More than 100 athletes from 30 countries will compete in the Under 21 World Water Ski Championships Sept. 12-15 at the Isles of Lake Hancock in Winter Garden, Florida. Presented by WATERSKI magazine, the championships will draw the best young water-skiers in the world, including those as young as 12 and many rising stars from Central Florida.
The athletes, who WATERSKI calls the “future of the sport,” will compete in slalom, trick and jump as well as for overall individual and team titles. Team USA is the defending champion of this biennial event, and will enjoy home-lake advantage with the event’s being hosted in the U.S. for the first time.
“Major events like the U-21 Worlds are giving today’s elite juniors a taste of international competition, when the pressure is high to perform,” said Todd Ristorcelli, editor of WaterSki. “This is a great test for these young skiers who have the ambition to ski professionally. It’s a building block to get to the next level.”
Favorites in the event include:
• 19-year-old slalom skier K.C. Wilson, who attends Florida Southern College and holds the Boys 3 national slalom record with 3 at 41 off.
• Australian Jacinta Carroll, the 2013 Masters Women’s Jump Champion, U-21 World Jump Record holder and WaterSki’s 2012-2013 Female Jumper of the Year
• 17-year-old Canadian Dorien Llewellyn, the 2013 Junior Masters jump and overall champion, and an Austrian national champion with 21 national records set.
The youngest of the competitors may try to steal some of the spotlight. Neilly Ross and Anna Gay, 12-and 13-years-old respectively, from Central Florida and legacy skiers —the parents of both were dominant competitors on the pro tour for more than 20 years — will be among the youngest competitors at the event.
The Under 21 World Water Ski Championships is the kickoff of WaterSki’s “Future of the Sport” initiative where the magazine will be highlighting young athletes throughout 2014. Oris Watches, who will provide watches for the winners of the overall male and female titles, and Indmar Marine Engines are inaugural sponsors for this program designed to support the development of the sport’s rising young stars.
Admission to the Under 21 World Water Ski Championships, pulled by MasterCraft, is free to the public.
Directions: Isleview Drive, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Under 21 Worlds Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 12, 8 a.m. start: Women’s Tricks, Men’s Tricks, Women’s Slalom, Men’s Slalom (seeds 3 & 4)
Friday, Sept. 13, 8 a.m. start: Men’s Slalom (seeds 1 & 2), Women’s Jump, Men’s Jump,
Saturday, Sept. 14,(Event Finals) start time TBD: Women’s Trick, Men’s Trick, Women’s Slalom, Men’s Slalom
Sunday, Sept. 15 (Event Finals) start time TBD: Women’s Jump, Men’s Jump