– Skimmers across the nation are testing their bouncing buoyancy while training in hopes of becoming the 2008 Bacardi World Pond Skimming Champion. The much anticipated World Championships are slated for Saturday, April 12, from 2-4 p.m. at Golden Peak.
A field of 100 floatable (and sometimes sinkable) athletes will vie for fame and glory in a showing that defies the laws of physics and perhaps even common sense. All eyes are on the grand prize: cold hard cash, skis and the elusive Golden Skimmer.
James Deighan of Highline Sports, the perennial announcer of the World Pond Skimming Championships, recalls his Pro-Pond Skimming days on the Circuit: "It is a carefully planned balance of speed, hang time, snappy water-resistant costume and overall chutzpah. I remember Jonny Moseley and I used to train together over in Iceland prior to his Gold Medal performance in the '98 Olympics. I continued on with my Pond skimming career while he felt the Olympic route might be a little more opportunistic. I am trying to get him, along with HEAD Sports, to come and co-announce this year's competition to see if he still remembers the glory days."
Highlighting the Spring Back to Vail festivities, the Bacardi World Pond Skimming Championships is open to those who aren't afraid of a little water. It is guaranteed to be a wet, wild and splashing good time for participants and spectators alike.
"I suspect we will see many athletes sink like weighted rocks, while a select few will clear the pond in spectacular fashion and bring the crowd to its feet," explained Amy Hornyak of Highline Sports. "Whether athletes train in their back yards, a large lake or just a muddy puddle, you never know what will happen at the Championships!"
For those new to the sport, Pond Skimming involves generating as much speed as is possible down an in-run of snow on skis or snowboard, then skimming across a pond of freezing cold water to the glorious finish corral. Judges will score each competitor on distance, style, creativity and water solubility.
Registration for the Bacardi World Pond Skimming Championships is $50 and is limited to the first 100 applicants at
. Traditionally, the competition sells out in just a few days, leaving many procrastinators sobbing crocodile tears.
It's all part of Spring Back to Vail, April 7-13, featuring live music, street and bar parties, on-mountain events and more. Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will perform live in concert at the Ford Park venue immediately following the Championships.
Spring Back to Vail is rockin' your way thanks to Vail Mountain, Bacardi, the Town of Vail, Volvo, Amp Energy, Coors Light and Skiing Magazine and is brought to you in part by Smith Optics, Liberty Skis, KZYR-the Zephyr, KVBA-TV8 and the Vail Daily.