After hosting the incredibly successful 2018 BC Water Ski Provincials at their property on Chimney Lake in July, the Pinette family is gearing up for another year of exciting water skiing action.
“It was a fantastic turnout,” said Leigh Pinette in regards to the provincials. “There was tons of support from the community, be it donations, or even just coming out to watch. It ended up being really great, because the weather was fantastic before all the smoke came in.”
The event attracted 44 competitors from all over B.C. and hundreds of spectators. The Pinette family also competed with great success.
Lucas, 12, won first overall in the U14 boys, gaining 107 feet in the jump competition.
His brother Linden, 10, came first overall in U10 boys and brother Cameron, 15, competed in his first adaptive water ski tournament.
“Cameron loves to get out on the water,” said Leigh. “He first got a chance to try out the adaptive ski last year when we were kind of jumping around from place to place during the evacuations. It gives him the chance to get out there and ski, and he really enjoys it.”
Conley Pinette, 18, achieved a new personal best in the slalom event, — attaining 38 feet off of a 75 foot rope — which garnered him second place.
At the 2018 Western Water Ski Championships in Calgary, Linden placed first in the jump and trick events, while placing second in slalom in the Under 10 division. Lucas finished first in the jump, trick and overall categories, while placing third in the slalom event. Conley placed first in all three of the respective events, grabbing first overall as well.
The Pinettes’ niece and Williams Lake local, Alexee Gustafson, also took part in her first competition this summer, managing to place first in the jump and slalom events and third in the trick category at the BC Summer Games.
Lucas also competed, grabbing first place in all three events.
Lucas and Conley then made their way to the 2018 Canadian Water Ski Nationals in Ontario.
Lucas won the jump, trick and overall event in the Under 14 division, while Conley also won the jump, trick and overall event, while placing second in the slalom event in the Under 21 division.
Both Lucas and Conley are hoping to make the water ski team for the 2019 Pan American Games with their father, Parnell. If they do secure a position on the team, they will be heading down to Lima, Peru next July to compete with some of the top water skiers in North America.
Conley — already a junior world jump champion, junior pan-am jump champion and multiple-time Canadian champion — is preparing to head south for his second year of post-secondary education in business management at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he competes as a member of the school’s water ski team.
Conley also acted as a coach for young water skiers throughout the summer, coaching in four provincial camps, something he is looking forward to do next year as well.
The rest of the family will ski, weather permitting, well into October, and continue to grow as a family through the sport they have all developed a true passion for.
For Leigh, water skiing is one of the best family sports around, and for the entire Pinette family, water skiing is something they see themselves doing for the rest of their lives.
“When Parnell and I were first married, we had a little water ski club here in town,” said Leigh. “But, the people who were in it all kind of grew up, so in a way we’ve created our own little water skiing team now with our own family.”