Charlotte rides the crest of waves in endeavour of extreme fortunes
Terms such as bad gate, dock start and sideslide mean nothing to the average person but are almost everything to water skier Charlotte Moore (18).
The Bourne Grammar School student from Tallington, near Market Deeping, has won national titles in tricks, slalom and jump events at under-12, under-14 and under-17 age categories since taking up the sport seriously as an 11-year-old in 2008.
But it’s the prestige of “tearing it” in the home of waterskiing – the USA – that drives Charlotte on, as well as the ultimate ambition of becoming world champion.
Charlotte said: “I’m a very competitive person and really motivated to carry on doing what I’m doing, especially as I’m currently ranked third in Europe for jumps.”
To succeed, Charlotte will have to rely on the deep pockets of her parents and the support of Ollie who has become a sought-after name in wakeskating – a form of skateboarding on water.
“My dad used to build water ski boats and so I started water skiing when I was three or four,” Charlotte said.
“I always enjoyed it but when I was about seven or eight, my brother pushed me a lot more and I didn’t enjoy that much.
“That changed when I was about 11 because it’s quite a small sport, there’s hardly any rivalries when you’re competing with people in the UK and I do a lot of gym work because my mum is very much into fitness.”
Charlotte does most of her training near home on Tallington Lakes Leisure Park and at Hazelwood Ski World in Lincoln which bears the same name as probably the most famous water skier to emerge from the UK, two-time world champion Mike Hazelwood.
“The biggest competition is the World Championship and there are quite a lot of championships in America, but you have to be invited to them,” Charlotte said.
“It’s quite hard to get into them as only the elite get invited, but if I keep improving then hopefully I’ll go to them.”
Charlotte’s first major success was with a clean sweep of tricks, slalom and overall national titles at under-12 level in 2009.
Two years later, Charlotte was third at the under-14 European Junior Championships in Ukraine in a year when she lifted the under-14 overall national crown.
In 2013, Charlotte captured the national jump title at under-17 level and held onto it a year later.
“At the Europeans, you go there as a UK team and when it comes to competing, people like to keep themselves to themselves,” Charlotte said.
“There are a lot of competitions where I haven’t done too well and it can definitely get you down.
“I had a situation at the European Junior Championships in Spain last year where I missed out on third place in the jump event by 10cms.
“I knew the other competitor deserved it and yet she came over to me and said ‘I’m so sorry’.
“But because my mum has always competed and my dad used to a lot of competitions, they’ve always pushed me into doing competitions because they’re really proud of me and post things about me on social media.”
Like other young sportsmen and women still at school, Charlotte has the job of juggling her sporting ambitions with educational excellence.
On one occasion, that could have resulted in the Tallington teenager missing out on collecting her GCSE results but a rescheduling of her diary saved the day.
Charlotte said: “It’s quite hard to juggle water skiing and school work but I try to get all my work done in cars and other transport while going to events.
“From Year 8 right up to my A-levels this year, the school has made sure that I’m okay with my studies and I’ve been offered a lot of support just in case I needed someone to speak to about my work.
“I get quite a nice break in the winter because I can water ski and then study in the evenings.
“My teachers have always been okay for me to go to America for my water skiing but in the last few years, it’s been a lot more important to keep up with my work.
“I want to do sport and exercise science at university, but I’m not sure exactly what career I want to go into, although it will definitely be something sport-based so that I can carry on doing my sport as much as possible.”
Charlotte’s dedication to water skiing and, at the same time, her self-discipline when it comes to academic matters has impressed Chris Ray, head of PE at Bourne Grammar School.
Mr Ray said: “I only became aware of Charlotte’s water skiing during her GCSEs when we had to work quite hard with the exam board to get trick water skiing including in her A-level sports studies course.
“There’s a whole range of twists and jumps and it’s only then that you become aware of many skills there are in the sport.
“I was quite envious of Charlotte when she showed me her water skiing sessions in Florida which looked really nice.
“It’s a phenomenal amount of time that Charlotte and other students give up to reach the level they are at and those students who are busy with a life outside of school, with lots of training, have to be prepared, organised and well-planned because they can’t just leave things to the last minute.
“Something will come up when there’s a training regime and gym work that will impact on their school work.”
As well as her A-levels in biology, English language and sports studies, Charlotte tries to lead an active but disciplined cultural and social life at the Bourne school.
“Most of my friends know what I do as they’ve tried water skiing themselves,” Charlotte said.
“They usually know about a big competition when it’s coming up, but I don’t brag about my sport to them.”
Charlotte sees herself as something of an ambassador for water skiing, a sport she hopes others will take up.
“People don’t understand all the many different things to do with water skiing so it would be good if a lot more people got involved in the sport because it’s very big in other countries where a lot of people have heard of it,” Charlotte said.
“Most of the top skiers are in America and there are a lot more boys involved in the sport.
“But I’m moved up to the under-21 age category this year and I’m in the Team GB squad, so I’m going to most of the competitions.
“I still want to be friendly and not fall out with people because I really enjoy going out to the competitions and seeing my friends.”