Skier on top of world

December 29, 2017

CHELSEA Blight dreamed about winning a World Water Ski Racing title as a seven-year-old growing up in Echuca.

CHELSEA Blight dreamed about winning a World Water Ski Racing title as a seven-year-old growing up in Echuca.

Years later, the skier’s vision became a reality. In a flawless performance in Seattle, she swept the four races to blow away the competition.

A Women’s Open class world champion for the first time, Blight was lost for words.

A journey starting in 2001 with her first attempt at the Junior Girls world title, she couldn’t hold her emotions back any longer.

‘‘When I won the third race which meant I was crowned world champion, I got in the boat and I was just bawling my eyes out,’’ Blight said.

‘‘My team was asking me what was wrong, and I couldn’t speak because of the emotion behind it. When I stopped crying I explained I was just excited and emotional I’d achieved my dream I’d had since I was a seven-year-old girl.

‘‘It was extremely emotional and it still is. Sometimes I watch the video again and I get teary.’’

The years of training and hard work paid off. All her effort was worth it.

‘‘As you can imagine the sacrifice outside of my work life was pretty much everything to train,’’ she said.

‘‘My training regime leading up to the worlds was eight sessions a week — every day plus morning and night on some days - and I was on water three times a week as well.

‘‘Literally, I was training morning and night whether it was in the gym or on water.’’

But a world title wasn’t Blight’s only goal. The Southern 80 Open Women Expert record has eluded her in recent years, but in great form, she hopes 2018 is the year.

‘‘Over the years I guess I’ve half trained for it,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s always been a balance between world’s training and the Southern 80, but this year because worlds were prior to the Southern 80 it’s allowed me to really focus on the S80 for the coming months.

‘‘I’ve been chasing the open women’s record for about six years now,’’ she said.

‘‘We came within three seconds of the record in 2015, so we’re getting very close.’’

Her Merc Force F1 team, the women’s version of the 2017 Superclass winning team, ran seventh in this year’s Barrie Beehag.

With the other classic out of the way, Blight said it was focused on one thing — the record.

‘‘My ski partner and I, we have maps of the course in our shower,’’ she said.

‘‘So by the time the race comes around we should be able to know every single bend and what we are in for.

‘‘Mentally, we’ll have looked at that map every morning and night for a few months.

The Merc Force F1 team consists of driver Trent Souwer, Echuca observer Christian Apps as well as fellow skier Maddie Boyer.

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