VA State Championships and found that it was incredibly exciting.  We met and spoke with many veteran skiers and it was a really relaxed atmosphere.  If we were going to pursue this we decided that we needed training on how to ski the slalom course (all those buoys – where do you start?).  We chose the Coble Water Ski School and Training Center because of recommendations and its proximity to VA.
We were very nervous at first.  It really doesn't matter what your level, they will work with you even if you have never skied.   Since we already knew how to slalom, they had us first go and free ski.  This helped get some of the butterflies out but, honestly, every run I took that week I had that nervous excited feeling in my stomach.  The first time I got through the course making all the buoys was just incredible.  It was such a rush.  You get really pumped up and can't wait to try it again - it's totally addicting.

After each pass the boat shut down and the instructors pop up and tell you what you should do differently, or what you are doing that's good, always something.  All the instructors were very good and everything they said made sense.  With 4 sets per day it was like 24 mini ski rides!  My wife and daughter were equally pleased.  I got to ride in the boat while my daughter was being instructed.  This was good as I could see and hear what they were telling her and could reinforce it later.  I saw a teenage boy go from doubles to skiing the mini course in two days.

I can't tell you how much better everyone was skiing after this trip. I was really pleased with the instruction for my daughter.  They straightened out her form and she is now skiing with confidence.  She is no longer afraid of those wakes!  For my wife it was the same thing.  Her form is better, her pulls are stronger, and she is faster crossing the wake.  We all took these instructions back to the public lake and will continue to apply them, but I have to say it's pretty boring without those buoys!

After this experience I realize that you don't have to be a world-class skier to run the slalom course.  I also realize that I missed many years of the fun and challenges that a slalom course has to offer.  So this is notice to all those "open water" skiers.  If you have access to a course, try it!  If not, go check out a ski school.  It's demanding but incredibly fun.  I didn't think I could do very well, but with professional instruction just a little change can make a huge difference.  Now I am kicking myself for wasting all those years!
Michael Shepard
TELOS Corporation
US Army Command & Control
Support Agency – Pentagon

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Lee Gotschalk

What's the correct way to practice? I wish I knew!
The one thing I have learned from 25+ years of competing is everyone does it differently. I have tried to learn from as many people as possible to try and figure out what works for me. I have been very fortunate having people to ski with that want me to improve. Many times ski partners are in or behind the boat for their own personal skiing only! Get to know your partners, what they are trying to accomplish and pay attention! Little things can make a big difference. We all know skiers who put in countless hours on the water but don't improve. "Quantity doesn't equate to Quality".
I'm a tricker primarily (No, No keep reading), but as a driver and observer/coach I notice what my friends are doing because we have common goals and ideas. I watch skier position from the moment they come out of the water until they drop off at the end of a set.  Some of the people that have helped me through the years still don't know the names of the tricks I'm trying but they pickup on the positions I'm in when tricks are going good and help me find the correct position when I'm learning new tricks.

4 Basic Thoughts about Practice
1) You need to find a practice routine that works for you. Don't be afraid to try new ways of practicing to stimulate the thought process.  Consistency will depend on how you practice. Keep track of your practices.
2) "Practice is Hard Work" but it is FUN!  If you aren't having fun you need to check back to #1.
3) Know what you want to do BEFORE you get on the water. No sense wasting "Valuable Ski Time".
4) If things aren't going right (it happens sometimes) go back to the dock. The forced negative set could "poison" your skiing for a week or longer if you don't recognize it.

My Own Practice Routine
I start each season doing simple tricks I'm not going to fall on (body plants and deep-water starts in cold water are not my idea of fun).  This is also the time of the year that I check new boat characteristics (wake size, shape, boat speed, etc.) Things on the water will look and feel different after a long break. Take in all the information for later thought.  I work up to individual tricks in my runs doing these 2-3 times each. As the tricks improve and feel natural I start doing sequences of 3-4 tricks. (ex W5F-B-RW5F-W5B).
While still working sequences I start thinking about putting together a run for the season. I divide my run into 4-6 sections.  I'll come off the dock  and do my opening trick 3 times followed up with 3-4 sets of W5s and then 3-4 sets of the end of my 1st pass. I do a similar routine with my toe pass. I have my toe pass broken into 2 parts. I start with my T7 and go through to the T5F or TOs  (T7-T5B-TBB-RTBB-T5F-TO-RTO) and then finish up with TWO to the end.  (TWO-TB-TWBB-TF-TWLB-TWLBB or TWF.)  Just before I go in is the time I try new tricks, 5 times max (I'm now warmed up and don't mind getting wet).
I don't do complete runs except in tournaments. I don't time runs - it causes me to rush and go swimming. Different? Probably but it has worked for me so far but I'm always looking for a better way. The late fall and winter seasons are the "Mental Seasons" for planning.   Don't Waste It!

Tricking Tips from Gordon Gay
 Keep the ski on edge up the wake until the binding is on the crest.
 Always keep the ski between you and the boat.  (Therefore, don't bend forward at the waist to prepare for reverse toe turns, etc.)  This keeps a tight line.
 Don't worry so much about bending your knees.  Concentrate on bending at the ankles.  You can't bend at the ankles without automatically bending your knees.

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