Santa Fe, Texas, to host world's top water ski athletes Aug. 17-18
For immediate release:
Jan. 29, 2002
POLK CITY, Fla. - The world's top water ski athletes will compete for one of water skiing's largest cash-prize purses when the Greater Houston area hosts the 2002 U.S. Open Water Ski Championships, Aug. 17-18, at Lago Santa Fe in Santa Fe, Texas. The U.S. Open will crown a week of international and national-level championship water ski competition being held at Lago Santa Fe, a residential water ski community located 30 minutes southeast of downtown Houston. In addition to the U.S. Open, Lago Santa Fe will host the 60th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships – the world's largest three-event water ski tournament – Aug. 13-17.
''We are very excited about the U.S. Open being held in the Houston area in conjunction with the national championships,'' said Steve McDermeit, USA Water Ski's executive director. ''This arrangement truly offers the best of both worlds. The athletes will be able to enjoy world-class conditions at Lago Santa Fe, while fans can take advantage of the amenities a world-class city like Houston has to offer.''
Now in its 16th year, the U.S. Open – long considered the most prestigious event in water skiing – annually offers one of the largest cash-prize purses in the sport and attracts more than 50 of the world's top water skiers. Top male and female athletes from all over the world will compete for titles in slalom, tricks and jumping events. Athletes competing in all three events will be eligible for the coveted U.S. Open overall title. The U.S. Open, which was held in Austin in 1999, will return to Texas after being held in Sacramento, Calif., and Shreveport, La., in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
''We are delighted that USA Water Ski has chosen the Houston NASA-Clear Lake area as the site of the 2002 U.S. Open,'' said Pam Summers, executive director of the NASA-Clearlake Convention and Visitors Bureau, who along with the Greater Houston CVB is supporting the event. ''Hosting the Open immediately following the national championships is particularly important to us, as we anticipate that hosting both events will double the economic impact to the Houston NASA-Clear Lake area. We anticipate that it also will expand the Houston NASA-Clear Lake area's reputation throughout the state and the nation as a premier destination for water sports activities.''
Lago Santa Fe has hosted numerous world-record capability, local and grassroots water ski competitions in the past, and hosted USA Water Ski’s National Junior Development Clinic in 1999 and 2000.
''With its pleasant weather and abundant waterways, the Houston area has long been a haven for recreational, national-level and professional water ski athletes,'' said McDermeit. ''Hosting the Open and Nationals in 2002 will do even more to add to its water ski-friendly reputation.''
Among the elite athletes expected to compete for a title at this year's Open is Santa Fe resident Lori Krueger (See contact information below). Krueger, currently ranked No. 7 in the world in Women's jumping, will be looking to win her first major tournament while competing on her home site.
For the second consecutive year, MasterCraft will serve as the exclusive towboat of the U.S. Open.
USA Water Ski was formed in 1939 as a non-profit organization promoting water skiing in the United States. USA Water Ski is affiliated with the International Water Ski Federation (world governing body) and is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and Pan-American Sports Organization as the national governing body of competitive water skiing in the United States.
For more information contact:
(863) 324-4341, ext. 123
Scott Atkinson, ext. 122