To all of our Water Sports Enthusiasts,
Another year has passed as we celebrated 40 years of owning a ski school business! Christmas and New Years have come and gone and we are happy to say that our spring & summer bookings are coming in at a rapid pace!
We have spent our off season working hard to maintain our facilities. We have finished remodeling the ski school dormitory; our #2 ski jump has been refurbished, thanks to the efforts of Will Critchley and his friend Adam, and looks brand new again! Our staff house has had a total renovation and we are working to put new flooring in the game room. Many of our friends and families have suffered through a devastating flood here in Louisiana in August. We wish everyone the best through this recovery period.
We would like to thank all of our customers from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to have another outstanding year in 2016. With time comes change and we are proud to announce that Steve and Danyelle are at the helm of our pro shop and boat business! They look forward to servicing our customers for many years to come. We are happy for Esteban and Joey as they pursue new jobs and start a new chapter in their families’ lives. Esteban is now working at MasterCraft as a Regional Sales Manager and Joey stayed close to our program by taking an administrative position for the ULM Ski Team in Monroe.
As we do every year, we would like to highlight some of our athlete’s performances and it’s impossible to mention everyone and I apologize in advance if someone has been left out.
We will start with one of our students from Japan. Ryota started with us 3 years ago and we have watched him climb to the top of Collegiate Skiing in Japan! One of his greatest accomplishments was winning Tricks at the Asian Water Ski Championships! Abbi Grathwohl (staff member) had a season to remember! She represented her Alabama ladies team with another staff member, Mariah Fields, to a National Championship for their Women’s Team! Abbi topped that off by representing the US as a member of the US Under 21 Team at the Pan Am Games by winning slalom, jump & overall! Oh – did I mention that Mariah Fields won her first US National title by winning the Women I Jump event? Congratulations to all of you!
Below is a list of incredible achievements:
- Mitch Grau – Men 5 National Jump Champion & Over 45 Pan Am Jump Champion
- Paul Armour – Men 6 National Jump Champion
- Cullen Parker – 2017 Division II Collegiate National Jump & Overall Champion
- Alisa Shevkunova – Set a new Russian Open Women Slalom Record
- Brittany and Sam Greenwood – Represented the US as team members at the Collegiate World Championships in Japan
- Trent Finlayson – Team Bennett’s skier – set a new Canadian 35 and over National Slalom Record
- Caroline Parker – US Can Am Team Member
- Lori Krueger Covington – Over 45 World Champion in Slalom, Jump & Overall
- Jonathan Sharman – Over 35 World Championships team member for Great Britain
- Dylan Melnar & Taylor Grathwohl – 2016 Jr. US World Team Members
- Bailey Austin – Team Bennett’s Skier – Ranked #9 on Open Women’s Slalom Elite list.
- Danyelle Bennett – 2016 SCR Open Women Slalom Champion
Our own Anne Bennett had a year to remember also! She placed 1st in Women 5 slalom, trick, jump & overall at the SCR Regional Championships. We were scheduled to go to the Nationals, but the flood hit and we weren’t able to make the trip. She persevered through the flood, kept her training on track with the coaching of Danyelle. In September Anne competed in the +35 World Championships in Spain. Thanks to the airlines her slalom ski was broken in half, but Tina and Jeff Lindsey came to her rescue and with the help of Greg Badal she was able to get a 6th place finish on Tina’s slalom ski! Now on to the trick event. Anne was having her challenges getting used to a different trick boat, but with the help and coaching of Danyelle they managed to figure it out and help Anne win her 3rd World Trick Title (one title in each age category)! Her first World Trick title was in 1998 and she continues to keep her skill level in her age group at a world class level!
Our group here at Tri-Lakes hosted the 2016 SCR Regional Championship and had an outstanding group of Officials. We would like to congratulate Van Parker for being awarded with the Most Outstanding Driver Award! We are also very proud of Kerri Lee & Danyelle Bennett for being co-recipients of The Outstanding Judges Award! I’m proud to say that the torch has been passed onto the kids!!
Next, a big thank you to all of our sponsors. They make it possible for us to put on a quality event. The 2017 Collegiate Nationals will be held at Tri-Lakes/Bennett’s October 19-21. So get ready for an exciting event! We would especially like to thank Aarne Clow & MasterCraft Boats for their continued support of our facility & events.
It is exciting to see new families enter our world of competition water skiing and we would like to congratulate the Williams’ family and the Spence family on their first year of entering competition!
Wake boarders – we want you to get excited about riding with us this year behind our brand new 2017 MasterCraft NXT! Every year we have a blast watching our students learn to wakeboard, learning a new skill, or the expression on their faces when he/she lands their first invert!
It is so important to us to get more and more students on the water learning how to ski or ride. It helps our sports grow and I don’t know any sport more fun for the entire family to participate in!
So look forward to what’s in store for 2017! Load up the boat, come to ski/wakeboard camp and remember to have clean, healthy & safe fun on the water!!
Don’t hesitate to give Danyelle & Steve a call for any of your water sports and boating needs. Steve has a great line of new and used MasterCraft boats to show you so give him a call and line up your demo ride today. Anne is always available to book your 2017 sessions or answer any questions you may have. You can contact her at 225-938-1498 or by email! Stay tuned to Bennett’s Boat & Ski FaceBook page for the dates of our “Learn to Surf Demo Days”!!!
From our family to yours – Thank you for all you do for us!!!
Jay, Anne, Steve & Danyelle