For more information and to register, contact Tonya Maurer at (860) 539-9287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Award of Distinction recognizes tournament skiers, innovators, industry leaders, officials and others responsible for landmark achievements in the development of water skiing as well as those whose long periods of dedicated and generous service deserve special recognition.
Involved in water skiing since 1956, Paul Boel was a pioneer in our sport. As one of the original organizers of the Michigan Water Ski Association, Paul developed the private Tivoli Gardens Lake site in the early 1960s and has been hosting major water ski events there for more than 50 years. Besides local, collegiate, state and professional tournaments, Paul hosted the 1976 Midwest Regionals and the 1978 Nationals, which drew more than 28,000 spectators. It was the largest number of spectators to ever attend a Nationals. Paul was the Men 6 national jumping champion in 1991 and Men 10 national jumping champion in 2006. He also was the first Senior Men competitor to jump 100 feet. Paul was inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Association’s Hall of Fame in 1987 and is an active, long-time financial supporter and board of trustee for the USA Water Ski Foundation.
Leza Harrison started water skiing at the age of 20 at Rollins College. What started out as a fun pastime on the collegiate ski team led to an amazing career that is still going strong. Leza has won the Correct Craft Ski Nautique Award, given to the skier with the highest overall score in any division at the Water Ski National Championships, five times in her career. She currently holds two national records – Women 6 jumping and Women 6 slalom. Leza has won national overall titles an amazing 30 times, including the 2015 Women 6 title. At one point in her career she won the national overall title 12 consecutive years. Over the course of her incredible career, Leza has won 122 national medals, including 91 gold medals. She was a U.S. Team member at multiple Water Ski World Championships and Pan American Water Ski Championships. While she was skiing at a world-class level, Leza also was a NASA engineer working on the space shuttle for 26 years.
Hank Longo has been announcing water ski tournaments for more than five decades. He founded the American Water Ski Association’s Announcers’ Association, which was established to organize and identify announcers and to provide guidelines and structure for announcing water ski tournaments in the United States. As a result of Hank’s efforts, announcers became formally recognized as AWSA officials in 2007. Hank created and wrote the AWSA Announcers’ Manual and Guidelines. In 1996 he worked with the USA Water Ski Foundation to establish the Tommy Bartlett Award for the Most Outstanding Announcer at the Water Ski National Championships. Hank has announced more National and Regional Water Ski Championships than anyone in the United States. He has announced numerous major tournaments, including the Masters, U.S. Open, Malibu Open, U.S. Team Trials and many others. He also is an accomplished skier setting a world stunt record in 1983 by jumping over 14 MasterCraft boats on ABC’s “That’s Incredible!” He won Men 6 jumping at the 2013 GOODE Water Ski National Championships.
Les Todd has been involved in all aspects of water skiing his entire life. He started driving boats and pulling skiers at age 12. As a teenager, Les joined the Charlotte Water Ski Club where he performed in ski shows primarily freestyle jumping and flying delta kites. He left college his junior year and got a job in professional show skiing and driving with Tommy Bartlett Water Shows and Sea World of Ohio. In 1974 Les moved to Orlando, Fla., and drove his first collegiate water ski tournament at Rollins College. In 1975 he became assistant driver and got his assistant judge rating for AWSA tournaments. Later that year he attended his first U.S. Masters and has only missed two in the past 40 years. In 1977, he earned his regular driver rating and ceased all ski show work and devoted himself solely to tournaments. Les has been driving tournaments for 40 years, including 29 years for the U.S. Masters, 23 years as chief driver of the U.S. Masters, and 32 years of driving professional tournaments. Les has driven all level tournaments throughout the United States and around the world. He is married to 1993 Water Ski Hall of Fame Inductee Cindy Todd.
Mark Voisard has been a pioneer, national level competitor, innovator and judge in the sport of water skiing for more than 50 years. In 1970, Mark was a founding member of the Chain Skimmers Water Ski Show Team in Eagle River, Wis. The team is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. In 1977, Mark was hired to ski for the Cypress Gardens theme park. He continued at the “Water Ski Capital of the World” until 1992. Mark later returned in 1997 and stayed until the iconic park closed in 2009. He served as the show director there for 15 years, working alongside Water Ski Hall of Fame Inductees Jennifer Calleri, Scotty Clack, Lynn Novakofski and Cheryl Orloff. In 1982, Mark won the Men 2 national barefoot tricks and starts titles. He brought the breathtaking Delta Wing Kite flights to water ski shows and continues to fly to this day. He was responsible for the direction and performance of the first five-tier pyramids and was instrumental in forming the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team. Mark has officiated in more than 30 show ski tournaments for the National Show Ski Association, including 10 national championships and the two world championships.
For more information, visit www.usawaterskifoundation.org.
Gay set a pending Girls 3 national tricks record of 9,920 points in the second round. If approved by the American Water Ski Association’s Technical Committee, Gay’s score will surpass the current national record of 9,780 points set by Erika Lang in May 2013.
Morgan set a pending Women 1 national jumping record of 165 feet (50.4 meters) in the first round. If approved by AWSA’s Technical Committee, the distance will surpass the current record of 162 feet set by Caroline Hensley in October 2013.
For scores from the tournament, click here.
Gordon West. the President of the FWSF since July 2009, has resigned his position effective immediately and Curtis Rabe has assumed the duties of President.
We would like to thank Gordon for his leadership for the past 6 years and wish him well.
Curtis has accepted the duties and is ready to go to work as President and looks forward to hearing from you. His contact information is in the Contacts’ section of the website.