ORLANDO, FL March 26, 2002. The Masters Waterski and Wakeboard Tournament announces the invitations to competitors for the Rolex Junior Masters and the 43rd Masters tournaments. The action will take place Memorial Day weekend, May 24 – 27, 2002, on beautiful Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
The Masters is known throughout the world as the oldest, most prestigious waterski tournament and now can add one more important fact to its grand history, as it becomes the largest cash and prize purse ever in the history in the sports of waterskiing and wakeboarding. Cash and prizes will total approximately $170,000. The world's most elite athletes will be vying for a payday never before thought possible. Each of the four disciplines featured in the Masters, for both men and women, will have the largest combined purse ever presented in the world for these watersports.
The 43rd Masters invitees include the following and are broken out into event disciplines:
MEN SLALOM: Andy Mapple of Great Britain, 13-time Masters Champion, 4-time World Champion and top-ranked in the world, heads the list of the world-class slalom competition. In addition there is the USA's Jamie Beauchesne, Wade Cox, Chris Parrish and Jeff Rodgers who co-holds the world slalom record with Mapple. Completing the field of men slalom skiers will be Steve Cockeram of New Zealand and Drew Ross of Canada.
WOMEN SLALOM: World record holder and 5-time Masters Champion Kristi Overton Johnson, ranked number one in the world, will lead the international field, followed by fellow Americans April Coble Eller, Natalie Hamrick, Jill Knutson and Karen Truelove, coming off an early season win at the Australian Moomba Masters. Last but hardly least is World Champion and Masters defending champion, Emma Sheers of Australia.
MEN SKI FLY: Leading the field in this exciting discipline will be the top-ranked ski flyer in the world and world record holder at 299 feet, Jaret Llewellyn of Canada. Joining the attempt to break the 300-foot barrier will be 3-time and defending Masters champion, Freddy Krueger and Scot Ellis of the USA, Kyle Eade of New Zealand, Jason Seels of Great Britain and Curtis Sheers of Australia.
WOMEN SKI FLY: Defending champion of last year's inaugural ski fly event for women and world ski fly record holder, Emma Sheers, will fend off the competition, including Rhoni Barton and Lori Krueger of the USA in addition to Sarah Gatty Saunt of Great Britain; Britta Grebe Llewellyn of Austria; world jump champion and world record holder and 3-time Masters jump champion, Elena Milakova of Russia; and Marina Mosti of Italy.
MEN TRICKS: Nicolas LeForestier of France, the World Champion and record holder, 6-time and defending Masters Champion from France heads an impressive field of trick skiers. USA's Russell Gay, Cory Pickos and Jimmy Siemers; as well as Oleg Deviatovski of Belarus and Canada's Jaret Llewellyn will complete the field.
WOMEN TRICKS: World record holder and 7-time Masters champion, Tawn Hahn of the USA leads the international competition against Rhoni Barton and World Champion Regina Jaquess also of the USA; Angeliki Andriopoulou of Greece, Brigitte Lethem and Frederique Savin of France, top-ranked Elena Milakova of Russia and Marina Mosti of Italy.
MEN WAKEBOARD: The indomitable Parks Bonifay, top-ranked, WWA National Champion, Vans Triple Crown Series and Pro Tour Winner stands to have stiff competition from Darin Shapiro, WWA World Champion, 4-times Masters Champion and Gravity Game Champion and defending Masters Champion and the ever popular, Shaun Murray. Rounding out the competition will be Americans Danny Harf, Joey Arcisz, Keith Lyman and Robin Friday, as well as Australian champions Josh Sanders, Brett Eisenhauer and Daniel Watkins.
WOMEN WAKEBOARD: The fluid stylish riding of the defending Masters Champion and World, National and Vans Triple Winner, Emily Copeland, will be pitted against the powerful riding of Dallas Friday, the top-ranked female on the Pro Tour and Gravity Games winner. In addition, the veteran Marie Botved Studd of Denmark and Americans Christy Smith, Maeghan Major and Melissa Marquardt will round out the field.
It is easy to see that not only the prestige of receiving a coveted invitation to the Masters is important to these gifted athletes, but to win the Masters, especially at this level takes the Masters to new heights in the sports of waterskiing and wakeboarding. The Masters is not just another waterski and wakeboard tournament, it is the Masters.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Laurent Tanner, Adv'g & P.R. Manager
407/855-4141 Fax: 407/851-7844