21st Nautique U.S. Open Begins Thursday

U.S. water ski athlete Nate Smith, the current men's world slalom champion, will compete in the U.S. Open.The 21st Nautique U.S. Open Water Ski Championships will be held Thursday through Saturday in central Florida. The world’s top water ski athletes will compete for cash prizes and respective titles in men’s and women’s slalom, tricks, jumping and overall in the heart of the water sports capital of the world. The world-record capability preliminary rounds will take place Thursday and Friday at Lake Grew – adjacent to USA Water Ski headquarters – in Polk City, Fla. To view the running orders and schedule for preliminary rounds on Thursday and Friday, click here (PDF). For live scoring, click here. The finals will be held Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at downtown Orlando’s famed Lake Ivanhoe. A live webcast of the finals will be available at www.nautique.com/usopen.

It marks the first time since 2007 that the U.S. Open will take place, and it comes as USA Water Ski celebrates its 75th Anniversary. As part of the year-long 75th Anniversary celebration, and in making this the fall season’s ultimate water sports weekend, the USA Water Ski Foundation – which raises funds to preserve and celebrate the history of all towed water sports – also will host its annual Ski with the Legends events on Saturday and Sunday in Polk City, Fla., Winter Haven, Fla., and Gilbert, Ariz.

For more information on the U.S. Open, including a tentative schedule of events, visit www.nautique.com/usopen.

U.S. Athletes Strike Gold At 35+ Worlds

Lori Krueger won the gold medal in Over 45 Women slalom.The 2014 35+ Water Ski World Championships continued Saturday at Sunset Lakes in Groveland, Fla., with seven U.S. athletes winning gold medals in respective events. An eight-member U.S. 35+ Water Ski Team and more than 100 U.S. independent athletes are competing in the 3rd biennial event, which began Wednesday and concludes Sunday. To view the tournament schedule, running orders and live results, click here.

Members of the U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team are: Brenda Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), Over 35 Women; Marc Shaw (Orlando, Fla.), Over 35 Men; Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.), Over 35 Men; Lori Krueger (Martindale, Texas), Over 45 Women; Hutch Haines (Avon, Conn.), Over 45 Men; Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.), Over 55 Women; Janie Fausold (Pleasant Grove, Calif.), Over 55 Women; and Curtis Rabe (Orlando, Fla.), Over 55 Men.

On Saturday, Kelley won gold medals in Over 55 Women slalom (1 buoy at 38 feet off) and jumping (111 feet); Krueger won gold medals in Over 45 Women slalom (2-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off) and jumping (134 feet); Baldwin earned the silver medal in Over 35 Women jumping (133 feet); and Fausold earned the bronze medal in Over 55 Women jumping (80 feet).
More than 100 U.S. athletes also are competing as independents.

In Over 45 Men, Russell Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) won the gold medal in tricks (10,570 points); Marc Bedsole (Orlando, Fla.) earned the silver medal in tricks (5,780 points); and Forest Fisher (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) earned the bronze medal in tricks (5,260 points).

In Over 45 Women, Jennifer LaPoint (Orlando, Fla.) earned the silver medal in slalom (2-1/4 buoys at 38 feet off); Connie Bergmark (San Diego, Calif.) earned the silver medal in jumping (101 feet); Mary Koenig (Waterford, Mich.) earned the bronze medal in jumping (97 feet); and Patricia Cordeiro (Lake Worth, Fla.) earned the bronze medal in slalom.

In Over 55 Men, Don Parsons (Nampa, Idaho) won the gold medal in tricks (4,890 points).

In Over 55 Women, Cyndi Benzel (Groveland, Fla.) earned the silver medal in slalom (4-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off); Leza Harrison (Chuluota, Fla.) earned the silver medal in jumping (93 feet); and Kandise Bertelson (Palmer, Texas) earned the bronze medal in slalom (3 buoys at 35 feet off).

In Over 65 Men, Stan Switzer (Mulberry, Fla.) won the gold medal in tricks (2,220 points); Gordon Gay (Fredericksburg, Va.) earned the silver medal in tricks (1,900 points); and Stephen Nelson (St. Paul, Minn.) earned the bronze medal in tricks (1,840 points);

In Over 65 Women, Ruth Johnston (Mulberry, Fla.) won the gold medal in slalom (2 buoys at 32 feet off); Prissy Edwards (Alexandria, Ind.) won the gold medal in jumping (55 feet); Janice Prociw (Carter Lake, Iowa) earned the silver medal in jumping (50 feet); Brenda Cavenaugh (West Point, Miss.) earned the bronze medal in jumping (39 feet); and Shirley Coble (Lillington, N.C.) earned the bronze medal in slalom (3 buoys at 28 feet off).

For complete results, click here

The 2012 U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team won the overall team gold medal and eight U.S. team members combined to earn 23 individual medals in respective events at the 2012 World 35+ Water Ski Championships in Chapala, Mexico. Canada earned the silver medal and Great Britain earned the bronze medal.

35+ Water Ski Worlds Set For Oct. 8-12

The 2014 35+ Water Ski World Championships will take place Oct. 8-12 at Sunset Lakes in Groveland, Fla. An eight-member U.S. 35+ Water Ski Team and more than 100 U.S. independent athletes will compete in the biennial event.

Members of the U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team are: Brenda Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), Women 35-44; Marc Shaw (Orlando, Fla.), Men 35-44; Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.), Men 35-44; Lori Krueger (Martindale, Texas); Women 45-54; Hutch Haines (Avon, Conn.), Men 45-54; Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.), Women 55-64; Janie Fausold (Pleasant Grove, Calif.), Women 55-64; and Curtis Rabe (Orlando, Fla.), Men 55-64.

The 2014 35+ Water Ski World Championships also will feature for the first time a 65+ category for men and women. However, these athletes will compete for individual medals only; they will not contribute to team scores.

The 2012 U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team won the overall team gold medal and eight U.S. team members combined to earn 23 individual medals in respective events at the 2012 World 35+ Water Ski Championships in Chapala, Mexico. Canada earned the silver medal and Great Britain earned the bronze medal at the biennial event.

To view a schedule of events, click here (PDF). For more information, click here.