International Water Ski Racing Online Since 1996

Beringen Belgium – 2012 Video

Luc Belde has captured a can of the action from the Beringen race in Belgium.

The Diamond Teaser by Luc Beldé

Luc Belde has put together this terrific compilation of canal action, which is all set to kick off on 1 July 2012 in the shape of the most gruelling race water ski in the world …The Diamond Race.

British National Championships Round 5 – Cardiff

The competitors’ information pack is now available for the 5th round of the British Nationals at Cardiff Bay on 17th June 2012.

Share the news about this great event with your friends via your social networks and get thousands of spectators to witness the racing.

The event web site is at

You can also follow on Twitter @cardiffski

Cardiff Bay 2012

Tulln, Austria – European Cup Race – 17 May

Click the poster below to open and download the PDF contain 11 pages of full details about the Tulln European cup water ski race in Austria on 17th May 2012.

2 Sets of Wraps Needed for 150 Mile UK Charity Ski

STOP PRESS: Danny Cropper of DC Waterskis in Australia
has kindly sent 2 sets of wraps to help these guys.

Good luck to Dominic, Mark, Edward & Chris in their challenge!!!


A team of 4 skiers are urgently in need of 2 sets of wraps to do the 150 mile around Lands End water ski challenge this July for charity.

Details at

Please contact me at if you can lend the guys 2 sets of wraps ASAP as they need time to practice.

Muckendorf, Austria – European Cup Race – 20 May

Click the poster below to open and download the 10-page programme with full details of the European Cup race in Muckendorf Austria on 20th May 2012.

EuroRace 2012 – Geel, Belgium

After 12 years of organizing Water ski racing events, and the organising the 2009 worlds race in Antwerp, the 13th EuroRace will take place at Geel on 7 & 8 July 2012.

Download the information below and if you require more information, contact the General Secretary Office for the EuroRace.

Information Bulletin

Entry Form

Mike Bemis Passes Away

Ski racing has lost one of its great characters, namely Mike Bemis from the USA.

On 23rd Septemeber 2008 reported on Mike Bemis’s condition

Sadly 3.5 years later we are reporting that on Saturday 21st April 2012 Mike Bemis passed away.

Mike was a US National Champion on multiple occasions. He was a lively presence on the beach and along with his skis, binding, handles, rope, tape and other accessories, will be missed by many.

Mike was a long-time member of the Lake Arrowhead Water Ski Club, a former World Speed Barefoot Record Holder, and was a fixture of US Ski Racing manufacturing his own racing, training, and fun ski’s. He was also part of an episode of the TV Show “Baywatch” back in 1990 where they did an episode on the “Avalon Ski Race”, a re-creation of the Catalina Ski Race.

He will be greatly missed. There will be an open house gathering on Saturday, May 5th at Mike’s sister’s home in Rancho Cucamonga.

Sincere condolences from the around the world go to Mike’s family and friends.

Stand & Deliver Video Coverage at Burnham Race

British skier Dan Ellis & the Stand & Deliver Team capture 9 mins of their 1 hour race at Burnham GB in April 2012.

2012 Diamond Race – Participant Info Pack

The participants’ info pack for this year’s Diamond Race in Belgium is now available for download. Click here or on the poster below to open.

Sponsor the KB222 Ride in Karl’s Memory for Children Who Need Help

Good luck to the fundraisers:

Chris Cole, Robert Manchett, Kim Manchett, Robert Manchett, Kim Manchett, Jack Lynch, Jack Lynch, David Sewell

Sponsor the team at:

Belgian / European 2012 Season Promo

Stevie of Belgium has pulled together a few glimpses of what’s to come in the Belgian / European water ski racing season this year.

Tony Williams to Carry Olympic Torch

Former British  Team Captain Tony Williams has joined the list of water ski racing fraternity selected to carry the Olympic Torch ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Ski 4 Kids with Cancer 2012

Glenn Geary has announced that the Ski 4 Kids with Cancer is on again for the 4th year in a Row

  • The Event will be on Sunday 17th June 2012
  • Skiing from Sydney to Newcastle
  • The Worlds Longest and Hardest Ski Event
  • Again raising funds for research into children’s Cancer
Click the entry form below to print it off.


Eguzon Launches Race Web Site

Richard Hernaez has launched a brand new web site for the 2012 European Cup race in Eguzon France.

Go to for the latest news on this great international event in he heart of France.

European Water Ski Racing Championships Belgium 2012

We have pleasure in sending you herewith the Information Bulletin regarding the European Water Ski Racing Championships 2012
in Belgium – Genk.

If any further information should be required, please do not hesitate to contact the secretary’s office.

Kind regards,

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Guido Bollen – Secretary

Vera Van den Bossche – Race Secretary

Download the programme

Download the poster

European Championships 2012

Kim Lumley Former 2 x World Champion to Carry Olympic Torch

It’s been talked about for a while and now it’s official; Britain’s two-time world water ski racing champion Kim Lumley will carry the Olympic torch.

Beast Racing 2011 Bridge to Bridge Video

Team The Beast Racing 2011 Bridge to Bridge.

Sidewinder Video: F2 Robinvale Ski Race 2012

More ski racing movie action from Krizmik Industries. Contact

Southern 80 Shots by Jason Hayward

Jason Hayward captured some terrific action at the 2012 Southern 80. Two of his shots are below and you can check out dozens more on his Facebook page here

Video of Superman at the Bakers Blitz Southern 80 2012

Kristy & Michael Geddes have produced this video of Superman at the Bakers Blitz Southern 80 2012 using Liquid Image Goggle Cameras available through Krizmik Industries, editing done by Krizmik Industries also.

50 Mins of 2012 Southern 80 Video Now Online

From Speedweek …2012 Southern 80 Show 1

2012 Southern 80 Show 1 from Speedweek on Vimeo.

Water Ski Racing 1979 – 2005 – Video Compilation

Water ski racing 1979 – 2005 from Belgium

Memories 1979 – 2005 from Waterski Racing Logistics on Vimeo.

Catalina 64 – July 21, 2012

Ken Vaughan has published the poster for the 64th Catalina Water Ski Race which will be held on July 21, 2012.

The host hotel is Hotel Maya at Long Beach, CA.
Click the image below to open the PDF. More details to follow.
Official site:

Official site:

Southern 80 Video Compilations from Team Bullseye

Two great Southern 80 compilation videos from Nat Martin of Team Bullseye

Aussie Harry Luther aka “Canguro” – skied from Morocco to Italy

The Aussie world record holder for marathon water skiing is Harry Luther or “Canguro”, who skied over 5,000 km from Morocco to Italy in the 1970s. Written by Rochelle Williams

Europe & Africa Rules for 2012

The Europe & Africa Racing Council has published the E&A Racing Rules for 2012.

Note that any new or re-worded rules are indicated in red.

Click here to download

2012 Southern 80 Highlights on Video

Check out this 8 minute video of the 2012 Southern 80

2012 E&A Racing Council Members

Courtesy of Vera Van Den Bossche, below is the list of (re)elected Council members as voted at the E&A Congress in Thessaloniki (Greece) on January 28th, 2012. Click here to open and print the list with contact details.

Eguzon, France – European Cup Final – 29 July 2012

Click the poster below to download the 13-page programme for the 2012 European cup final water ski race at Eguzon in France.

Official web site at

Earth Wind and Water Video

Earth Wind and Water sells Sports Action Cameras and accessories, ie: GoPro, Contour, Liquid Image etc.

Eguzon France – 29 July 2012

The 2012 European Cup race in Eguzon, France will take place on 29 July 2012.

The organisers have just released the event poster and the web site will be updated in due course, with information about the 2012 weekend of racing.

Click here or  on the poster below to open and download it

1950’s Waterski Races at Lake Washington USA

Thanks to Geoff Watson for sharing this great piece of archived (silent) footage from the 1950’s

IWWF Names Chris Stout & Natalia Berdnikova – Athletes of the Year

On 11th January 2012, the IWWF announced (here) that Australian Chris Stout from Racing and Belarusian Tournment skier Natalia Berdnikova had been selected as 2011 IWWF Athletes of the Year.

Official 2012 USA Race Calendar

The American NWSRA has published its official 2012 Water Ski Racing Calendar for 2012.

Click here to download it

Howard Smith Calls it a Day

After 50 years as a member of Penarth (Wales) Water Ski Club and nearly 30 years as a judge, Howard has called time on his involvement in the sport of water ski racing. He will still be renewing his membership but will no longer be judging at National or International events.

2012 GB Racing Calendar

Barry Frame has published the latest version of the British water ski racing calendar for 2012.

Click here to download the PDF of the 2012 Calendar

You can get information packs for each race in the 2012 series from the Cardiff Bay Race web site at

E&A Official Racing Calendar 2012 – updated 27 Dec

Vera Van Den Bossche has published the E&A Official Racing Calendar for 2012 (updated 27 Dec 2011).

Click here to download it

Video of Nix & Cartledge @ Lake Charm Race

Video of Lachlan Nix & Jason Cartledge water ski racing at Lake Charm. Wait for the collision right at the end.

Ski Race Review – The New Magazine

Ski Race Review is a new publication that covers all the major events of the 2010-11 Australian ski racing season, including:

* Sydney Bridge to Bridge
* Southern 80
* Grafton Bridge to Bridge
* Mildura 100
* Hawkesbury 120
* Berri 90

Plus there’s 12 pages of action from the 2011 World Titles, held at Moreton Bay, with two pages of coverage for each category:

* Open Men’s
* Open Women’s
* Junior Boys
* Junior Girls
* Formula 2 Men’s
* Formula 2 Women’s

In addition, there’s feature articles on:

* Noel Griffin – the day Blazen burned
* Lester Freemantle – Won every major race with his Moonshot boats

In total, it’s a 48-page, full colour magazine jam-packed with stories and photos.

It will be available at the Victorian Titles, Southern 80, Robinvale 80 and Mildura 100, or alternatively it can be posted out – just email for details.

Click on the selection of pages below to enlarge them





Ski and Boot Maintenance

DC Water SkisDanny Cropper of DC Waterskis writes; 

More Belgian Video Footage from Luc Beldé

Luc Beldé has shared a bunch more of his videos from Belgium and you can watch them by clicking any of the links below.

The New Europe & Africa Athletes’ Rep

Chris Rydl from Belgium has been elected as water ski racing’s new Athlete’s Representative for Europe & Africa.

2011 Diamond Race Video

Thanks to Luc Beldé for this 4 minute video compilation from the 2011 Diamond Race.

2012 Diamond Race – Viersel Belgium 1st July

In July 2012, the most gruelling water ski race in the world will see the toughest racers on the planet face up to the challenge of the year.

Job Vacancy: Athlete & Education Programme Manager

British Water Ski & Wakeboard in the UK needs to recruit a Athlete & Education Programme Manager based at their HQ in Chertsey.

Closing date Friday 23rd December – No Agencies

Click here for full details

Force Congratulates its Bridge to Bridge Teams

Kelly Bickerton & the team at the Force factory wants to congratulate all Force winners on their achievements at the 5oth Bridge to Bridge this year. Force has produced the update below to remember the event. Click on it to download the PDF.

Lloyd Woolman’s Bunny at the Beehag

Lloyd Woolman’s Bunny at the Beehag

1 Dec 2011

Tony Huxham is the photographer who snapped up this terrific shot of teenager Lloyd Woolman pulling off a bunny at the recent Barrie Beehag race on the Murray in Australia. Lloyd also secured the Junior Boys Silver medal at the World Water Ski Racing Championships earlier this year.

USA 2012 Preliminary Schedule of Races

The USA’s preliminary schedule of race events for 2012 is shown below:

Ten things you may not think about till it’s too late

DC Water SkisDanny Cropper of DC Waterskis writes; Ten thing you may not think about till it’s too late

Stephen Robertson’s Funeral

Stephen Robertson’s funeral was attended yesterday by up to 1,500 people as two chapels were filled and people poured out onto the areas outside. It was a moving celebration of the two time World Champion’s life as people from all era’s of water ski racing met at North Ryde NSW.

It was indeed an incredible send off for the man who touched the hearts of family and thousands of friends all over the world.


2011 Bridge to Bridge Results

The results from the 2011 Bridge to Bridge in Sydney Australia have been published, some provisional and some official.

Down to the Wire – The 2011 Worlds

Courtesy of Scott Atkinson, Editor of ‘The Water Skier’ magazine published by USA Water Ski, below is a PDF of the “Down to the Wire” article which appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of ‘The Water Skier’ magazine.

Stephen Robertson Passes Away

Today the world of water ski racing has been shocked by the death of former two time World Water Ski Racing Champion Stephen Robertson of Australia.

For me the news is just sinking in of the loss of such a tremendous sportsman, a great guy and a wonderful family man.

Many thousands of people all over the world will be saddened by this news and thinking of Stephen, and his family who will be devastated by this event.

Stephen was training on the Hawkesbury River, ahead of the 50th Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Race, with current World Champion Chris Stout.

Stephen became the World Water Ski Racing Champion in Spain 1999 and then again in the USA 2001. His brother Paul was World Champion in 1991 and brothers Barry & Johnny crewed for both Stephen and Paul in the infamous Firebird race boats. Stephen achieved a great deal more than those world titles and gave back a lot to the sport. He is from one of the most well respected and talented water ski racing families in the world – The Robertsons.

Australian media
9 News reports

The Sydney Morning Herald reports

A Personal Message: Stephen you were a great friend for 20 years. I will always remember the hospitality you and your family extended to me when I first came to Australia in 1991. I will remember my visits to your family’s home in Five Dock and your time at my parents’s home in Wales. I will remember our great times on and off the water in the many countries that we met.

Thank you for your friendship Stephen. I am honoured to have known you as a friend before, during and after your years at the very top of our sport.

My thoughts are with your lovely family.

Rest in Peace now.

Scroll down to read more personal messages

Bridge to Bridge Live on Hawkesbury Radio

Gavin Casburn and the team at will be broadcasting live again from the Bridge to Bridge.

B2B Launch night and Skiers Showcase

Liz Langham writes …

Just a couple of weeks to go until the 50th Bridge to Bridge Race. There is still time for past competitors to be involved in the Weekends Celebrations.

Funeral Arrangements for Graham Evans

Graham Evans from Cardiff sadly passed away last Saturday aged 72. In the 70’s and 80’s he was a long time member of Penarth Water Ski Club and a regular driver for many top skiers from Wales on the British & European Water Ski Racing circuit.

Weston Regional Race in GB – 22 Oct

A Regional race will be in Weston GB on 22nd October 2011

Mary McMillan Will Ski in the 50th Bridge to Bridge

David McMillan has today announced the tremendous news that his 80yr old grandmother Mary will now compete in the 50th Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Race in NSW Australia.

Visit Let Mary Ski – The Blog

Since this request from David McMillan, many people have written to air their feelings about the issue of Mary skiing in this year’s Bridge to Bridge.

Read some of those letters here

Write an Email for Mary McMillan

Once you have read the post here about Mary McMillan and her wish to ski in the 50th Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Race, as per her grandson David McMillan’s request, please write an email to the NSW Water Ski Federation.

Mary McMillan (80yrs) and her 50th Bridge to Bridge

Australia’s Mary McMillan is renowned throughout the world of water ski racing for an incredible history in the sport. She has skied all 49 Bridge to Bridge water ski races since 1961, she is now 80 yrs of age and had planned to ski the 50th Bridge to Bridge in November.

Introducing from Peter Butler

Those of you old enough will remember that Peter Butler made the best British Water Ski Racing TV shows we were lucky enough to see in the early 90’s. 

Belgian Championship Grobbendonk Photos

Rob Harks was at the final round of the 2011 Belgian Championships in Grobbendonk to capture the action from an amazing last race of the year. Traffic During the Worlds

From the stats below, take a guess which days we saw Rounds 1 to 4 of the 2011 worlds. These are the site hits for during the 2011 worlds.

Force Congratulates World Teams

Kelly Bickerton and the Force Boats factory are acknowledging the success of their teams at the recent World Championships in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Click here to see the full force of their results.

Pete Mitchell Passes Away

Ski racing’s Pete Mitchell tragically passed away on 22nd September 2011 while at Parker, Arizona, USA. Official news on the exact circumstances around the event are being awaited.

Australia Blitzes the World – writes: The powerful Australian Water Ski Racing Team has swept all before it as it posted an astonishing performance during the 2011 World championships staged on Queensland’s Moreton Bay.

World Championship Photos

John Mewett is an amateur photographer living opposite the race venue and has kindly shared the shots that he took at Moreton Bay. More will be uploaded later to John’s site.

World Championships: National Team Points

Below are the final national team points

Official Round 4 Results & Totals

The official results from round 4 of the 2011 World Water Ski Racing Championships circulated by Meryl Lee are posted below. Below that are the final results after all four round of racing.

Worlds Race Day 4

Katelin Wendt becomes 2011 Womens Open World Champion

Leanne Campbell becomes F2 Womens World Champion

Grant Turner becomes F2 Mens World Champion

  • Australia wins 5 out of 6 World Championship titles
  • Jack Houston wins the 4th round Junior Boys & is 1st back-to-back Jnr World Champion
  • Chris Stout first person to ever win world titles in Junior Boys, F2 and Open Mens

Action in Mens round 4 as Stout suffers leg problem to allow Procter to take lead. Procter fell & Stout retained the front spot and win the race giving him four out of four race wins this week.

Grant Turner and Mark Weaver were battling it out in F2 to win the world title when Weaver ‘stopped’ for a short while (still remaining in 2nd)  allowing Turner to extend his lead and win the world title.

All racing is now over and the full list of world champions is

Mens Open: Chris Stout

Junior Boys: Jack Houston

Junior Girls: Kelsey Feros

Open Womens: Katelin Wendt

F2 Womens: Leanne Campbell

F2 Mens: Grant Turner

Kelsey Feros – Junior Girls World Champion

Kelsey Feros - Junior Girls World Champion

Chris Stout – The 2011 Men’s Open World Champion

Job done

Chris Stout - The World Champion

Back-2-Back Jack Houston – The Juniors Boys World Champion

Junior Boys World Champion – Belgium 2009
Junior Boys World Champion – Australia 2011
You’ve proved your point Jack!

Grid Positions for Round 4

The grid positions for round 4 on Saturday were circulated by Meryl Lee.

Official Round 3 Results & Totals

Below are the official results circulated by Meryl Lee for Round 3.

TV Interview with Back-to-Back Jack – The Junior Boys World Champion

Unofficial Results from Round 3

Since this post was published, the OFFICIAL results from round 3 have been posted here.

Points after 2 rounds – an unofficial document

Peter Van Gastel of Belgium has pulled together the multiple result sheets produced from the first two rounds of racing at Moreton Bay in an easy to read 2-page summary of who has how many points after two races.

OFFICIAL Round 1 Results

Below are the official results circulated by Jan Thurgar for Round 1.

Results MEN Round 1

Results WOMEN Round 1

Results JUNIOR Round 1

OFFICIAL Round 2 Results

Below are the official results circulated by Jan Thurgar for Round 2.

Results MEN Round 2

Results WOMEN Round 2

Results JUNIORS Round 2 Racks up over 15,000 Hits on Race Days

The traffic at certainly goes into overdrive during world championship events and below are the stats for the last week which peaked at over 15,000 on race day 1 & 2. Only half way into the month and already the hits are over 60,000. for September so it’s likely we will see 100,000 hits by the end of the month.

Unofficial Results from Worlds Race Day 2

Race 2: Monday 12th September

Since this post was original published, the official results have been posted here

Check the official worlds site for eventual posting of official results here

Back-up Plan Kept World Informed

Because Round 1 was cancelled on Saturday due to high winds, the professional camera crew were not available to attend the unscheduled day of racing on Sunday.

Australia makes Early Statement in Water Ski Racing Worlds Opener

SEPTEMBER 11: MEDIA RELEASE from race organsiers: The Australian World Waterski Racing Team have kicked off their 2011 campaign in dominant fashion, winning five of the six classes in today’s championship opener, off the shores of Pelican Park, near Redcliffe, Queensland.

Unofficial Results from Worlds Race Day 1

Round 1: Sunday 11th September

Since this post was made, the OFFICIAL results have been published here

Temporary Live Feed Solution for Race Day 1

Those who logged on to the live feed before Round 1 was about to start will know that the quality was excellent, with sound and a chat facility for those watching to discuss things.

Waterski Racing Worlds race One Postponed 24 hrs Due to Dangerous Seas

SEPTEMBER 10 MEDIA RELEASE: In a difficult decision for event officials, race one of the 2011 World Waterski Racing Championships was postponed 24 hours today, with the Women’s F1 and F2 classes scheduled to start at 8:00am tomorrow.

Wayne Mawer: The Next Chapter by Jessica Greenwood

The article below was written for the 2011 World Championships programme

In every athlete’s life, there comes a time of monumental decision making; a cross roads. There comes a time to decide what the future will hold; a time to be brave.

For four-time World Champion, Wayne Mawer, that time came just two months before his 34th birthday. It was October 2008 and the skier was settled back into life in his hometown of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia. After an incredible career of competitive Water Ski Racing and Wakeboarding, Wayne was finally retired and free for the first time in 12 years to enjoy some sort of relative normality – the kind that only an athlete would appreciate or understand. He was running his own small business, married to his wife, Natalie and together the pair was enjoying life with their young son, Sunny.

At the time Wayne’s career accolades already included the 1997 IWSF World Water Ski Racing Championship, the 2001 IWSF Pro Wakeboard World Championship and the 2005 the World Wakeboarding Association World Championship – that’s a World Title every four years of his life from the age of 21. So when is it time to stop?

Wayne’s decision to give one final World Championship a shot wouldn’t have come as a surprise to those people who paid close attention. Wayne started skiing at a very young age, thanks to his father Roy’s great passion for ski racing. The Mawer family and many other Cairns water skiers live and breathe ski racing and Wayne stayed very much involved in the sport, even in retirement. He also stayed fit. Although intense training was a thing of the past, running, cycling and skiing to the reef with his family on the weekends became a part of Wayne’s ‘newly adjusted’ fitness routine.

But try as he might, Wayne couldn’t stop the determination within and the instinctive drive that comes from the love of competition. “I had been toying with the idea of doing the worlds, especially when I heard they were going to be held in Belgium,” says Wayne. “I had raced in Belgium before and I knew the conditions well.” He also knew what was required to get his body to where it needed to be to compete once again at the top level. With all of that taken into account, Wayne made the life-changing decision to come out of his 12 year retirement from Water Ski Racing, to embark on the biggest challenge of his life. He had nine months to be ready.

The tight, unforgiving canals of Belgium are renowned for pushing even the most experienced of skiers, observers and boat drivers to their limits. Like a game of chess; one wrong move could cost you the race, or worse, the title. “Racing in Belgium requires an enormous amount of skill and fitness from the skier, and nerves of steel from the driver and observer. The water is rough, choppy and unpredictable,” Wayne explains. The Australian skier would need to be in peak physical and mental condition if he was to win. His training routine was carefully worked into family life and running his small business. “It took a lot of organising and balance to make it work,” he says. Wayne’s training consisted of weights twice a week, cycling three times a week, and skiing three times a week on a fence paling, race ski or freeboard. Being 12 years older this time, the body’s recovery was also a little less forgiving.

Together with his new team, driver Mark Cranny and observer Damien Matthews, the trio were selected for the Australian team. Having only been racing together for a short time, they quickly grew a strong bond. “Mark and Damien make up one of the most professional teams I have been involved with. As a team, we had been together for nine months; not long in the world of ski racing,” explains Wayne. That mutual respect would turn out to be the most important ingredient when the trio headed to Belgium on July 5, 2009.

The Australian team that was selected for the Worlds was strong, as were teams from the USA and Belgium. The first race was held at Gent, in Northern Belgium. “Our team’s mechanic had the boat, Tru Blue running perfectly,” Wayne recalls. “Mark and Damien were cool and calm as ever and I was ready to race. Two flags went up and I can remember seeing thousands of people lining the concrete walls and looking down into the boats and I thought, ‘this is it.’”

The circuit course was marked with single-buoy turns, making the corners very tight and dangerous if they weren’t approached properly. “We used rope lengths for each race between 50 and 60 metres (165 and 195 feet,) and I can remember how fast the first straight felt that day with such a short rope. There wasn’t much wake left for me to ski in,” he says. “As we approached the turn buoy to complete the first lap, we were positioned in pole three, about half a rope length ahead of the field. By the time we pulled out of that turn, we were already more than a rope length behind. This really set the scene for how hard we had to work just to stay in the race.” At around the 40-minute mark, Prime Time, towing American skier, Todd Haig made their charge. Todd finished in first place, Wayne finished second and Dimitri Bertels from Belgium came in third.

Race two was held in Genk and team Tru Blue had its work cut out for it once again. Cranes winched the boats into the water with enough time to allow the teams to do a pre-race lap for the spectators along the canal. It was during that lap that Mark noticed the right-hand extractor of the engine had a small crack in it. There they were, just 15 minutes before the start of the second race, a race they needed to win, and Mark had a tough decision to make. They could either take the risk, unsure if the engine would handle the hour-long race, or use a substitute boat. In a split second, the crew was heading back to the dock. They would need to swap the intercom, helmets, rope and spare rope into another Australian boat, White Noise, all in just minutes.

The Australians had a very tough job on their hands, especially considering neither Mark nor Damien had ever raced with the boat before. With the clock ticking, the crew still needed to find a crane driver to winch the boat into the water. After overwhelming help from other Australian teams and with just five minutes before the start of the race, White Noise was finally in the water. “Cranny and Damien got us to the start line just as the 30 second flag dropped. It was really amazing,” recalls Wayne. “We got a clean start and we were in with a shot, taking a slight lead after the first lap. Prime Time was hot on our heels.” But that lead was soon lost, as Prime Time once again took full advantage of the single-buoy turns and traffic, making tight, fast turns. White Noise fought for the lead for the first fifteen minutes of the race, but as the boat traffic got heavier, they began to fall behind. “Cranny decided to move into Prime Time’s wash, where we settled until about the 45-minute mark. Then Damien gave me the signal ‘we have to go.’ We managed to wind them in within three laps and with just one lap until the finish we were racing alongside the Americans. The pressure was on as we both approached the finish line and with only half a lap to go, we were still side by side. With just 300 metres to go, we really put the pressure on and started pulling away,” explains Wayne. In one of the closest finishes in a world title race, White Noise crossed the line first. Todd Haig finished closely behind in second place and crashed straight after he crossed the line. Australian skier Chris Stout came in third place behind No Mercy.

The third race took place in the beautiful Belgian city of Antwerp. Tru Blue was again running perfectly and the team was ready. This would be the fastest of the four races and was yet another extraordinary show down between Wayne and Todd. “On one side of the course we were hitting speeds of approximately 145 kilometres per hour (90 mph) and on the home straight, speeds were back down to 96 – 112 K/ph (60 -70 mph),” says Wayne. The race came down to the wire with Tru Blue finishing just two seconds ahead of Prime Time.

After a day’s rest, competitors woke to the morning of the final race. This race would decide the 2009 World Champion. The fourth race was held at Viersel, the home of the annual world-renowned Diamond Race. This canal was the narrowest of all, at just 110 metres wide (360 feet.) Depending on the overall time of the race, the Australians would need to finish within at least two seconds of the Americans to win the World Championship. Wayne recalls the final moments before that race, “Two flags went up and I went into the water. The rope pulled tight and I had a short pause, preparing for the flag to drop.” Away they went. Tru Blue got off to a great start and by the 20 minute mark they were about one rope length in front of Prime Time. That lead increased to about four rope lengths about 35 minutes into the race. At 40 minutes in, Prime Time began closing the gap. Within two laps, they were level with Tru Blue. “Turning around the single-buoy turns with Prime Time right next to us was exhausting, both physically and mentally. Each time we approached the turn among the heavy boat traffic, Prime Time moved to the inside of the course, while Mark stuck close to the wall. This meant the Americans had the lead coming out of every corner,” adds Wayne.

With two and a half laps to go, Tru Blue became caught up in boat traffic through a corner and fell one rope length behind Prime Time. One rope length soon became four as the Americans continued to pull away. “Urgency became a priority and I knew we had to go. In one lap, we managed to wind in Prime Time by two rope lengths. The blue flag went up indicating one more lap, and we were chasing hard,” recalls Wayne. Todd and Wayne rounded the final turn with half a lap left to decide the 2009 World Title. “My rope length took me about 48 metres (160 feet) behind the boat and I knew we needed to finish at least two seconds behind Prime Time to win,” Wayne explains. On the second half of the final straight Tru Blue made more ground and with only 300 metres left, they were just half a rope length behind Prime Time. Tru Blue was now just metres from Todd. Wayne and Todd were both charging for the finish line. “We had 100 metres to go and the acceleration from Tru Blue was intense,” Wayne recalls. “We had the inside position and I could see the chequered flag when all of a sudden, there was a wall of water and I got a heap of slack rope. As I looked up, I saw Mark do a huge power turn to avoid contact with Todd.” Prime Time had turned in front of Tru Blue, leaving Mark with nowhere to go, forcing Wayne to sink into the water just metres from the finish line. “Mark’s quick thinking avoided a major incident from occurring,” Wayne says. Prime Time had continued on to do another lap, claiming they didn’t see the blue flag. Tru Blue picked Wayne up and pulled him across the line to finish the race. After deliberation, the judges ruled the overall positions – Wayne first, Todd second and Chris Stout third. Wayne Mawer was the new World Champion. But what had happened?

This is a big question that I know my brother Wayne has asked himself time and time again. When Wayne claimed his first Ski Racing World Championship in Sydney in 1997, he won four out of four races and became the first skier in history to do so. Family and friends watched him cross the finish line first during the deciding race, run up onto the beach and throw his hands into the sky, tears streaming down his face – the new Champion of the World. This incredible victory has inspired all of those people who were there to witness it and continues to do so even today. An unknown skier from Cairns had just beaten the world’s best, and he was just 21 years of age.

Belgium didn’t unfold like that. It wasn’t the fairytale finish both Todd and Wayne had hoped for. It was however, a privilege for everyone involved to have been able to witness the two fastest men on water fight what they wanted. They both deserve the utmost respect for their incredible guts and determination and while Wayne came away with the World Title, he or Todd would have been worthy of the crown.

Wayne’s experience in Belgium has made him a stronger person. Back home in Cairns, he is now focusing on growing his small business and spending time with his family. Earlier this year Wayne and his wife, Natalie welcomed a beautiful daughter, Jada into the world. “Life is good. I am enjoying every minute of it.”

Although his life has changed, Wayne hasn’t ruled out ski racing in the future. His 5-year-old son, Sunny is now ski racing and Wayne also gets out on the water to social ski every chance he can. “Skiing is more than a sport for us, it’s a lifestyle. It will always be a part of my life.”

In every athlete’s life, there comes a time of monumental decision making; a cross roads, and as my brother now looks towards life beyond ski racing, the possibilities are endless.

The Current World Champions

Just before the racing begins and establishes a new group of World Water Ski Racing Champions, let’s reflect on who achieved the ultimate in their respective categories, two years ago in Belgium.

50th Bridge to Bridge Celebrations

Liz Langham (B2B Promotions) writes …

As you may be aware this year marks the 50th running of the Bridge to Bridge Ski Race Classic. In order to mark the occasion there are many celebrations planned to coincide with the race. I have attached a flyer letting you know how you can become involved in the weekends’ events.

Please feel free to send this out to anyone who you may think will be interested in the 50th running of the race and the celebrations as I only have some contact details, I’m sure you all know many other interested people.


Liz Langham
B2B Promotions

Click on the form below to open the full size PDF
Click to open the PDF

2011 Worlds Plans Live Broadcasting

The organisers of the 2011 Worlds have planned to provide a live broadcast of the racing. We have no information on times & dates but suggest you keep checking on the official web site here.

The 8 National Teams at 2011 Worlds

Details of the 8 national teams listed with their flags below and the individual teams within each are now available online here

Phone Interview with Dave Bishop on the 2011 Worlds

I caught up with Australia’s Dave Bishop to talk about the 2011 worlds in this 20minute phone interview.

Hawkesbury 120 this Weekend

On 27th & 28th August 2011 you can do or watch the the Longest 2-up River Ski Race Classic. From Windsor to Wiseman’s & back, the 2011 Hawkesbury 120 is set for speed.

Click here for full details

Force Congratulates its World Squad

The Force Factory is excited about the 2011 Worlds as they watch no less than 10 Australian Teams doing their races with a Force.

Force wants to congratulate the following Force teams and wish them every success in the big event:

Photos of Cardiff European Cup Racing

Rob Harks has a great portfolio of shots from this month’s 5th and final round of the European Cup series in Cardiff.

You can see the full selection here

Brixham British National Results

Brixham British National results are now available below. That was the final national championship race for 2011.

Click to download

The 2011 F1 European Champion – Steven Van Gaeveren

Steven Van Gaeveren has been clocking up wins for Belgium for a number of years and he follows in the footsteps of Belgium’s previous world class racers. In 2009 he became the F2 World Champion and on the weekend at Cardiff Bay he was named the 2011 F1 European Champion.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook