Eight world champions to defend titles at IWWF World Disabled Waterski Championships in Myuna Bay, Australia
Located north of Sydney at Lake Macquarie, Myuna Bay Waterski Club will host this weekend’s World Disabled Waterski Championships. Sunny 22C is forecast for the weekend with excellent competition conditions on the wind protected water.
Male and female athletes will compete for titles in Slalom, Tricks, Jump and Overall. The countries represented include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, and USA. At the previous 2015 World Championships, Team USA took gold ahead of Australia and Italy. This time around, Italy may just have the edge and this will create some fascinating battles by the top individuals as we head to the weekend Finals.
In Vision Impaired Slalom, Tricks and Jump, watch out for Katie Mawby (USA) and Daniele Cassioli (ITA). They each took all three gold medals in 2015 and are strongly tipped to repeat this extraordinary achievement yet again this coming weekend. In the 2015 Jump Finals, wearing the standard blindfolds, Mawby scored a distance 16.5m and Cassioli 17.7m.
Eli Hager (USA), recently selected by the IWWF Disabled Council as Athlete of the Year, will compete in Seated Men Slalom, Tricks and Jump and with high hopes of an Overall medal. He and Canada’s Ashley Baerg were also elected as Male and Female Athletes of the Year by the IWWF Pan American Confederation. Baerg is the defending World Seated Ladies Tricks Champion and also World Overall Champion.
The home crowd will have high hopes for Australia’s Belinda Sidman, Scott Wintle and Daryl Hoyle. In 2015, Sidman took the silver medal in Seated Ladies Slalom, Wintle took the gold medal in Seated Men’s Jump plus bronze in Tricks. Hoyle took silver in Seated Men Jump and bronze in Overall. This impressive team may deliver a lucky 13th World Disabled Waterski Championships for Australia.
Unfortunately, Team GBR will not compete this year. Having set World Records last year in Slalom, Tricks and Jump, British athlete Claire Ellis will be missed. She also took the World Championships gold medal in 2015 in Standing Tricks and Standing Jump.
The title sponsor is the Barbara Bolding Jim Grew Fund. The Chief Judge, Bill Bowness (USA), was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2013.
The 2017 World Disabled Waterski Championships are exclusively towed by the Ski Nautique 200 – a boat with 22 World Records to its credit. Nautique also works with a series of charitable organizations around the world.