Chimney Lake will be the site of the 2018 BC Water Ski Provincial Championships taking place this weekend from July 14-15.
Some of the best competitors from throughout the province will be competing at the championships — the third time Williams Lake has played host to the event at Chimney Lake.
Chimney Lake was scheduled to host the championships in 2017, however, the wildfire evacuations in the region forced the event’s cancellation.
Age categories range from boys and girls up to men and women over 35.
The event is being organized by Williams Lake world-class water skier and Water Ski and Wakeboard BC vice-president Parnell Pinette, whose children Conley, Lucas and Linden have also seen international success, with Conley and Lucas slated to ski on the weekend.
Events will include jump, ski and trick.
Other Williams Lake competitors skiing during the weekend will be Brent Graham, Alexee Gustafson and Liv Rankin.
Parnell said he expects roughly 50 of the top skiers in the province to be attending.
Featured at Chimney Lake at this year’s provincials will be a new jump the Pinettes recently installed at the venue.
“It had been in Calgary, and they were preparing for the worlds when they hosted it in 2009, so it had just been sitting there,” Parnell said. “They basically said we could have it if we could find a way to get it from Calgary to Williams Lake, so we took them up on the offer. It’s a 14-foot-wide ramp, and now we’ve got a world-class ramp installed.
“Other than that we’ve just been tidying things up around here and getting organized for the tournament.”
There will be a food truck, The Mad Wrapper, on site for cash-only purchases, and Parnell is inviting the community to come check out the action, which begins each morning and runs until late afternoon at the east end of Chimney Lake.
“We’re expecting some excellent skiers coming up,” Parnell said. “It’s going to be well attended, and we try hard to host a good event and hopefully have lots of things going on out here.”
The Pinettes, meanwhile, recently returned from the annual Can-Am Record Tournament in Blaine, Wash.
Conley, 18, jumped 198 feet for first place, while Lucas, 12, flew 109 feet — a jump nearing a national record in his age group — for gold.
Conley — a junior world jump champion, junior pan-am jump champion and multiple-time Canadian champion, is back in Williams Lake for the summer after spending the year attending his first year of post-secondary education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a member of the school’s water ski team.
The BC Water Ski Provincial Championships are sanctioned for two rounds, and will also feature a money jump prize of more than $2,000 Sunday afternoon for the top 10 jumpers.
The top three skiers in each event at provincials will qualify to move on to the Western Canadian Championships during the August long weekend at Predator Bay in Calgary.