National Geographic : 1958 Nov
gories: jump, slalom, and tricks. Mike Osborn demonstrates the helicopter spin, a jump involv ing a complete revolution of the skier's body in mid-air. While making his approach he grasps the bare line to gain slack and passes the tow bar Up the ramp hurtled the pin point of light; another flash fired as she cleared the edge; a split second later a third; and finally a fourth flash showed Nancie had completed the jump successfully (pages 704-5). "Beautiful! Perfect timing!" I shouted. To be safe, we shot it several more times. On the last jump Nancie fell as she landed. Momentarily the light shone from underwater, then popped to the surface and bobbed around on Nancie's blond head like some kind of channel marker. Just before the pick-up boat arrived, the light went out. "Attracted bugs," Nancie sputtered. Satisfied that we had the jump picture, we moved to the slalom run. Simon took the light from Nancie. The cameras were readied. The hefty towboat roared down the course with the firefly-like light skittering in its wake. The crew, now experienced, worked with pre cision, flashing Simon just as he rounded the buoys. ALL PHOTOGRAPHSBY WILBURE. GARRETT,NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSTAFF behind his back. Leaving the ramp (left), he releases the slack, and the rope snaps his body into the spin. Completing the turn, he lifts one arm for balance while tension in the line brakes his spin. Landing, he resumes a two-handed grip. Watching a perfect slalom is exciting enough, but dramatized by the darkness and flashing lights, it became a real spectacle. Anxious to see the results, we had a mid night snack while the color film was being developed. About 3 a.m. the report signaled success and the completion of my work. Later, at the National Championships at Ida Cason Gardens near Columbus, Georgia, Nancie became the new women's champion, taking first place in every event and setting a new jump record of 89 feet. Among the men, Simon won the slalom and placed second overall. On my own first attempt I swam more than I skied. But the second time out, I crossed in and out of the wake with some confidence. I realized it doesn't require perfect coordi nation, timing, balance, and judgment to en joy water skiing. Even for the beginner, the sport is thrilling, it is fun-and who wants to fly a kite anyway?