Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Photo: Waterski School Putrajaya shot by Chris West

We have to admit, we were very curious to find out what this waterski site is like, when we heard that Putrajaya is going to host the 2019 IWWF World Waterski Championships in August 2019.

Luckily, one of our members, Mark Westenberg, just returned from Kuala Lumpur, where he skied at Putrajaya. We asked him to tell us what it was like and here is his report:

I have been coming to this site for years now. It is a waterski gem in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is an all year round venue, run by the Yoong family. Their daughter Aaliyah skis in the Worlds (junior) top.

The lake is quite big and open but the three homologated permanent slalom courses are well protected. Also there are two ramps for jumping. A fourth slalom course is set up especially for each tournament in such fashion that spectators don’t have to miss anything.

There is no other boat traffic on the lake and although it skis very well one might encounter a little roller at times. The water temperature is a constant 30 degrees celsius (86F) and over. The water is slightly murky with algae, so it’s pretty soft and slow. They run a fleet of Nautiques 200 with the latest being a Ski Nautique 200 ob 2017, 409hp.

It is likely you’ll always get your slot when you book. This is one of the nice things about Putrajaya, it never gets crowded. Just from January until March you could encounter some skiers from Asia or from the Northern Hemispheres.

The waterski site is a 35 minute drive north from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. From the waterski site it is another 30 minutes north to Kuala Lumpur city centre.

Just adjacent to the site there is a Pullman Hotel, which is actually quite affordable. All in all it’s a great facility for waterskiing.

I can advise everyone to go check it out yourself when you can! A set of 15 minutes or 6 passes will cost you 130 Malaysian Ringgit, that equals 28€ or 32U$.

PS They offer wakeboarding and wakesurfing behind Nautiques G21 and G23.

By Mark Westenberg 27 January 2019

For more info you can look at their website: http://www.waterski.com.my/school.htm

#Waterskiworlds2019 #iwwf #waterski #putrajaya

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Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Swimming with Manatees Crystal River Florida

No. 1 on my list of things to do in Florida was swimming with manatees. Manatees are big sea mammals that are also called sea cows. That is because they are plant-eaters and they graze on water plants in tropical seas. Although they can grow up to 4 meters long (13 ft.) and weigh as much as 500 kg (1100 lb.), they are completely harmless. And because they look like they are constantly smiling, they are very very cute!

Manatee Florida Crystal River

During summer the manatees live in the tropical sea of the Gulf of Mexico but when it gets colder they move inland and spend the winter at hot springs or power plants. Roughly the manatee season to see them runs from November until April, but it all depends on the weather. One of the best places to see them is at Crystal River.

Swimming with manatees was something I wanted to do for a very long time, but I was never in Florida during manatee season. Last year I was in Florida in November so I immediately jumped at the chance of meeting these gentle giants and swim with them!

When I arrived in Florida a few days before, it was so cold… it was even too cold to ski! After flying from Europe I couldn’t wait to ski, so I wasn’t happy that it was so cold. But that actually turned out for the best. Because of the cold a lot more manatees moved to Crystal River than they would normally do in November.

Manatee nose Crystal River Florida

From Orlando or Clermont it is a 1,5 hour drive to Crystal River. There are many tour operators in the area that run manatee snorkeling tours.

We booked ours at Birds Underwater (www.birdsunderwater.com). At the check in we got a wetsuit, a mask and a snorkel and they showed us a film about what to do in the water and how to approach a manatee. And then we were off to see the manatees!

There were a lot of people on this tour so they divided us between two boats. There were only eight of us on the boat, plus the guide. I liked that a lot. It was only a few minutes with the boat to the first spot. We put our masks and snorkels on and jumped off the boat. In the water we were not allowed to swim to or after the manatees or make big moves with our arms and legs, we just had to wait for the manatees to come to us. And they did…

Manatee Crystal River Florida

Apparently manatees are very curious and although we weren’t allowed to touch them, they touched us! Some of them sniffed or nibbled on us and my husband was even hugged by one of them, that was so funny!

At the first spot, the visibility was not so good so we didn’t see many manatees, but I am sure there were lots around.

Then we went to the second spot: Three Sisters Springs. This is the best place in Florida to see manatees. We jumped in the water again and then it was only a short swim to the spring. And that was amazing! We saw lots of manatees around. Some were swimming, some were lying on the bottom sleeping like big logs. Big ones, small ones, some with babies. We didn’t know where to look, there were so many!

So, number 1 on my wish list: checked! Was it worth it? Oh, YES! If you are ever in Florida at the right time, I would say: do it.

If you don’t want to go on a tour, you can rent a kayak and paddle your way up to Three Sisters Springs. At some places you can rent clear kayaks that are 100% transparent, so you don’t even have to go into the water to see the manatees, you can see them swim right under you.

And if you don’t want to be in or on the water at all, you can also visit Three

Sisters Springs on land.

Here you can find more info: http://www.threesistersspringsvisitor.org/

#manatees #seacows #crystalriver #florida #threesistersspring #orlando #snorkeling #swimmingwithmanatees

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Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Marianna Konti Drepani Waterski Resort
Marianna Konti in perfect body position. Photo: Drepani Waterski

For those who don't know who you are, can you tell a little about where you were born, age, marital status and what you do when you are not waterskiing?

I am 46 years of age, married with four kids, I live in Poros Greece since 1994, the year I met my husband. I run a waterski business.

Do you remember your first competition? How old were you, and how did it go?

I did not compete from my early ages although I started skiing when I was 7 years old. My first competition was after I had already had my first two children at the age of 25. I think I did a couple of buoys at 49.

Who is your idol when it comes to waterskiing?

My ski idol is my husband Sotiris Kyprios and also my son Filippos Kyprios. I used to admire Andy Mapple, and as far as ladies are concerned Nicole Arthur, Natalie Hamerick etc..

Do you have a favorite waterskisite?


In which ways has your technique changed through the years?

I used to ski with arms bent and turning with the back foot. This has changed and now I just lean back, keeping weight in my front foot, keep my arms straight, chest facing the pylon, and enjoy skiing safely with good body position.

Are there any persons you would like to mention, who have made you a better waterskier?

My husband Sotiris Kyprios who has taught me everything I know since I started skiing seriously.

Your personal bests?

At a competition, I have done 2@12. On a good day, I can run 12 in practice.

Can you take us through a typical day in your life?

I drive the boat a lot, I teach lots of children to ski, I organize skiers to come ski with us from all around the world.

Can you tell us about your worst crash ever? Have you had any serious injuries?

My only serious waterski injury was when I dislocated my shoulder hitting a buoy at 14 meters.

Can you share with us the biggest moment in your waterski career?

My biggest moment was my third medal in the Europeans a few years ago.

Which ambitions do you have for the future?

I want to win a gold European medal before I stop skiing!

What do you do to stay in shape during the winter?

I ski more in the winter than in the summer. The climate is mild and the temperature is 15-18 degrees. In the summer I am so busy, I hardly have time to ski. However, when I have free time I also like to swim for half an hour, or do Pilates.

Can you tell us a little about which equipment you are using?

For many years I was skiing on D3s. Now I am on a Mapple T2. I use PKB gloves and handle and the classic D3 rubber bindings.

Which problems do most of the skiers you coach have?

Position!! They have not learned to take care of their bodies and ski in safe postures!

Can you give us three good tips for becoming a better waterskier?

Ski regularly but do not overdo it.

Ski with the best, who know how to help you improve.

Keep your body fit when you are not skiing. Strength and fitness are very important if you want to reach a high level of waterskiing.

How and where do you live?

I live in Galatas opposite of Poros island in Greece, in our beautiful Waterski Resort Drepani. My job is to run the waterski school together with my husband Sotiris Kyprios, and to manage all our on site apartments.

Finally, we would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and wish you all the best for your future waterski career!

#Drepani #Galatas #Poros #waterski

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