By USA Water Ski & Wake Sports | Dec. 14, 2020, 8:23 a.m. (ET)

The American Water Ski Association has announced respective award winners for 2020. Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) was selected Athlete of the Year; Blaze Grubbs (Rio Linda, Calif.) was selected Junior Athlete of the Year; and Bennett’s Ski School, Jay Bennett, Andre Broussard and Donny Covington will share Volunteer of the Year honors.

Regina Jaquess slalom skiing at the 2020 MasterCraft ProJaquess won slalom titles at the 2020 GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Stillwaters Pro Team Challenge, Malibu Open, Swiss Pro Slalom and MasterCraft Pro. She also won the Open Women jumping and overall titles at the GOODE Water Ski National Championships and Stillwaters Pro Team Challenge, and she finished second in jumping at the Malibu Open. She also set a new Women 3/Masters Women national tricks record of 8,540 points at the 2020 Lymanland Fall Record in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Blaze Grubbs slalom skiingGrubbs swept the Boys’ slalom, tricks, jumping and overall titles at the 2020 Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships. He also won Boys 5 tricks and overall and placed second in jumping and third in slalom at the 2020 GOODE Water Ski National Championships. He also won boys’ jumping and placed second in slalom and overall, and third in tricks at the 2020 Junior Moomba Masters.

Bennett’s Ski School, Jay Bennett, Andre Broussard and Donny Covington were instrumental in putting on a successful 2020 GOODE Water Ski National Championships at Tri-Lakes in Zachary, La. The 2020 Nationals was originally scheduled to be held at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fla., however, the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches had to pull out as the local organizing club due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Florida.

The American Water ski Association is one of nine sport discipline organizations affiliated with USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.

AWSA Approves Four Towboats To Pull Sanctioned Events In 2021

Four competition towboats from three manufacturers have been approved to pull athletes in sanctioned tournaments for the American Water Ski Association, National Collegiate Water Ski Association and USA Adaptive Water Ski & Wake Sports in 2021. The American Water Ski Association, National Collegiate Water Ski Association and USA Adaptive Water Ski & Wake Sports are three of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, the national governing body of organized water skiing in the United States.

Towboats approved for competitions in 2021 are: Malibu Response TXi, MasterCraft ProStar, Ski Nautique, and Nautique 200. Technical information and additional information (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. 25 at Action Water Sports’ 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.

While successful completion of the towboat evaluations allows a manufacturer to pull tournaments, there also are several other advantages. Private-lake communities continue to be built all over the country. Most developments require any boat used on the lake to be on the AWSA-Approved towboat list. Many city and community-owned lakes also only allow AWSA-Approved towboats on their waterways. Public and private lake communities have the peace of mind knowing these boats have been put through the most rigorous testing in the industry. Approved towboats also carry more value to marine dealers in terms of marketability.

Once a model successfully completes the evaluations, the manufacturer is encouraged to pull skiers at AWSA-sanctioned tournaments. By pulling a predetermined number of sanctioned tournaments at various levels of competition, a manufacturer’s towboat model becomes eligible to participate in AWSA’s regional and national championships. Although the Towboat Committee compiles reams of test data for each towboat, it is important to note that this information is confidential and only released to the manufacturer. Currently, the purpose of the evaluations is to determine if a towboat has suitable characteristics for water ski competitions.

Before a boat even hits the water, the test team runs through a detailed check-in procedure. All aspects of a boat are measured, including the overall length, width, fin placement and depth, prop pitch, and shaft angle. Engine and transmission serial numbers are recorded along with technical data from the power package. The boat’s hull characteristics are noted, and pictures of the stern, side, cockpit and interior are taken.

To be used in competition, three-event towboats must meet certain performance standards that are designed to give skiers and drivers optimum conditions during tournament competition. These standards are established by AWSA’s Towboat Committee to achieve tournament-capability status. Each boat must pass a series of 11 tests and sub-tests: power and acceleration, handling and maneuverability, engineering, drivability, sound level, slalom course center-line deviation, slalom spray, jump course center-line deviation, and slalom, tricks and jump wake evaluations.

FWSF Junior Water Ski Clinic A Great Success

The Florida Junior Development clinic was all about bringing joy by making some great waterski memories for over 30 young skiers. We were so blessed to have Tim Huston with Huston Cadillac Buick sponsor this event.

In case you missed it, the event was held at Jack and Lelani Travers at Sunset Lakes in Groveland Florida. One third of the skiers were beginners from ages 4 to 16.  Jack Travers had the boom, combo skies, and beginner ropes ready to go. It was exciting to see a lot of new faces take their very first ski set behind the brand new Nautique.

On another lake, FWSF Hall of Famer Curtis Leslie Rabe took a group of slalom skiers who were ready to try trick skiing. On the main lake, USA-WWF Hall of Famer Brenda Nichols wasn’t afraid of the challenge to take on our biggest group of slalom and jump skiers.   This group was mostly made of Boys 1, Boys 2, Girls 1, and Girls 2 skiers. 

Troy Baxter with Baxter Quality Meats donated our wonderful lunch.

Throughout the day, we collected money to have a fun little raffle. One lucky skier won the $280 to be spent at Sunset Lakes. All the other great prizes came from Jon Mommer with HO Sports. He gave away ski vests, hats, patches, posters, and a changing hoodie.   Last but not least, our clinic ran as smoothly as possible because of all of our drivers, coaches, and volunteers.

These are the memories worth remembering in 2020! 




Anna Gay 2020 Elmer Stailing Southern Region Scholarship Winner

Anna Gay from Winter Garden, Florida has won the $2000 Elmer Stailing Southern Region Scholarship. Anna is a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Nursing with a minor in Nutrition. She is a 3.9 student who plans to become a Nurse Practitioner.

“I am so grateful to receive this scholarship and for all of the support the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation has given me throughout my skiing career,” says Anna.

Coach and Team Captain of the University of Alabama Water Ski Team, Anna is a professional trick skier who has won the Moomba and the Under 21 World Championship (Tricks & Overall), Open World Championships, Collegiate Nationals and the Junior U.S. Open. She is an eight-time World Champion, two-time Masters Champion, two-time World Record Holder. The Former USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Athlete of the Year has never stopped improving.

We are proud to support Anna as she continues to go after her dreams both on and off the water.