WATERSKI JUMP AND BAREFOOT ATHLETES TAKE THE HONORS
At the end of each year, all Councils of the World Governing Body, the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF), select their female and male Skier/Rider of the year. The IWWF Executive Board members then elect the IWWF Athletes of the Year from their submissions – one female, one male.
With such high standards achieved in all Disciplines, selecting the male and female ATHLETE OF THE YEAR from the Councils submissions was one of the most difficult to date. Two exceptional athletes have emerged to take the honors for 2016 :
WATERSKI JUMP – JACINTA CARROLL (AUS)
Born in September 1992, Australian athlete Jacinta Carroll is an impressive Overall three-event Waterskier. However, in the extreme sport of Waterski Jump, her performances have been extraordinary. With 30 consecutive wins to the end of 2016, she hit international headlines back in 2010 on taking the Jump Gold Medal at the US Masters in Callaway Gardens, a title she has now captured four times. Her Gold Medal titles also include the IWWF World Cup, IWWF World Championships, Moomba Masters, Malibu Open, US Open and many others. However, in 2011 when she broke the U21 World Jump Record with a distance of 54.8m, a whole new era of achievements began. In spite of an injury that same year, the best was yet to come. Coached by the late Ray Stokes from the age of eleven and sponsored by Nautique, her 2015 Open World Jump Record of 59.1m looked like it would stay intact for some time. This was not the case ! She has since pushed that World Jump Record to 60.3m, an extraordinary achievement. Currently taking her Masters in Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Jacinta Carroll’s award of 2016 IWWF Athlete of the Year is truly well deserved.
BAREFOOT WATERSKI – DAVID SMALL (GBR)
Barefoot Skier David Small (GBR) had his first Barefoot lesson in chilly waters in Birmingham, England. Currently living in Winter Haven, Florida, his international reputation really began with his first Barefoot Overall title in 1999 at the Junior World Barefoot Championships in Texas. This was followed in 2002, 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2014 with Open Men’s World Championships Gold Medals. In 2016, he added yet another Overall World Barefoot Champion title to his already distinguished career. Currently holding World Records in both Jump and Tricks, he has now set no less than five pending 2016 Tricks records of 12,850, 13,150, 13,300, 13,300 and 14,050. Taking first place at the 2016 World Barefoot Championships in Tricks, Slalom and Overall, David Small’s consistency over the years has been quite phenomenal. This keen Skydiver and Motor Cyclist who owns the World Barefoot Centre in Winter Haven, Florida, now adds the title of 2016 IWWF Athlete of the Year to his very distinguished collection.