How to drive a half course in Tournament Lake

If you are a budding Slalom Skier but not sure where to start you will find this useful.  Once you are up on one ski it’s time to try your hand at Slalom but doing a full course, buoy to buoy, is not only daunting when you first start but also seems to be nigh-on impossible.  To help you progress it’s a good idea to start with a ‘Half Slalom’ – Clive has put together a guide to help both skier and driver.. note that the driver has to pay particular attention to stay on course and the observer can play an important role in this as it is easier looking back to see if the boat is staying on track.

Give it a go.. you may be surprised how quickly the challenge of the full Slalom Course will seem appealing.

Driving a Half Course

Can I refuel my boat on the water?

If it is Gas then the answer is yes – just pull up to the Gas Jetty and make sure you fill in the Gas Sheet.

If it is Petrol then it’s a firm NO. Please take the boat off the water and refuel in the compound area at the back of the Clubhouse.

Can I use the Tournament lake? Are there any special rules?

You can join the Tournament Lake whether you are a skier or wakeboarder – there is an additional cost of £110 For Adults and £55 for under 16. There is a separate set of rules but the main one is 6 passes or 12 minutes.  Full rules are displayed on the notice board in the clubhouse.  At busy times please make sure your rider is on the dock ready and waiting. If there is a queue then place your kit on the rack  which identifies your place in the queue

Which way round the lake?

If you are on the lake on your own then you can head off in any direction but as soon as you are joined by another boat you must go round the lake in an anti-clockwise direction.

How Fast should I drive?

First remember the rider can control the speed using hand signals – see other FAQ.  Here is a rough guide on how fast you should drive for different disciplines.
• Skier on 2 skis? 34kph for Juniors and 37kph for Adults
• Trick Skier? 26kph
• Slalom skier? 40 – 43 kph
• Kneeboarding? 32kph (Beginner 16-24kph),
• Wakeboarding – 28-35 kph (Beginner 25-29kph)
20 > 12
25 > 15
30 > 18
35 > 22
40 > 25
45 > 28
Above all else do not frighten people. Riders may not be able to let you know that you are driving too fast. Edge on the side of caution so as not to put people off – but remember too slow can be just as bad as too fast.
Adjust your speed according to the conditions and ability of your rider. Have fun, be safe.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

If you are tubing then yes you must wear a helmet – this can be a hard or soft helmet (the club has soft helmets available).  If you are going over the ski jump then a hard helmet is necessary.  At all other times a helmet is optional and most people do not wear them.

Who has right of way when I am taking off from the dock

This is the area where most bad driving occurs.  If you have a rider on the dock you tend to be focused on getting the boat lined up, ensuring that your rider is ready… BUT… before you take off check left and see if another boat is coming.  If it is then WAIT.  Hold your hand up to your rider so that they have a good idea what is going on.

How old does a spotter have to be?

There is no age limit but they should be responsible and capable of helping out in any situation – it is ideal if they can handle the boat as well.

What are the rules for tubing?

You should only tube in the centre of the lake if other boats are on the water.  You riders should always raise a hand if they fall off so that they can easily be seen.  All riders must wear helmets.  Again you should stay out for a maximum of 20 minutes if people are waiting.

How long can I stay out if others are waiting?

The rule is twice round the lake or 20 minutes if other people are waiting.  Only 4 boats on the water at one time – so if you are waiting head over to the launch area so that those already riding know that you are waiting.

If you are out on the water please be polite and don’t keep people waiting – keep your eye on the launch area to see if anyone is waiting.
When returning to the beach have your spotter raise an arm so that a waiting boat knows that you are heading in and can start to lineup for take off.