Junior skiers show their talents during Masters Water Ski weeken - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Junior skiers show their talents during Masters Water Ski weekend

Louis Duplan-Fribourg of France finishes second in slalom on his way to the All-Around title at the 25th Junior Masters Water Ski Tournament at Callaway Gardens. Louis Duplan-Fribourg of France finishes second in slalom on his way to the All-Around title at the 25th Junior Masters Water Ski Tournament at Callaway Gardens.
PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) -

(WTVM) - Memorial Day weekend is the big weekend in the world of water skiing. It’s when the world’s best descend on Callaway Gardens for the biggest invitational tournament of the season, the Masters Water Ski Tournament.

But it’s not just the 58th Masters that was on the schedule. Friday afternoon saw the 25th Junior Masters Tournament, which has the same style draw – an exclusive field from all over the world.

This year’s tourney had competitors from 15 countries on six continents, all excited about making the trip to Robin Lake.

“For me, it's my big goal,” said Louis Duplan-Fribourg of Grenoble, France. “I train every year and push my limits to be qualified and to ski here. That's really important for me, and every time I journey to be here, it's really nice.”

“It's amazing to make it here,” said Robert Hazelwood of Lincoln, England. “You've got to be top three to make it here overall, and it's so prestigious. It's something I've dreamed of since I was a little kid.”

Those two dominated the all-around competition this year. Duplan-Fribourg was second in tricks and slalom, and won the ski jump to finish first in all-around. Hazelwood was third in tricks and second in the jump to wind up as the runner-up in the all-around competition.

Having a successful day at the Junior Masters is all about keeping things in focus said Jaimee Bull of North Bay, Ontario, who won the Juniors Women’s Slalom event.

“It's amazing, you know, it feels good,” Bull said. “I've been here before and it's something that's always been one of my goals, so to pull through and do it, it means a lot. You need to be confident in yourself. It's just a little different than what we're used to, especially from the pressure of it being one of the most prestigious tournaments as well as all the people watching.”

There were plenty of people watching, but nowhere near as many as will see the professionals do their thing over the weekend. And the juniors have their sights set on the big time, too.

“It's kind of the dream to make it here as a pro,” said Hazelwood. “Yeah, I just hope one day I'll be up there with the big boys.”

The 58th Masters begins semifinal competition at 8 am ET on Saturday, with the finals starting at 10:30 am on Sunday on Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens.

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