Three local wake surfers cleaned up at the World Championships held in Arizona the last week of September.
All three members of the Elk Valley based H2O School for wake surfing made it to the podium, placing in three different categories. Fernie girl Emily Agate competed for the first time and came in second in the Women Surf Amateur division. Representing the Women Outlaw Skim, Brittney Nyrose took second. And owner of H20 School, Caroline Villeneuve, placed third in the Pro Women Skim category.
Villeneuve founded H2O School a couple of years ago to give kids of all ages in the Elk Valley the chance to learn and compete with wake surfing locally. She also organised the first ever Koocanusa Wake Surfing Challenge this past August. “We decided to create the Rocky Mountain Wake Surfing Association so we could do the Koocanusa Challenge in August, which was one of the qualifiers to get access to the Worlds,” explained Villeneuve. “It obviously opened the door for people that could never get to the States to compete. It’s a good opportunity for locals to get access to the championships.”
Villeneuve believes getting a couple of her students to the World Championships helped the girls gain experience, and also helped expose H2O. “It’s a good opportunity to meet with everyone. Every time I go to a competition I come back and I want to learn some new tricks because I’ve seen something I’d never seen before, and it’s good motivation too,” she said. “It also make us visible to the public, to the possible sponsors, and helps to promote this amazing sport.”
H2O School also offers private swim lessons at the Fernie Aquatic Centre. For more information or to register for a class, contact Caroline Villeneuve at 250-278-7873, or by emailing email@example.com.