By John Garrity
The 2021 Eastern Regionals was held on the Schuykill River at Port Indian in PA. It began with 3 days of clinics with the WBC’s Ashleigh Stebbeings helping skiers improve their trick and slalom runs. From the young to the old, first time footer to wiping some 30 year old dust off the feet, the boat was full of laughs and encouragement.
Thanks to some great planning the ramp was set up for the clinic and a lot of feet made their first jump. An exhibition was put on the water Friday night for an excited crowd. It started out with two whacky feeble characters chasing each other around show-center. That was followed by some trick skiing, swivel skiing, a high flying air chair and the new crowd favorite, the meat spin. The show finished up when some new jumpers wowed the crowd by hitting the ramp on the boom. A couple of not so planned inversions closed the show.
To encourage new competitors, first time tournament skiers and juniors skied for free thanks to some awesome sponsors. A last minute decision was made, with the full approval of the wind god, to move the tournament to a more spectator friendly part of the river.
Kevin Garrity kicked off the tournament with Boy’s A and the rest of the skiers seamlessly following for an efficient tournament. Claire Flowers traveled the furthest to compete in her first 3 event tournament in Girl’s A while Cheney Harper made her tournament debut in Women’s B. Unbelievably, Alejandro Scheel made his tournament debut after magically learning how to barefoot just two days before without one faceplant. That was short-lived when he joined the faceplant club in the tournament and deservedly won the yard sale award. Peter Bostock, with a little motivation, slalomed some really clean one foot crossings to get a PB and move into Men’s B while winning the crowded Men’s C slalom division and Derek Krehling won the Men’s C tricks. Tina McCauley came in first in Women’s B tricks and won the vintage barefoot suit trophy. The legend, John Cornish dominated and inspired in the Senior Men’s division. Jess Caserta had a great showing in his 39th consecutive Eastern regionals! Several competitors went for the extra points jumping off the tower and all were successful although some made more noise than others hitting the water.
The tournament finished up with some great food and the awards ceremony. We would also like to congratulate and welcome to the Eastern Region board, Mike Jenkins. The 2022 Eastern Regionals site, dates and LOC have not been confirmed yet, but we are working on it. Any help or ideas for next year would be appreciated.