There’s a philosophy behind the skiing at Little Mountain Lake in Maiden, N.C. The idea is to open the water to every level of tournament skier – and to give those making their first tournament appearance the opportunity to mingle at the starting dock with those who drive world slalom records to ridiculous buoy counts. They get to soak up knowledge as they see how the pros prepare.
The Little Mountain Pro-Am is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, with father and son national champions Ed and Clay Neill opening their property to skiers from five countries and all skill levels.
In only three tournaments over two seasons, Little Mountain Lake and its club members have established a reputation that has skiers stacked on waiting lists to get on the running order. Two records were set on the lake in September 2011: Nate Smith with one buoy at 43 off for the Men I U.S. record, and Jeff Rodgers with 4 1/4 at 41 off for the 34-mph men’s world record.
Smith has run 41 off four times at Little Mountain and is looking for company at 43 off when he returns this weekend as the freshly crowned Masters champion.
Joining him at Little Mountain will be world record holder Chris Parrish, Malibu Open champion Chris Rossi, Big Dawg champion Mike Morgan, national champions Scott Tynan (USA), Thomas Moore (Canada), Boris Laval (France) and Johan Efverstrom (Sweden), Moomba Masters champion Karen Truelove Krueger and Sweden national record holder Hanna Edeback.
Behind the efforts of tournament directors Jeff Gilbert and John Brooks, the club has lined up sponsors who are trying to introduce an area with diverse water sports interests to the fun and excitement of tournament skiing.
Lawn chairs and picnic baskets are welcome! The public is welcome and there’s no admission fee.
For GPS directions, use 5250 S. N.C. 16, Maiden, N.C. 28650. The lake three-quarters of a mile off the highway.
MAIDEN, N.C. One national record fell and several career-best performances went in the scorebook at the Little Mountain Pro-Am slalom ski tournament near Hickory, N.C., during the weekend.
Jeff Rodgers of Greenwood, S.C., a former world record holder in open men's slalom, broke his own national record for Masters Men with a run of 4 1/2 at 41 off Sunday. He boosted the record by a quarter buoy from his previous mark.
Eleven pros and numerous nationally ranked amateurs were among 45 skiers for the four-round, two-day event.
Nate Smith had the best round of the weekend, with a half-buoy at 43 off Saturday. His other rounds were 6 at 39 1/2, 2 1/2 at 41 and 1/2 at 41.
Chris Parrish had the best four-round scores, running 2.5 and 3 at 41 off Saturday and 3.5 at 41 off in both rounds Sunday.
Johan Efverstrom of Sweden (and Jack Travers ski school) had a personal best of 2 at 41, and his brother Daniel had a PB with 4 1/2 at 39 1/2.
Mike Morgan skied open men and had a best round of 3 at 39 1/2.
Austin Abel tied is PB with 1 1/2 at 41. Boris Laval’s best round was a half buoy at 41, and Thomas Moore’s best was 4 at 39 1/2. Corey Humburg had rounds of 4 1/2, 3, 3 1/2 and 4 at 39 1/2.
Along with Rodgers in Masters Men, Mike Robinson of Charleston, S.C., had a PB with 1 1/2 at 41.
Karen Truelove had to top women’s score with 3 at 39 1/2.
Little Mountain Lake is an Ed Neill creation, one of six ski lakes he and son Clay have built in North Carolina and Florida. Tournament directors Jeff Gilbert and John Brooks plan to continue to expand the event and hope to make it a cash-prize stop for the pros. – By Marjo Rankin
This website should be like my skiing; a work in progress, evolving and improving. I am always eager to hear suggestion on how to improve SkiAll6.com, therefore as you explore this site, feel free to contact me any time with your thoughts.