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After the 16th World Water Ski Racing Championships

After waiting two years for it, the 16th Worlds passed by quickly with some of the best racing I’ve ever seen and not without its controversy either. But Belgium did a superb job of pulling off the world event in four different venues across the country and setting the scene for many amazing performances.

Vera – thank you for your hospitality. You’re always a pleasure to work with.

All of the results are posted here thanks to Pepe Escoda.

Dozens of photos can be found in the last week of posts, with links to thousands of others – all thanks to Wim, Guy, Luc & Pepe.

A number of videos are also in the posts. Many by Roger Lincoln and some by Stevie Strobbe. I haven’t seen any video footage from round 4 yet but I’m sure the guys will make something available when they have some time. I will let you know when that happens.

It’ll take too long to write about all of the sensational skers and their teams from this event but I want to comment on two.

Often at a Worlds we see one F1 Men’s skier excel and dominate the event. But this time we saw two. Todd Haig and Wayne Mawer had both already won world titles and are truly outstanding water ski racers. They created a league of their own in Belgium and they provided the most incredible spectacle of water ski racing, particularly at Genk, which many skiers have labeled “the roughest and toughest race of their life”. As exceptional as these two skiers are, this time there were two of them and they both had to dig deep and pull on every reserve they had to race one another.

What happened at the end of the race between judges flags, an unexpected turn by 191 and Mawer being dumped in the water just metres before the chequered flag was a unique and unfortunate occurance of events. Hundreds of discussions with differing views will continue for some time around the world. Nevertheless, a final outcome was established by the jury and Wayne Mawer is the 2009 World Water Ski Racing Champion.

Wayne is a truly deserving World Champion. From personality to sportsmanship and phenomenal ability on the water. Likewise, Todd Haig shares every one of those qualities too. If Todd had been crowned the World Champion, he would be equally deserving of it. I and many others share a huge amount of respect for what those guys can do on a race ski, and as athletes they both set a perfect example of how a World Champion of any sport can be the best and at the same display a good attitude with great personality too.

Wayne and Todd – no one will ever forget what you both did in 2009 and the memories of your outstanding performances will be talked about for many years to come.

Congratulations to you both.


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