Plake rips on H2O, too | SierraSun.com

Plake rips on H2O, too

Rick SwartSun News Service

Two-time world champion hot dog skier Glen Plake put another feather in his signature Mohawk haircut Saturday when he won the top amateur water skiing title at the INT U.S. Championships at Ski West Village in Bakersfield, Calif.Plake, 42, ran a full pass at 36 mph and 32 feet off to claim INTs Super Open division title for Team Nevada.INT stands for International Novice Tour and is the largest water sports organization in the country. More than 400 competitors from 17 states participated in the U.S. Championships in slalom skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding and wake skating. They earned the right to participate in the U.S. Championships by placing first or second in their respective divisions at the state level.Plake is one of the worlds best known snow skiers because of his Mohawk haircut and starring roles in Warren Millers extreme skiing videos. He is considered one of the pioneers of freestyle skiing and has won numerous events as a professional snow skier. This time, instead of flying down 45-degree slopes at 80 mph, he was ripping roostertails behind tournament ski boats on manmade ski lakes, his first national competition as a water skier.A resident of Silver Springs, Nev., Plake and wife Kimberly host Nevada INT tournaments and teach water skiing clinics on Lahontan Reservoir during the summertime.Lahontan is a great, great place to train, said Plake, who generally tries to get in two slalom skiing runs a day. We encounter everything out there that you could possibly face here wind, boat wakes, you name it.Though Plake won the national Super Open slalom title, which is the most challenging division in amateur water skiing, he fell short of his personal goal of running the course at 35 off. In slalom water skiing competition, once a skier skis around all six buoys he or she advances by shortening the original 75-foot rope by pre-determined increments. The top pro skier at Bakersfield, Jamie Beauchesne, for example, ran the course with 41 off and cut short his bid for a world record by failing to make any buoys with the rope shortened to 43 off. At that length, the skier is only 32 feet behind the boat.Plake, who skied a practice run earlier in the week at 38 off a line length and boat speed comparable to the pros took a fall at the one ball on his opening pass with only 22 off, normally his warm up line length.I just couldnt wake up at all this entire week, said Plake, who also fell unacceptably early on his first set Thursday afternoon. Clearly facing a do-or-die situation on Saturday against three of the best skiers in the nation, Plake got up from his fall at Buoy No. 1 and put together three full passes at 22 off, 28 off and 32 off.