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Some of the world's best water skiers set to compete at Predator Bay

The Calgary Cup is the fourth stop of the World Water Skiers Overall tour and it's made up of six men and four women  who compete in three disciplines - slalom, trick and jump.

Jaret Llewellyn and his wife Britta are organizing the tour. Jaret is from Innisfail and was a professional water skier for three decades winning nine world titles and holds 11 world records along with 117 professional competition wins.

"The Overall Tour is what I did," Jaret said. "I did three events, slalom, trick and jump.

"When you do that you're like a triathlete," he added, "and ultimately there's an overall winner."

The Overall Tour, he explained is unique because competitive water skiing has become highly specialized, with competitors focusing on a single event rather than three different ones.

Britta is a world champion and also holds a number of world records. She holds the distinction of being the first female athlete sponsored by Red Bull.

"I always thought I want to help the sport you know," she said. "How much Red Bull has done for me, I want to pass that on and give that back to the sport."

One of those six male athletes is their 26-year-old son Dorien who is looking forward to showcasing his skills at the Calgary Cup.

"Obviously I'm biased," he said. "But it is true that the hardest event is Overall, you have to ski five times a day or four times a day, whereas some of the specialists that are only slaloming or are only tricking, they're doing two, three sets maximum a day."

Brooke Baldwin is one of four females invited to the event. She started competing at five years old and the 21-year-old is impressed by the lakes at Predator Bay just southeast of Calgary.

"It's a lot prettier here, a lot prettier," she said. "A lot more trees, a lot more deer, a lot more everything, this is one of the prettiest lakes I've ever been to so I'm excited."

This is Sasha Danisheuskaya's first trip to Canada. She's from Belarus and couldn't get a visa in time to take part in the first leg of the tour in France. Next year she'll be skiing for the United States and says all the athletes in this event are close, almost like family.

"Yeah, I knew all this people for at least 10 years I would say," said Daisheuskaya. "It's fine because we get to travel together and then after skiing we go have lunch and get to explore a new city so it's fun."

Britta says at other world events hosted in Europe she'll see more than 30,000 spectators at an event. She'd be happy to see 3,000 at the Calgary Cup.

"You can't ski in the ocean, it's just not safe for the athletes, it's not good for the performance," she said. "It doesn't really showcase the sports so then we're trying to come to lakes like this, but this one at least its a little closer to town to where we're hoping people will come out."

Jaret says the event is free to the public, but a parking pass is needed because there is limited space at Predator Bay. He says it's a challenge to go up against other professional sports like football, soccer and baseball.

Still he said there's something special about being at a water skiing event.

"You can watch (the World Water Skiers Overall Tour) on TV and it's great but to see the speed and the impact in live, there's nothing like it," he said.

Learn more about the event here: Top Stories

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