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Skimming through the sun into the drink

April 23, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - Weather-wise, the third time was certainly the charm.

After postponing the annual International Pond Skimming event twice earlier this month due to poor weather conditions, the contest finally took place on Saturday at Whiteface Mountain, and it couldn't have been a more glorious day.

With bright sunshine bathing the slopes and temperatures pushing into the 40s, a field of more than 80 contestants riding skis and snowboards gave it their best shot at skimming across the man-made pond constructed near the base of the mountain.

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Decked out in a happy-birthday costume, 12-year-old Elijah Turner enters the water during Saturday's annual pond skimming contest at Whiteface Mountain. Just like every competitor in the event, Turner ended up in the drink and emerged with a gasp and a grin.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Many of the competitors were decked out in costumes ranging from two grim reapers, super heroes and various animals, and a colorful array of Hawaiian shirts were also popular garb for the skimmers.

A year ago, more than a half dozen contestants were able to cross the pond upright and stay dry. This time around, the crew that installed the pond stretched its length by more than 10 feet, and in the end, the 80-foot distance proved to be too much to conquer.

For the first time in recent memory, not a single competitor was able to reach the out ramp, although a handful came close before they ultimately sank into the water just about 10 feet from the end of the pond, which oddly enough was just about the distance the body of water was lengthened for this year's competition.

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Apparently, many of the competitors realized before they headed down the in-run that staying dry was not in the cards, so instead, a slew of skiers and borders launched off a jump and performed tricks before splashdown.

Saturday's contests ranged in age from 5-year-old Anna Stephenson to 71-year-old Steve Buzzell, who lives in Saranac Lake. Prizes were awarded for best costume, best splash and longest distance.

The top three costume awards were handed out to Nate Hofrichter, Eli Land and Elijah Turner. Best splash went to Adrian Hayden, Garth Cilley and Lura Johnson. Jay Philippi, Robert Sinclair and Will Roth took the top three spots in longest distance for snowboarders and Tim Kelleher, Zach Zientko and Parker Anthony landed on the distance podium for skiers.

Eleven-year-old Oliver Stoddard won the best in show award, and Noelle Wood, Jeff Erenstone, Eddie Geserich and Nich Lovejoy were awarded honorable mention for their efforts.



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