2018 E&A EU U21 AND PARALYMPIC WATERSKI CHAMPIONSHIPS AT WAKE&SKY MONACO

by Romano Lupi

ROQUEBRUNE-SUR-ARGENS. The IWSF U21 Waterski & Paralympic 2018 European Championship brought together 80 skiers from 23 countries at Lake Arena from August 30 to September 2. Excellent results for Italy and France in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, both in the “U21” and in the “Paralympic”. The French U21 and the Italian U21 scored some first places on the podium: gold for the Italian Alice Bagnoli in the slalom and silver for the French Lea Miermont. Second, third and fourth place in the Italian tricks: silver medal for Ginevra Buonopane, and bronze for Beatrice Pirri bronze. Eighth place for the french champion Moulanier. In this specialty the French men earned gold with Lindsey Bordier and Italy the silver thanks to Edoardo Marenzi. The French made very well in the jump, with the silver of Emma Brunel and the bronze of Marilou Moulanier, while Buonopane was just fifth. Another good 5th place in the men’s slalom for the Italian Francesco Caldarola and, instead, great disappointment for the sixth place of the vice-world champion in the U21 title, the Frenchman Enzo Vigezzi. In combination, thanks to the great performance in the jump, Emma Brunel wins the bronze, followed by Mary-Lou Moulanier and Ines Anguenot, while the Italian Greta Tagliati ends only 8th. As for the boys, Lindsay Bordier conquers the bronze with good results in the three disciplines, after two English in the first places, while the Italians are just behind, in the 4th and 5th place, respectively with Caldarola and Marenzi. In the U21, with 6 medals including 1 title, the team of the blues is silver, while the Italian team has won the bronze medal. The team award gold medal was Britain. Off the competition due to the young age, the sixteen-year-old monegasques Alexis Keusseoglou and Alexandre Marsan have made an unforgettable experience, skiing with many European champions. The Paralympic Skiing Championship organized by the Water Ski Federation Monegasque has had a special guest star, the Italian thirty-one years old Daniele Cassioli (vision impairing), owner of 20 European titles and 22 world titles. Cassioli has just won four gold medals at the Italian Championships that took place on 15 and 16 August, a race that also saw excellent performances by all the other Paralympic players, well prepared for the Europeans at Roquebrune. In the same days and on the same field of competition the Italian team won the gold medal and an avalanche of individual medals: Pietro De Maria, Christian Lanthaler and Daniele Cassioli (reconfirmed European champions in slalom, Cassioli wins also in Figure, jump (20 meters) and combined), Uber Riva follows him at a short distance winning the silver medal in the three specialties and the combined classification, while Matteo Fanchini wins the bronze in slalom and jump. In the women’s category the Lombard Sabrina Bassi (seated) ) wins the silver medal in slalom and figures (1,140 points) while the Piedmontese Alessia Refolo wins the gold medal in slalom, vision impaired category. Even the French Paralympics performed nicely. The two titles won by Delphine La Sausse (slalom and figures), completed the picture with Philippe Turquet and Thomas Vergnet, respectively gold and silver in the jump and in the Combined. For the paralympic France is 8 podiums of which 4 titles: for them, it is silver.

The Monegasque Federation of Waterskiing (FMSN), created in 2008, has about fifty members. If the practice of the discipline is in the Var, in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, the locality is very well managed by the FMSN which is based in Munich, just over an hour’s drive away. It is a space where calm reigns. It almost looks like a postcard. A stretch of water and green all around. A forest on one side, a field on the other. Not far away, a vineyard. Almost not a sound disturbs the peace of that this idyllic scenario. Then, suddenly, the dull sound of an engine. And here is a motorboat appearing that pulls in its wake a guy holding on to the handlebars connected to the rope, water ski at foot. The motorboat flies over the water in a straight line, while the boy draws laps around the orange buoys along the way. A panel “Monaco Wake and Ski” welcomes the new arrivals and regular customers of the lake, which belongs to the Monegasque Federation of Waterskiing (FMSN) which also holds the rights to exploitation. Just like many Monegasque sports clubs, such as the Monte Carlo Golf Club and the Monte Carlo Alpine Ski Club, Munich Wake and Ski had to choose the appropriate space for water skiing outside the Principality. After a long search, in 2013 the Federation reached an agreement with the municipality of Roquebrune-sur-Argens for the exploitation of the lake, first managed by the French Federation of water skiing. The restoration of the site required 800 000 euros of work. Thanks to Prince Albert II support, because everything about sport is important to him, the Federation has received a grant from the government and some private sponsors participated to fullfill the 800.000€ pledge. To manage this space and the FMSN, President Aleco Keusseoglou employs a small group of very competent people. His secretary, Jacqueline Parisi, also officiates as secretary of the Federation, while the vice president, nothing less than Jean-Michel Cau, for 25 years national technical director of the French federation, has renounced to retire to help in the Federation. Contrary to what one might think, at the Monaco Wake and Ski it is possible to practice water skiing almost all year round. Open from 1 March to the beginning of December, the area located on the mountain lake can also accommodate the most frequent practitioners during the winter, if the weather is good. Marc-Antoine Cortes is the technical director of the club; old acquaintance of Aleco Keusseoglou, the former international French nautical skier several times titled, supplies a good part of the instruction assured by the Monaco Wake and Ski; together with Andrea Pagnossin, they train both the simple club members and those belonging to the Federation. There are two different types of competitors, although everyone could participate in the same events. In addition to International events, in fact, all members of the club and the Federation can take part in the French championship in their categories. Including the Monegasques, who benefit from an agreement with the French federation. The FMSN licensees are both for Monegasque and for resident in the Principality and represent Monaco in international competitions, such as the World and European Championships, while those of the Club are resident in France or French. The Monegasques simply can not be champions of France, just like skiers. FromMarch to November, Monaco Wake and Ski offers 2 MasterCraft ProStars and Available gear for School Class, Charter Group; On-site Accommodations – Reservations Required – Waterski Federation Monaco Address: Le Suffren – 4ème étage, 7, Rue Suffren-Reymond, 98000 Monaco – Phone 1: +377 97 77 69 69 (President) – Fax: +377 97 97 43 89 – E-mail: aleco.keusseoglou@2pmmonaco.com   jacqueline.parisi@2pmmonaco.com edgarattie@gmail.com

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