Water Skiers Dodd and McClintock Take Canadian Honours

Water skiers Ryan Dodd of Olds, Alta., and Whitney McClintock of Cambridge, Ont., Taryn Grant of Winnipeg, MB., Olivier Derome of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., Raphael Derome of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., Erika Langman of Orangeville, Ont., Becky Moynes of Belleville, Ont., Caitlyn Rowland of Calgary, Ab., and Ryan Riehl of Regina were named Waterski and Wakeboard Canada’s athletes of the year for 2010.

Dodd competed at seven international events this year and collected seven medals all in the jump event including gold at the prestigious Malibu Open and another victory at the Cray Valley Pro stop where he set a personal best leap of 71.3 m (234 feet).

“I was really happy with my season,” said Dodd. “I really couldn’t ask for anymore. I was a lot smarter with my training this season. I tried to be less intense and aggressive in practice and it paid off. I was a lot stronger for the big competitions at the end of the summer.”

McClintock, the reigning world champion, continued to maintain herself among the world’s best with four international medal performance including gold in tricks at the Masters. She also dominated the national championships sweeping all four gold (jump, slalom, tricks and overall).

“This season was about building and preparing for the next world championships (in 2011),” said McClintock, who earned her world overall title last year in Calgary. “I feel like the summer was very successful in that I set a Canadian record in tricks and was consistent in slalom. I am honoured to be named female athlete of the year and I am committed to making next season even better.”

The Derome brothers, Olivier and Raphael of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., were named the male and junior wakeboard athletes of the year.

“I’m really pleased with my season,” said Olivier Derome, 24, who earned two medals on the Pro Tour wakeboard circuit and was sixth at the world championships. “I kept it simple this year and that helped me gain a lot of confidence.”

Raphael Derome earned a victory on the Junior Pro Tour circuit and placed first at the Wake Games while taking fourth spot at the world junior championships. Although he is eligible for another junior season, he plans to go senior pro next summer.

“I had big goals this years and I pretty much reached them all,” said the 18-year-old rider. “Because I finished school, I had three extra months of training and that made a big difference.”

Taryn Grant of Winnipeg was the junior water ski athlete of the year: “It all came together for me at the junior worlds,” said Grant, 15, who won the silver medal in the women’s jump at the world junior championships in Italy. “All the little things I had been working on came together and I was able to land a big jump. It’s a big confidence boost.”

Erika Langman of Orangeville, Ont., was named the women’s wakeboard athlete of the year: “This year I really focused on consistency and style in my riding,” said Langman, second at Wakestock and the national championships. “I am very much an advocate for the creative side of wakeboarding, which is why I like to ride as much variety – cable, boat, winch, rails, snowboard, as possible.”

Becky Moynes of Belleville, Ont., earned the barefoot skier of the year: “This year was fun,” said Moynes, 19, a bronze medallist in jump at the world championships. “I was able to go to Florida this year and spend extra time on the water with my coaches. At the world’s I never expected I would reach the podium.”

Caitlyn Rowland of Calgary was named the junior barefoot skier of the year: “I set a bunch of Canadian records at the world championships so I was extremely pleased,” said Rowland, who won gold in slalom and silver in tricks and overall at the world junior championships. “Slalom was the highlight I never expected to score so high.”

Ryan Riehl of Regina, an athlete with a visual impairment, was named the adaptive skier of the year: “I’ve come a long way and really improved my scores and level of skiing this year,” said Riehl, 26, who started water skiing four years ago. “I can’t wait for next season.”

The Spence Family from Aurora, Ont., was named the volunteers of the year: “for us it is just a lot of fun,” said Debbie Spence, who along with her husband Mike Spence and daughters Melissa and Michelle, are involved in all aspects of the sport. “We love to see everyone participating and see the thrill on the kids’ faces when they reach a new level.”

Sarah Moore of Edmonton was the coach of the year: she was Alberta’s provincial coach at the provincial, western Canadian and national championships and ran several coaching clinics in Alberta.

Alberta was named the province of the year. It hosted 18 sanctioned competitions, had 55 athletes at the national championships and saw increases in membership and water ski and wakeboard school members.