The old saying of what happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas but not for Julie Vasselin of Rocky Mountain House.
The 23 year old wakesurfer brought home with her the 2014 World Amateur Women’s Wakesurfing Championship title after besting more than a dozen other competitors at the event held on Lake Las Vegas last month. She admits it was a shock to be crowned the champion at the end of it all because she was the only one in her division who hadn’t won a competition during the year.
“On awards night when they called my name I was surprised. Someone basically had to push me to the podium,” she said.
Vasselin said she was ranked the lowest of the competitors and was slated to go last which concerned her because she doesn’t like watching the other routines. “I tried to keep my mind off it and I saw everybody else was struggling with the wave so it calmed me down. Everyone was not landing tricks I know they should be.” So she pulled out the same run she had used in every other competition and then it was up to the judges.
Vasselin took up the sport of wakesurfing (standing on a specially made board while being pulled by a boat, using the wake as your surfing wave) only three years ago and this was the first year she has competed.
“My goal on the year was just to make it to worlds. It was just fun.”
This caps off the year for the sport as far as competitions go but Julie says she hopes to make it down to Florida during the winter in order to train and stay sharp for the season which starts up next March.
The sport may be new to most people but Vasselin says it’s gaining in popularity especially over the past two years, she said. “I used to go out surfing on Sylvan Lake and I’d be maybe one out of three boats out there and now it seems so many people are switching over to it. I think it might be because it’s a lot less of a impact sport so when you fall over you are only going 11 miles per hour compared to wake boarding you’re going 20 miles an hour.” It’s another one of those sports where almost anyone can get up behind the boat to just simply ride the wake or do some tricks, she said.
The next world champion is out there somewhere and it could be another Central Albertan.