Bare­foot and tal­ented team

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

They op­er­ate best when in barefeet, skim­ming wa­ter off the back of a boat.

So it’s only fit­ting that South Waikato’s Wil­liam Leigh and Kathy Dux­field were a part of the 2014 New Zealand Bare­foot Wa­ter­ski team that re­turned from the world cham­pi­onships with the big­gest medal haul the coun­try has ever won.

The ex­treme sport’s bi­en­nial com­pe­ti­tion was held in Aus­tralia, where New Zealand brought home two over­all firsts, two over­all sec­onds and a hand­ful of top plac­ings.

Among the Kiwi talent was Ti­rau’s young skier Wil­liam Leigh.

Leigh fought hard to make it in to the semi­fi­nals for tricks and jump, and took out an im­pres­sive 11th over­all.

For the young con­tender, the ex­pe­ri­ence of meet­ing and ski­ing against top bare­foot skiers from around the world was only sur­passed by the bronze medal he won in the team event.

The other South Waikato skier rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand in the week-long event was Piarere Ski Club mem­ber Kathy Dux­field.

Dux­field com­peted in the Se­nior Women di­vi­sion against com­peti­tors up to 15 years her ju­nior.

This was Dux­field’s fourth world cham­pi­onship, but her de­but ski­ing as one of the world’s top five con­tenders.

She per­formed

con­sis­tently through­out the com­pe­ti­tion to con­trib­ute strongly to the sil­ver medals brought home by the New Zealand Se­nior team, edg­ing out the com­pet­i­tive Amer­i­cans in do­ing so.

She de­cided to com­pete in jump this year, to give her team that ex­tra edge. ‘‘I ac­tu­ally had an Amer­i­can com­peti­tor who came up to me and said, ‘you know don’t you, that your jump score was the dif­fer­ence be­tween bronze and sil­ver for your team’.’’ She said the sup­port crew can take just as much credit for the awards.

HAPPY SKI­ING: James Leen, left, skis along­side South Waikato’s Kathy Dux­field and Wil­liam Leigh for New Zealand.

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