Layton Copping breaks record for water skiing

Layton Copping, President of the Lake Fellmongery Water Ski Club, has broken a state record for the sport of slalom.

The record was broken at Blanchetown’s Bedrock Ski Club at the end of January, where Layton competed in the over 55 Men’s Category.

The record was pending until it could be ratified via committee, and on the weekend of May 5-6 Layton received official confirmation of his record.

That weekend there was a presentation dinner, where Layton also received a trophy.

"It was pretty exciting,” Layton said of breaking the record.

“It was just one of those days where things just fell into place - can't say I did anything differently. Ducks all lined up, so they say.

“It was a pretty enjoyable drive home!”

The sport of slalom involves a skiier being pulled along by a boat down a straight stretch of water,  with six ski buoys to the sides of the boat. The skiier needs to swerve around the buoys.

The variations involved in slalom include speed and rope length. Once a skiier hits the maximum speed allowed, the rope length gets shortened, which makes it harder for them to go around the buoys.

Layton’s record was two & a quarter buoys with a 14.25 metre length rope, at 55km an hour.

The record took awhile to be ratified, as there are a set of standards needed. The record has to be broken at an L-standard tournament, with accredited judges, accredited boat drivers, and the boat path couldn’t be ‘out of tolerance’.

Being out of tolerance means the boat would be swerving out towards the buoys. It may be half  a metre, or even a quarter of a metre, but it would still be giving the skiier an unfair advantage.

Layton described his season as “consistent”, and his state record comes off the back of two bronze medal wins at the National Titles at Goondiwindi, Queensland. 

The first bronze was for jump, and the second bronze was for best overall score.

Australia has what is known as a ‘tournament scheme’, where some tournament sites can hold one or two events, and some can have all three tournament events (jump, trick, and slalom).

Layton has been skiing since he was 8, when his father bought a boat in 1960. His father was also a keen skiier, and established the Lake Fellmongery Water Ski Club in 1982.

After competing in some tournaments in his twenties, Layton took a “lay off” from tournaments until five years ago, when he turned 55. 

He’s been competing in National Titles ever since, and the tournaments are an incentive to keep fit. His son and two daughters are also keen skiiers.

His son and daughter recently competed at the local tournament held at the Lake Fellmongery Water Ski Club, which attracted up to 42 skiiers again this year.

“It was a really successful tournament down there, we get great support and sponsorship from the town (Robe),” Layton said.

“It’s a really well-liked tournament, there’s a lot of return skiiers.”

If you’re interested in giving water skiing a go, you can contact Layton on 04 0889 9658 or check out the Lake Fellmongery Water Ski Club Facebook page.