Jed Leech provided a high-flying finale to the BC Summer Games towed watersport competition on Sunday morning at Abbotsford’s Albert Dyck Park.
The 16-year-old from Cobble Hill is Canada’s top-ranked water-ski jumper in his age group, and on his first two attempts, it was clear he was the class of the field. But while he soared more than 130 feet both times, he wasn’t able to stick the landings.
That left Leech needing to land his third and final attempt to register an official distance. He wobbled when he hit the water, but pulled himself up to post a winning jump of 137 feet, just shy of his personal best of 141 feet.
“I put the pressure on myself, for sure,” he said with a chuckle afterward. “When I was landing, the rope was getting caught on the ball and kind of ripping out of my hands.
“I just had to pull through.”
Leech was simply dominant in the jump – he out-distanced the silver and bronze medalists in the boys 3 division, Levi Cole of Vancouver and Jackson Hamersley of Burnaby, by more than 90 feet.
He went three-for-three in the water-ski events, also winning gold in the slalom and tricks competitions on Saturday.
“It was a great event,” he said. “It’s cool to be recognized.”
Ben Leech, Jed’s younger brother, completed a family sweep in the jumps, winning the boys 2 division with a distance of 77 feet. Silver and bronze medalists were Shawnigan Lake’s Desman Perry and Jake Metcalfe of Cobble Hill.
Another sibling duo, Nicola and Patricia Horwood of Victoria, swept the girls jump events. Nicola won the girls 3 division, edging Emma McNichol of Nanoose Bay, while Patrica was the girls 2 champ, finishing ahead of North Vancouver’s Brooklyn Sutherland.
Zone 6 (Vancouver Island – Central Coast) dominated the aggregate team standings, amassing 2,210 points. Zone 3 (Fraser Valley) took silver with 990 points, while Zone 5 (Vancouver-Squamish) won bronze with 870 points.