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Cowm reservoir is hidden away on a hillside above Whitworth. It is a local secret worthy of initiation rights to be given the location. Situated on this hidden gem of rolling green fields and tranquil waters is the Water Ski Academy. The YPC contacted Nick McGarry at the Water Ski Academy in 2019. Arrangements were made to hire the venue for two hours on the 31st May2020, The Covid19 restrictions imposed in 2020 forced us to reschedule the date to 2021 and after a further subsequent postponement of that date we were able to hold the event on the 1st June 2022.
We had hired the use of one tow boat, with driver and safety observer for two hours and the use of the clubhouse facilities for the afternoon. The objective was to give eight Young People their first experience of water skiing. On the morning of the event one of the families, three of whom were to take part in the event, contact us to say that had norovirus symptoms in the family group and could not join us. Down to four skiers we asked the parents / guardians if they wished to participate. One eagerly stepped forward. After the mandatory safety briefing, donning wetsuits and bouyancy jackets. It was time to take to the water.
The driver for the session was Georgina, a highly rated Water Ski Slalom competitor and safety observer Todd a Wake Board National Champion. With these two in charge the Young People were in safe hands. Also in the boat was the YPC Director of Photography, Paul. The ski boat is fitted with a tow bar at the side of the boat for beginners. The pupil uses the bar as support to learn the position of the skis on the water and to feel the vibration of the water ripples and experience the speed sensation when close to the water.
After a couple of runs on the bar the pupils then progress to using a short tow rope attached to the bar and when they feel confident transfer to a longer tow rope at the rear of the boat.
The first pupil soon mastered the skills needed and quickly progressed to using the long rope being towed behind the boat. The other pupils all had varying successes in overcoming the physical and mental demands of water skiing. To the YPC they are all champions. After everybody had completed the course, Todd took to the water to demonstrate his incredible skills at Wake Board. Somersaults, flips, reverse skiing it is amazing the speed and agility he has.
It was time to relax and for our students warm up after their experience on, and in, the water. The Water Ski Academy has superb facilities in the grounds at the rear of the building comprising a hot tub, lawned gardens, picnic tables, shaded veranda and a large BBQ. Some of the girls found the lure of the hot tub too great to miss and an excellent way to get warm. Roger was persuaded, try stopping him, to fire up the BBQ and begin cooking a tempting array of sausages, beefburgers and halloumi slices together with rolls, buns, salads, sauces and a giant chocolate fudge cake to satisfy the hunger.
At the end of the day before we departed Georgina donned her ski and took to the water to demonstrate her Slalom skills. She put on an impressive display of the grace and skill required to complete the demanding course.
Our thanks to Nick and everybody at the Water Ski Academy, Paul and Karen for doing the shopping and the Young People for challenging themselves to learn a new skill.