Vasselin takes top spot at World Wakesurfing Championship

Sylvan Lake’s Julie Vasselin fared much better than she thought she would at last week’s World Wakesurfing Championship

Julie Vasselin in wakesurfing action at the World Wakesurfing Championship in Lake Las Vegas.

Julie Vasselin in wakesurfing action at the World Wakesurfing Championship in Lake Las Vegas.

Sylvan Lake’s Julie Vasselin fared much better than she thought she would at last week’s World Wakesurfing Championship in Lake Las Vegas, where she topped the podium to become the 2014 Amateur Women’s World Wakesurfing Champion.

Vasselin, 23, beat out competition from around the world to win the title — something she says still hasn’t fully sunken in yet.

“It was an astonishment,” she said. “When I went in, I told my friends I was more trying to break the top ten — not be on top of the podium.”

Vasselin entered the competition as one of the lower-ranked riders. That’s something she feels ended up playing in her favour.

“I wasn’t really supposed to win it; I was not really one of the contenders, I guess you could say,” she said. “I was seeded to ride last out of everybody, and usually when I ride last, I don’t ride my best because I watch everybody else and then it stresses me out, but I made sure not to watch anybody else’s ride.”

Vasselin said the good run she had was “about the same” as others she’s had at other recent competitions. Some riders seemed to struggle with the unfamiliar wave, she added.

Vasselin began wakesurfing three years ago, and has only been riding competitively for a year. In an interview with the Sylvan Lake News last month, she said she didn’t get involved in the sport for the opportunity to place at major tournaments. Rather, it’s something she claimed to enjoy due to its “relaxing and stress-free” nature.

She’s already tied down some sponsorships, but is hoping her Lake Las Vegas win will attract more to help pay for the expenses associated with the sport.

“I’m open to any sponsorship opportunities out there as it’s an expensive sport to compete in, and any support would be amazing,” she said.

She’s grateful for support of a different kind that she’s received from both her coach, Caroline Villeneuve, and her friends and family — whom she says she owes a great deal of her success to.