Water-skier Lumley warms up for world championships with victory in California

KIM Lumley sent her rivals a message with an emphatic victory in California in the final event before next week s water-ski world championships. It was the seventh time Lumley has won the Catalina race at Long Beach, California, and demonstrated she is in

KIM Lumley sent her rivals a message with an emphatic victory in California in the final event before next week's water-ski world championships.

It was the seventh time Lumley has won the Catalina race at Long Beach, California, and demonstrated she is in top form heading into the world championships in Belgium.

The 27-year-old from Somersham was in imperious form as she raced around the 64-mile course to shatter the women's record by a full five minutes.

Lumley dominated the women's race, and proved her class even further by finishing third overall, behind nine-time champion Todd Haig.


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Lumley's 45-foot powerboat reached speeds of 100mph over the shark-inhabited waters as she fought off competition from a distinguished international field.

Lumley qualified earlier this year for the world championships, due to start on July 19, and has been fine-tuning her preparations.

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"The time spent in the US has been really worthwhile, so I am ready going into next week's racing. Once I get over the jetlag, I will be as prepared as I can be for the world championships," she said.

Lumley has represented Great Britain at every world championship event since 1997, and is hoping to regain the title she last won in 2005. She lost her crown two years ago when her boat suffered a mechanical failure while she was leading, leaving her to pick up the silver medal.

She will be assisted in her title pursuit by top Belgian driver Nico Bertels, who is replacing Lumley's father Tom in the hot seat for the championships. Also in the boat will be observer Robert Manchett, who relays messages between Lumley and Bertels during the race.

"I have a great team behind me - they are really good at motivating me. They get the boat in great condition, and make sure that I am fully prepared for every race.

The first race will take place in Ghent on Sunday, followed by Genk on Tuesday, Antwerp on July 24 and Viersel on July 26.

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