Athletes will compete for national titles during three-month stretch
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Feb. 22, 2002
POLK CITY, Fla. ¾ USA Water Ski today announced the dates and locations of the 2002 National Championships Series of Events – a string of competitions beginning Aug. 3 in Rock Island, Ill., and commencing on Oct. 19 in Austin, Texas. The competitions will feature top male and female athletes from USA Water Ski’s eight sport divisions, in addition to ski flying and cable wakeboarding.
“The 2002 National Championships Series of Events is sure to be one of the most exciting in history,” said Steve McDermeit, USA Water Ski’s executive director. “Over the course of three months, beginning in August, national championships will take place in seven states. Water ski fans across the country will certainly be treated to great performances by some of the United States’ top water ski athletes.”
Division 2 Show Ski National Championships, Aug. 3-4 (Rock Island, Ill.)
Show skiing is a display of all water ski disciplines combined into one entertaining and technical show. Each club is required to perform a minimum of 14 acts within a one-hour time limit. The Mississippi Blackhawks of Prairie Du Chien, Wis., won the inaugural event in 2001.
Disabled Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 8-10 (Altamonte Springs, Fla.)
The Disabled Nationals will be held at Crane’s Roost Park outside Orlando for the second consecutive year. Events at the Disabled Water Ski National Championships include slalom, tricks and jumping. Within each event, athletes who are partially (VHB2, VHB3) or totally blind (VHB1), paraplegics or quadriplegics (MP1, MP2, MP3), or have arm and leg disabilities (with or without prosthesis) compete against skiers with the same disabilities. Rules and scoring methods are nearly identical to those used in traditional three-event competitions.
MasterCraft Show Ski National Championships, Aug. 9-11 (Janesville, Wis.)
The MasterCraft Show Ski National Championships return to Janesville, Wis., for the second consecutive year. The Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team (Wonder Lake, Ill.) will try to win its third consecutive national team title. Events at these championships include team, swivel, strap doubles and team jumping. Teams also win awards in categories such as: ballet, pyramid, barefoot, jumping, showmanship and overall show.
GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 13-17 (Santa Fe, Texas)
This 60th annual Water Ski National Championships is the world’s largest three-event tournament with nearly 1,000 water ski athletes – ages 5 through 85 – competing for national titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall. Eligibility to participate in this competition is based upon an athlete’s exceptional performances during the summer tournament season.
Barefoot Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 14-18 (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Barefoot competitions include the same events as regular three-event competitions; the only difference is that athletes compete barefoot. Divisions include Boys 1-3, Men 1-6, Girls 1-3, Women 1-5, Open National and International, and Open Pro. The Nationals was held last year in Fergus Falls, Minn., where Keith St. Onge (Tampa, Fla.) won his third consecutive Open Men national overall title.
U.S. Open Water Ski Championships, Aug. 17-18 (Santa Fe, Texas)
The U.S. Open – long considered one of the most prestigious events in water sports – annually offers one of the largest cash-prize purses in the sport and attracts more than 75 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. Athletes competing in all three events will be eligible for the coveted U.S. Open overall title.
USA Wakeboard Championships, Aug. 17-18 (North Little Rock, Ark.)
Wakeboarding has been one of the biggest sports-related phenomena of the past decade. Once considered an obscure addition to the family of water sports, it now is recognized as the fastest growing water sport in the world. Divisions for this competition include: Boys, Girls, Juniors, Men, Women, Masters, Veterans and Pro. Participating athletes will be judged on the difficulty of the moves executed, variety of moves performed, and on the technical difficulty and creativity of the routine.
Ski Flying National Championships, Sept. 14-15 (Polk City, Fla.)
Athletes from 10 age divisions as well as Open Men and Women will have the opportunity to win national ski flying titles at the second annual Ski Flying National Championships in Polk City, Fla. Ski flying is similar to traditional jumping, but uses a faster boat, longer rope and an extended ramp to help the ski flyer achieve distances that were once thought impossible. The current world ski flying record of 299 feet is held by Canada’s Jaret Llewellyn, while U.S. athlete Jimmy Siemers (Round Rock, Texas) holds the current world jumping record of 233 feet.
Water Ski Racing National Championships, Oct. 11-13 (San Diego, Calif.)
Ski racing is divided into two kinds of races – a marathon race and a circle race – with each athlete competing in both. In a marathon race, athletes race from point A to B in an all-out dash to the finish line. Circle races are timed events in an oval course. The average ski racer competes at speeds between 35 and 70 miles per hour, while elite athletes compete at extreme speeds of up to 90 mph. National titles in 27 age divisions and classes will be up for grabs at the Nationals, which will take place on beautiful Mission Bay.
Collegiate Water Ski National Championships, Oct. 17-19 (Austin, Texas)
Hosted this year by Southwest Texas State University, this tournament matches top-qualifying water ski teams from the four National Collegiate Water Ski Association (NCWSA) regions. According to the NCWSA, this year’s event is expected to be the largest collegiate national championships in history, with between 350 and 400 athletes from 20 schools competing for individual and team titles.
Also included in USA Water Ski’s National Championship Series are the Kneeboard National Championships, Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships and Cable Wakeboard National Championships. The dates and locations of these events will be determined at a later time.