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Riding all kinds of water

Staff reports

For the sixth consecutive year, sportsmen converged on Tahoe City to test their skills on the varying states of water.

The Ski/Sail National Championships, the last in a series of four major ski/sail events held in the United States, required nautical skills and slope savvy from each of the competitors.

Participants, who included a number of world-class colegiate champions, Olympic medalists and America’s Cup veterans, were grouped into teams of four and five members, all of which competed in both sailing and slalom gate competitions.

Saturday, April 22, at the United States Coast Guard Station in Tahoe City, sailing conditions were perfect for the event. A blustery 10-18 knots of breeze welcomed numerous sailors ready to tackle the frigid Lake Tahoe waters. Sailors raced in either Melges 24s, Lasers or Vanguard 15s.

In the Laser division, Truckee resident and former Canadian National Champion Nick Pullen triumphed, winning five out of five races.

Pullen was unable to maintain his lead in the skiing competition, however. Competing against athletes such as former pro ski racer Stan Eriksson and U.S Ski Team member Eric Conner, Pullen was knocked off the podium.

Conner, who placed third in the sailing, won the class by placing first in the skiing. Second place overall went to Martin Hartmanis, who was followed closely by third place finisher Stan Eriksson.

The V-15 fleet was dominated by Olympic medalist Nick Adamson and Hugh Davis with former Ski/Sail Champion Scott Sellers and Jill Norris coming in a close second.

The fastest race time in the slalom competition, held Sunday, April 23, at Squaw Valley’s Searchlight race hill, was recorded by Jackson Hole’s Doug Pierini. Pierini combined with his brother Doug’s scores to claim a victory.

Nick Adamson and Hugh Davis were able to place well enough in the skiing to capture the first place overall, and Bob Tennant and Chris Hutcheson lost a tie breaker to place second overall.

Former Sunfish World Champion Bruce Sutphen and America’s Cup racer Melissa Purdy placed third.

Competitors came from as far away as New York, Jackson Hole and New Zealand to participate in the event.


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