Peace, Love & Waterskiing

Archive for July, 2010

Eastern Region Waterskiing Rocks!

July 29, 2010
Greetings friends and skiers,

Tonight (actually this morning) I come to you from Rochester, NY. I
was on the scene at Hidden Pass today, the home of the 2010 Eastern
Regional Championships and it looks and skis awesome. Everyone that
was at regionals last year was excited to hear that the tournament
would be returning to this great site again this year and the practice
today was spectacular. Each site has its own character and there is
something about this place that just feels great! In casual
conversation today, I friend of mind said "this site is a slalom
skier's dream" and I could not agree more. Tomorrow the tournament
kicks off with the junior skiers and it is going to be a great day of
competition. The best skiers from Virginia up through Maine and out
as far as Ohio have all gathered to compete at this beautiful site.
It is great to see all of the junior competitors gearing up for this
big show down and also reconnecting with friends that they only get to
catch up with once or twice per year. I remember being in those shoes
and can reconnect to all of the excitement of regionals. Our friends
at the Holiday Inn Express are taking care of us once again and there
will be a pool party every night that we are here! After the
competition is over tomorrow, all of the juniors will be treated to an
evening at a local water park here in Rochester, NY. I can't tell you
how great this experience is for all of the skiers involved, kids and
adults alike. The excitement in the air is tangible and I will be
sure to report on any and all exciting outcomes from this tournament.
I apologize for the delay on this newsletter. Between running ski
school, watching Napoleon Dynamite with my favorite people in the
world and traveling, I find myself once again a weary traveler
documenting the good news of the waterski world. It is 1am and I hope
to keep this newsletter fairly short but have, once again, had a great
week and have a wealth of good news to report.
The last week was full of great skiing in Virginia - so much so that I
don't think I ate dinner before 9:30 one single night. Paul O'Hara
was once again helping me run ski school and after a 10 hour shift in
the boat on Sunday ran a major PB of 2@39 off. He ran his first 38
off ever up the rope and then 1.5 at 39 - the exact qualification to
become a pro skier. He'll be looking to do that this weekend in the
tournament and in doing join me as a professional water skier.
Another good friend, Jack Heagan, also ran a PB this weekend at 34mph
and will soon be looking to shorten the line into 22 off.
I also coached a clinic at Lake Holly for the Juniors preparing for
the regional tournament. Michael Collier and Bryce Shirley had stand
out performances and will be looking carry their momentum into the
tournament this week. Wim DeCree's coaching also helped a lot of
skiers this past week, including my own. I ran 3 passes at 39 of one
day with Wim's coaching and feel ready to finally run this pass in a
tournament this weekend. A big thank you to Wim and to Lake Holly for
these great opportunities!
In other news, my T-Shirts have been a big hit! I have them here at
the tournament with me and hope to sell enough to reorder another
batch! Again, if you wanted a T-Shirt before I got them, please send
me your size and address and I'll ship one to you. Also, a very good
friend of mine, Laurie Lindsey, has created a website for me.
Everyone should check out to become more
acquainted with my coaching and operation in Bumpass. The website is
still in its infancy and will continue to grow with pictures, videos
and new pages. Also, if you like the design, contact Laurie for help
developing a website for yourself or your business needs, she is very
talented and great at what she does. Her email address is Right now this website is a simple guide to myself
and my ski school but in time I hope for it to become a great resource
for ski information like
and I'm sure many of you browse these sites for the
latest news in the waterski world and I hope to join them in keeping
our great community informed. I recently read a great article on boat
driving on and encourage any good ski partner to check
this article out for themselves.
As for me, I'm going to turn in so I can be ready to fully support all
of the kids ripping up the water tomorrow. It is going to be a great
day and I can't wait to be a part of it. I wish all of the
competitors in this tournament a fun and safe week. For many of us,
this is our big vacation for the summer. Thank you to Hidden Pass for
the use of their great site and thank you to all of the officials and
volunteers for making this tournament possible. Without you unnamed
helpers none of this excitement would be possible.
MUCH peace,love &waterskiing,

This Week in Review

Ladies, Gents, Boys and Girls, It has been yet another fabulous week of water skiing. So much great skiing is happening in so little time. I feel like when I startedthese newsletters there were a few noteworthy ski stories each week and I was able to recount each in generous detail. Now summer is infull swing and I feel like I can barely keep up with all of the heartpounding moments I get to witness every day. I will do my best torecount the highlights. Please forgive and remind me if I gloss oversomething. I want this great (yet small) community of newsletterreaders to get all of the good stuff. I really appreciate you guysnot sending me back hate mail about clogging your inbox. In fact,many of you have commented that you enjoy these updates and that I should keep them coming. In a world where we are all to often exposedto nothing but bad news via our primary news media, I am proud toreport GOOD NEWS! Speaking of good news, Virginia had two of the best tournaments it hashad in years THIS WEEK. Loch Cochrane created a hit with their “MidSummer Night’s Buoy Bash”. I must say it was one of the coolesttournaments I’ve been too. Dave Satterfield and Paul Santangelo havebeen working on creating the world’s best glow in the dark slalombuoy. I think they succeeded and then allowed about 15 or more skiersto enjoy their hard work. There were two rounds before dark and thenone round in the pitch black. During the evening rounds, 4 skiers posted tournament PBs! It just sohappens that these 4 skiers happen to be my 4 most common students.Heather Miller started the PB trend by ripping 4.5 @ 28 off. PaulO’Hara was dialing in his skiing all week and went out and ran aperfect 35 off and then 2.5 @ 38. He blew away the previous staterecord, held by some bum and then just to prove that it was no fluke,he went out in the second round and beat his own state record byrunning 3@38 off. Taylor Miller, who had tied her practice PB earlierthat day in Bumpass, went out and ran 32 off for the first time in atournament and then posted a solid 1@35. Like the rest of us slalomfreaks, Taylor is always looking for that next buoy and found it todayin practice, setting a new practice PB of 3@35 off. Finally, MaddieMiller blew away her prior tournament PB by 5 buoys by running 3@28off in her evening round at Cochrane (after running a practice PB of4.5 @ 28 off earlier that day). Maddie is currently ranked #1 in theeastern region and her skiing is still taking off daily. Then in the night round, I’m pretty sure every skier had a “fun PB”.We all attached glow sticks to our bodies, skis, and handles and had aball ripping up the extremely bright “Satterfield Buoys”. AdamSanders was the only skier to successfully run 35 off. Also, EllieWhitlock stroked 32 off as if it were 1pm. Then this past weekend was the VA State Championships. I was elatedto see the tournout for this tournament. The tournament was tworounds of all three events and it was FULL! It reminded me of thestate champs I used to attend in the mid to late 1990s. If we cankeep seeing this sort of enthusiasm, I will be certain that 3 eventskiing is making a serious come back! Timberlake Ski Club did anamazing job preparing for and hosting such a successful tournament.Without listing names, I would personally like to thank all of theofficials and club members who made this tournament possible. I’msure you were all dog-tired today but perhaps the excitement of such agreat weekend will provide the incentive to hold another tournamentlike this next year. Three P,L&W regular students set PBs thistournament in slalom. Michele Munsch posted a stellar 3@32 off,Jeanie Savas got 4@34mph and Eric Hardin ran 3.5@32 off.Congratulations guys! Also, tournament director, Kevin Driggers shedthe stress of running this tournament by ripping 5.5@28 off – atournament PB. His son, Chirs Driggers set a Jump PB of 162 feet. Itwas the farthest jump of the whole tournament and really something tosee! Benny Lohr was back in town for the weekend and pleased thecrowd, as always, by tricking over 8,000 points. More than anything,it was just great to see so many people on the banks having a greattime. Thank you again Timberlake for a wonderful tournament! In other news, my T-Shirts will print tomorrow. They are printing inRichmond, which means I may not be able to pick them up until later inthe week but I’ve seen what they will look like and I’m very pleased(though they are quite late). They will be $17 or $15 with cash. Ifyou are out of state and would like me to mail you one, please emailme your address. Also, I still have some openings this week and this Sunday. This isthe only weekend I will be giving lessons for quite a while and hopeto have a lot of excited skiers come out! I may have a slot or twofor Saturday as well but I know Sunday is still fairly open. Pleaseremember that Wim DeCree will be in Bumpass this Thursday and Fridayas well for the reduced rate of $55 per set. I decided not to write this newsletter last night because I was soexhausted and was tired of lamenting to all of you about how worn outI am in every newsletter. However, maybe that’s just the way thingsare going to be for a while because I’m pooped! Perhaps I need alifestyle change… NOT! If I were having any more fun I wouldexplode. Come out and have some fun with me in Bumpass soon. Merry skiing to all and to all a goodnight (and a great week!). your friend,CHUM

Keep on Skiin’ in the Free World

Ski Partners,

I hope everyone had a marvelous 4th of July holiday weekend! I love
this great nation and the great ideals it was founded upon. I also
love the abundant natural resources – particularly the abundant 17
acre ski lakes!

The 4th of July always involves a big family get together at Lake
Gaston for me. It is a great tradition and always a total blast.
This year it was especially exciting. My whole family and a few
friends, totaling 30+ came for “Al-A-Palooza”. It was a celebration
for my granddad, who turned 80 this year and is just a wonderful
person deserving of celebration. In addition to honoring granddad, my
mom proposed to her partner, Mike on the 4th of July during a family
charades game. We were all in on it and it was perfect.
Congratulations Min! That’s like even bigger than a PB!

Around here, the PB’s have continued to stack up. Just yesterday,
Ellie Whitlock ran 35 off for the first time ever and then came back
today and ran it straight off the dock! GO GIRL! Right before taking
off for the weekend, Paul O’Hara ran a new PB of 4.5 @ 38 off,
smashing his prior PB of 3. He was actually in the pass and will run
it very soon. The skiing Miller girls had an impressive week on the
water. Maddie “did work” and ran her first 22 off and got 1 @ 28!
Taylor put in some good work on her onside turn, which paid off as she
ran the second (and smoothest) 32 off and ran 1 @ 35! And Heather
FINALLY ran 28 off – the first time since rupturing her achilles. To
prove it wasn’t a fluke, she ran it twice more today. Soon it will be
a regular part of the repertoire! Eric Hardin jumped off of his
Connelly Prophesy and onto an HO A1 and ran 32off for his first time
and got to try the true blue. Ross Hardin (aka Rebel Ross or Rebel
Roos or Beavis) ran 28off for the first time and got to try the mean
green! I’m glad everybody skiing so strong right in the heart of the
season but it is a lot to remember. I hope I gave everyone a PB shout
out and didn’t miss any. If I did, sternly remind me and you will
receive your due recognition. If you haven’t had a PB for quite some
time, I suggest coming to slash up the water here. It is in the 90s
and skiing like a dream.

Next Monday and Tuesday, I won’t be giving lessons at the farm, as I
am coaching at the Jr. Development clinic in Sparta, VA. Therefore,
if you would like to get some time on the water in Bumpass next week,
let me know in advance as the week is filling up fast! Also, please
remember that there will be a special event the Bum Pass Water Ski
Club on July 22 and 23rd. Wim DeCree 10x Belgian national champion,
pro skier and assistant coach at Chet Raley’s Ski School. Will be
coaching here at the Bum Pass Ski Club. Set’s with Wim will be $70.
If you are interested, please contact me. Also, many people have been
asking when I will be available on a weekend again. My next open
weekend is July 24-25. July 24 is already filling up so look ahead on
your calendar if you are a weekend warrior!

Well friends, I have had a string of long long days and nothing but
long days on the horizon. They will be filled with skiing though! I
better go rest up and get ready, this hot VA son is something else!


Is it July 13th Already?!

Ski Brothers and Sisters,

This summer is just flying by. It always seems to go that way but this summer in particular. I suppose having fun and being very busy are the two things that make time fly by most and I have been experiencing both of these to the fullest! Thank you to those of you who have been keeping me busy and having a great time out here in
Bumpass. I came into the summer hoping to be very busy and I have gotten my wish! There is so much great skiing left to do this summer and I plan to soak up ever great moment of it because I know it is going to continue whizzing by. Hopefully we’ll have another lovely fall in Central Virginia and keep the skiing going on out here through
October. If some of this heat stays around we’ll be in good shape!

So once again, I have been a ramblin’ man and am writing to you all completely exhausted. This past weekend, my granddad, Heather Miller and I traveled to Twin Lakes in NY for a 3 round record slalom
tournament. It was great tournament (again). The people at Twin Lakes are so friendly and the driving was stellar, once again. Heather and I both put up one respectable score. She ran 1@28 off and I put up 4@39.5. Granddad was certainly a better fan than we were skiers but we all had a really nice time. Thank you Twin Lakes!

After considerable Sunday traffic on I-95 it was time to kick off another fantastic VA Jr. Development Clinic. It was an exciting and extremely exhausting two days of skiing! There were PB’s a plenty. Maddie Miller got 2@28. Michael Collier used pure power of will to run his first 22 off and taste one ball at 28. Sarah Keenan crushed her 30mph pass just before a thunder shower and is on pace to beat her Dad’s PB very soon! Look out John! Sean Hennigan also set a new PB and is looking forward to me throwing him in the lake (a twisted reward I dole out for new PBs). Also, there were some notable PB’s last week among some of VA’s lady skiers. Carol Ann Keenan “unleashed the
beast” and ran 22 off and through reluctant to even attempt 28off, ran a solid 1. Jeanie Savas ran the 34-15 off pass that seemed to be somehow alluding her for a while. Now that she has run it once, look
for her to start knocking it down all the time. Sandy O’Hara also conquered the mighty 34-15off pass and ran an impressive 3@22 off!

With all of these PBs and not everyone as excited about being thrown in the water as Master Hennigan, I have created a secondary ritual. Anyone who skis a PB here with me in Bumpass will receive either a “Peace, Love & Waterskiing” bumper sticker or button. If you are like me and don’t run PB’s too often, these items will also be on sale for
$3 a piece or $5 for the two items together. I know I have promised a number of you bumper stickers after I ran out. If you are one of the people who I promised one to or if you would like to buy any of these sweet accessories, send me your address and I’ll start getting them out to you as soon as I get some bumper sticker-sized envelopes.

In other fun news, I have T-Shirts in the process of being made. I may be biased but I think the design came out really sweeeeeeeeet! I am hoping I can get my hands on these shirts by the VA States this
weekend. They will be $15 cash or $17 by check. I think I ordered about 70 and don’t know if they will go fast or not.

I’d also like to remind everybody that we have two of the nicest ski boats ever made over here and both will be looking for new homes! If you buy or broker the deal on one of these boats, the 10 free sets
offer still stands firm! I just serviced and polished to 2008 boat and they are both looking beautiful! If you are in the boat market, it is nice to be able to come and check out a boat, see it run, feel it from behind and from the wheel.

Also, please remember that Wim DeCree is coming for two days to Peace, Love & Waterskiing on July 22 and 23. If you are interested in skiing with Wim either of those days, contact me.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend is looking forward to another one just around the corner. Don’t let summer sail all the way by without being a part of the fun in dear ol’ Bumpass. Days are filling up and I will be doing a lot of traveling for tournaments in the coming month. Just looking at my calendar I can see the time
getting ready to race.

I think I am finally out of words for tonight. I believe it’s time to
sleep like a log and get ready for my first skiers at 9am tomorrow!
Thanks to all of you for making this summer as wonderful as it has
been so far and I look forward to a lot more fun yet to come!

Peace, Love & Waterskiing,