Did you know one of VisAbility’s very own is a National Water skiing champion? Jaimi Andrews, VisAbility’s Regional Occupational Therapist in the Mandurah Office, is preparing to compete at the Australian Water Ski Nationals 2017. This will be no easy feat, and the competition is set to be tough. The Nationals host the best qualifying competitors from each state across Australia. West Australia is lucky enough to be hosting the event this year, and Jaimi was on the committee to help organise it here in Baldivis.
Tournament water skiing comprises of three events; Slalom, Trick and Jump. Jaimi will compete in the Open Women’s division in Slalom and the Over 21 Women’s division in Trick. Slalom consists of a six buoy course the skier must navigate to score points This gets increasingly harder as the boat increases to a maximum speed and the rope length becomes shorter. Trick involves completing as many tricks in two, 20 second intervals. The person with the most points from the best tricks on the day is the winner. While Jaimi originaly learnt how to compete in Jump events, she had to stop in 2010 after numerous knee injuries.
Jaimi’s personal best at Tournaments is completing the Slalom course at a maximum speed for Women at 55km/hr (very fast!) on a 13m length rope, and scoring 2800 points for Trick.
Jaimi has been water skiing in Tournaments since she was 14. Prior to this, she had always enjoyed water skiing and would often go to her local dam and ski socially. However, she happened to meet a family that was involved in Tournament water skiing at Bonney’s Park in Baldivis. This inspired Jaimi to head along to Ski School and learn how to run the Slalom course, Jump and do tricks. A year later, Jaimi had qualified and competed at her first National Tournament! Since 2005, Jaimi has competed in many Local and National competitions. Her best performances include winning Gold three years in a row at the National Titles for the Under 21 Division, and winning Gold four years in a row for the State Titles Open Women Division. Amongst this, Jaimi was also selected in Australian teams to compete internationally in New Zealand in 2008 and 2010, and in Chile in 2012. Last year Jaimi was selected to compete at an invite-only International Tournament in Melbourne at the Moomba Festival.
Jaimi is looking forward to the upcoming Nationals and is hoping for the best. However she modestly admits, “you never know what can happen on the day of the competition!” Reflecting on her many achievements and remarkable career in water skiing, Jaimi says she still really enjoys it. “My parents participate (in water skiing) as well, so I really enjoy doing it with my family. It’s a unique sport and I love being around the water in summer.” Now that does sound idyllic!
From everyone here at VisAbility, good luck Jaimi! We will be cheering you on!
Edit: Jaimi pulled off a fantastic 2460 points in Trick, taking home Gold in the Over Women’s 21 event. Jaimi came 5th in Slalom Open Women’s event, and while she was disappointed with her performance, she believes her competitors were at their best on the day and deserving of their win.
The weekend ran smoothly for Jaimi, though the usual nerves were present as with any competition. “I never feel too nervous for my trick event, however I do become nervous for my Slalom event. Especially when standing on the dock when I’m the next skier. However the first pass for your ski usually settles the nerves.”
So what’s next for Jaimi? She is looking forward to a break over winter, letting the body rest with a schedule of gym and yoga. Jaimi is looking forward to reassessing goals and deciding which tournaments to jump into come summer. Well done Jaimi!