Junior Water Ski Worlds Begins Thursday

The four-member U.S. Junior Water Ski Team and seven U.S. independents will compete Thursday through Sunday in the 15th Junior Water Ski World Championships at the Bujama Lacus Lakes in Lima, Peru. To view live tournament scoring, click here. To view a live webcast, click here.

In addition to the coveted world team title, athletes from more than 25 countries will compete for individual medals in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall at the Junior Worlds.

Members of the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team are (left-to-right): Julianna Boskus, Brooke Baldwin, Nick Lang and Anna Gay.Members of the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team are: Brooke Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), Julianna Boskus (Elkins, Ark.), Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), and Nick Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.).

U.S. athletes competing as independents are: Bailey Austin (Buda, Texas), Samantha Dumala (Wellington, Fla.), Taylor Garcia (Winter Garden, Fla.), Abbi Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas), Corbin Guyer (Pierson, Fla.), Ruth McCreary (Azle, Texas) and Allie Nicholson (Gallatin, Tenn.).

Brenda Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), Jody Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) and Dr. Marc Aiken (Johnson City, Tenn.) are serving as coach, manager and team physician, respectively.

The preliminary rounds of girls’ slalom, boys’ tricks and girls’ jumping are scheduled for Thursday, and the preliminary rounds of boys’ slalom, girls’ tricks and boys’ jumping are set for Friday. Saturday’s finals include girls’ tricks, boys’ tricks and girls’ slalom. Sunday’s finals include boys’ slalom, girls’ jumping and boys’ jumping.

The United States has won the world team title in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2010 and 2012. France won in 1998 and 2006. Canada won in 2004.

It’s Regional Guide Time!

It’s that time of year when we start working on the Regional Guide. We have decided to try some things differently this year. Instead of junior bios, we are going to do junior photos. Retro junior photos. We want pictures of juniors, both current and past. For example, if you have a B3 skier, send us a picture of him when he was much younger and starting to ski. We also want pictures of adults when they were junior skiers. We may even add a contest or two into the mix, such as “Name the Skiers”. Elaine Guarino (guarinoelaine@yahoo.com) is going to be helping with this, so send her your pictures and any questions you may have.

Four Towboats Approved For 2015

Four competition towboats from four manufacturers have been approved to pull athletes in American Water Ski Association-sanctioned tournaments in 2015. The American Water Ski Association (AWSA) is one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski.

Towboats approved for AWSA competitions in 2015 are: Centurion Carbon Pro, Malibu Response TXi, MasterCraft ProStar and Ski Nautique 200. To view the engine and propeller specifications for each boat, click here (PDF).

Members of AWSA’s Towboat Committee, technical experts, drivers and top water ski athletes conducted this year’s evaluations for AWSA, which were held Oct. 27 at Lake Grew in Polk City, Fla.

In 1983 AWSA established its first set of comprehensive technical evaluations of inboard and outboard water ski towboats. These procedures have been updated every year since then to take advantage of the most up-to-date technology available.

Foundation Announces Award Of Distinction Recipients

The USA Water Ski Foundation Hall of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce the 2015 Water Ski Hall of Fame Award of Distinction recipients. Hal Hamilton, Frank Harrison, Dr. Michael Morgan, Chet Raley and Gary Warren have made extraordinary contributions to our sport and will be honored – along with Hall of Fame inductees Bill Bowness, Kim Laskoff, Jennifer Leachman-LaPoint and Jeff Rodgers – at the Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18 at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fla.

Hal Hamilton

Hal Hamilton was an avid tournament skier and Cypress Gardens show skier, He also was a Correct Craft dealer and bought Robert’s Sport Goods, selling boats, water skis and sports equipment. With his strong passion for the sport, Hal was determined to find ways to promote water skiing. One of the pioneers of the early pro events, Hal founded the Iron Man Tournament in1976. The tournament proved to be a great concept that brought high spectator attendance, publicity and media attention to the sport. The Iron Man was a highlight event on the water ski calendar and ran annually until the Pro Tour started in the 1980s.

Frank Harrison

Frank devoted more than a quarter of a century of his life to the administration of the sport of water skiing. In 1972, Frank founded Wet Set Village, one of the first residential water ski communities in the country. With a passion for the sport, Frank started his administrative career as a Western Regional Councilman, moved up to executive vice president and then director for the region. Frank served as treasurer of AWSA in the late 1980s and then as chairman of the board. Frank continued his service on the International Activities Committee as both a member and as chairman for more than 25 years, during which time he was the team manager for many U.S. Elite Team victories in multiple Pan Am and World Championships as well as at the Pan American Games. Frank was the U.S. representative from the Pan Am Confederation to the IWWF Congress for many years and also a member of the IWWF Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Dr. Michael Morgan

Dr. Michael Morgan had a sterling career on the water winning 43 U.S. national titles, setting nine U.S. records, and was a member of three U.S. World Championship Teams. He began skiing in 1972, won his first Nationals in 1975 and joined the Pro Tour in 1980.  Mike was a four-time Pro Tour champion and a three-time U.S. Open champion. In 1987, Mike retired from professional water skiing to focus on medical school and went on to become a successful doctor. Mike’s father, Dr. J.D. Morgan, was presented the Award of Distinction in 1993 for his outstanding career and service to the sport. Mike is also involved in promoting the sport; he co-founded the Soaked pro tournament and founded Girls that Fly.

Chet Raley

Chet Raley has long been one of water skiing’s most sought-after coaches. His devotion to the athletes he coaches and attention to detail in his methods drive his ability to produce the champions of tomorrow. While he is well known for his coaching abilities, Chet is also an excellent skier himself and was an innovator in early wakeboarding techniques. Chet learned to water ski at a very young age, trying multiple disciplines on the water and has competed in local, regional and national tournaments over the years. Chet’s wakeboard coaching brought him worldwide notoriety. He is credited for one of the most groundbreaking tricks in wakeboarding, the “Raley,” which carries his name. This evolved while Chet coached Hall of Fame wakeboarder Darin Shapiro. The Raley is one of the core skills on both cable and boat teaching a rider how to use the tension of the rope and the speed one generates to control oneself in the air. A Raley is the basis of most technical maneuvers. Chet operates the Palm Beach Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla.

Gary Warren

Gary Warren became a professional show skier at age 16 doing doubles and barefoot exhibitions throughout the Western states.  He performed show acts and barefoot exhibitions at the 1963 Nationals and 1961 Water Ski World Championships in Long Beach.  This led to Gary being hired as a show ski performer at Cypress Gardens in 1963. It was at Cypress Gardens that Gary further perfected his skills in all events, including barefooting, show skiing, jumping and kite flying. Following his service in the army in Vietnam, Gary was hired to do the ski shows at Marine World in California. During Gary’s 13 years at Marine World, he also became one of the pioneers in using the Delta Wing Kite.