Places scooped in slalom

Conditions weren’t kind to Blackwater’s Gabe Church in the third round of the CQ Series.
Conditions weren’t kind to Blackwater’s Gabe Church in the third round of the CQ Series. Allan Reinikka

CENTRAL Highlands water skiers have firmed their chances ahead in the third round of the CQ Series in Rockhampton earlier this month.

Emerald's Tim Dillon and Derak Lee made good ground in the division four slalom standings, placing second and third respectively.

The pair has been competing on the local circuit for the better part of two years, but due to other commitments, missed the previous two rounds in the series this season.

Blackwater's Gabe Church also dipped his toes in at Rockhampton, but with conditions becoming increasingly choppy, vital seconds were lost and the local competitor was forced to concede a place well down in the rankings.

"(Conditions) weren't great, it was pretty rough," CQ Water Ski's media promotions and funding co-ordinator Janelle Church said.

"But I think they skied fairly well considering the conditions."

The water ski action will head to Sarina in February for the fourth round of the CQ Series.

In the meantime, enthusiasts will have the opportunity to learn from one of the sport's best in Austin Abel.

The 21-year-old American, who is ranked among the top 25 slalom skiers in the world, will bring his wealth of experience to Theresa Creek Dam in Clermont for a skills and development camp from January 16-21.

Participants must have membership with the Australian Water Ski and Wakeboard Foundation.

All CQ skiers are also vying for selection at the upcoming state titles.

"Everyone can compete, you only need to have competed in two events a season to qualify and most people do," Janelle said.

Tournament water ski divisions range from one to six in slalom, with one the most experienced.

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