7:00am Saturday 18th January 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
An Oxfordshire venue is making waves among Britain’s top waterskiers.
Queenford Lakes Watersport Centre in Berinsfield is the training base for World Championship slalom bronze medallist Freddie Winter and British tricks champion James Earl.
And with several other potential stars, including Standlake’s Katie Nutt, also using the facility run by former British head coach Steve Glanfield, it is becoming a hub for talent.
“When I was training for the World Championships, I was down there three or four times a week,” said 23-year-old Winter, who travels to Queenford from his home in London.
“I plan on being there most days in the summer.
“It is a fantastic place to ski.
“James and I are probably the top two who train there, but there are many others who are competing regularly in the US.”
Glanfield’s coaching is a big draw for waterskiers, but the venue definitely plays its part.
“It is pretty tip-top,” said Winter. “You want a sheltered place.
“You want it long and narrow, so you can get enough of a run, but you are not affected by the wind, which is what we have there.”
Winter added: “I have known Steve Glanfield since I was very young. He used to be based in Chertsey.
“It was just a natural step to go and ski with him in Oxford.”
The lake is separated into two by an artificial spit down the middle.
It is also home to the Oxford Wakeboard & Ski Club (OWSC), who cater for beginners to experienced skiers andriders.
At the elite end, Winter is now looking to confirm his place among the sport’s leaders ahead of the 2015 World Championships.
He said: “It was not a surprise that I got the bronze medal, but you wouldn’t have put money on it.
“I just want to cement my place among the best.
“We have the European Championships in the Czech Republic in August.
“I want to win that because I was second last year.”
Winter’s slalom event sees skiers attempt to negotiate six buoys at 36mph.
They start with an 11.5m rope, which is shortened to create an elimination style competition.
“It is a sudden death sport, which makes it very exciting,” said Winter.
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