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Karl Brooks Memorial

July 2008
At the closing ceremony of the 2008 European Water Ski Racing Championships, Karen and Martin Brooks collected an award on behalf of their son Karl Brooks, who was tragically lost in June 2007. EAME Racing Chairman Mike Waterman presented the award.

Karl was named as 2007 Male European Skier of The Year and the 400 people present at the ceremony and dinner were touched as Karen and Martin stepped up to collect the award. They were joined by Robbie and Linda Wright, and Chris Cole. Kim Lumley was named as 2007 Female European Skier of The Year and collected a similar award.

June 2008
One year ago today, we lost a truly wonderful person when Karl Brooks left us. Let’s take a moment to reflect back and read the words that his mother Karen wrote last night.

14th June 2007 Lake Mead USA
The day we so tragically lost Karl

“You were loved so much and so very dear
It’s hard to accept that you are no longer here
Although our memories are held deep inside
Our thoughts for you, we cannot hide
A finer person there could never be
Our best friend , Son , Brother you were the world to me
Your Devoted
Mum Dad Kurt Scott

Karl will be honoured at a rememberance service today along with a blessing of his headstone that has been laid.

We would like to thank family,friends and ski racing from around the world for their huge support in the past year. In particular, Robbbie & Linda Wright who have been with us every day, keeping us strong. Karl’s second family in Aus the “Robbos”, lastly our lifetime friend Robbie Llewellyn.

Everyone’s messages of support, too many to name, over the last year have been uplifting and have helped us enormously, knowing how much Karl have touched your lives.

Thankyou , Thankyou , Thankyou Thankyou
Martin Karen Kurt Scott Brooks

Karl Brooks
Belgium’s Billy Lacroix took this shot of Karl at the 2004 Diamond Race



Update by Karen & Martin Brooks

Karl… Me, Dad Kurt & Scott woke this morning and all vowed that we would give you “KARL BROOKS” the send off that you deserved.

Dad read a beautiful poem that Laura had written, you would have been so proud, he didn’t stumble with any of his words, and as we all know he doesn’t do public speaking too well!!!

Robbie then gave you a huge tribute, telling everyone of your achievements. Karl..Darren & Paul should be so proud of their parents. Linda & Robbie have been an absolute rock for our family, and without them we could not have coped with all this grief. We are so so grateful to them both.

Dad , Kurt & Scott have had sleepless nights deciding on what music to play. They are a credit to you Karl, the music was fantastic, as we all like the same type of music , the songs just kept reminding us of who you are ,what you did , and what you attempted to sing along too.!! All those long journey’s to the ski races , and us all singing along to Rod Stewart & Elton John!. The movies, we must be the only family who have watched Shaw Shank Redemption & Forest Gump over a hundred times!!

1. R Kelly. “The World’s Greatest
2. The Fray. How To Save A Life
3. Oasis. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
4. Elton John . Rocket Man

We spent the afternoon at Stockbrook Manor,Timmy Herbst organised a DVD that we presented. I hope everyone their enjoyed it as much as we did.The . Robbos , Johnny & Steve loved the poached eggs!!. Bub has your Prada Glasses , he looked pretty cool, Brad just looked so handsome in his suit ,Karl.. we all knew you were laughing at us getting ready for that day….Kurt had to do Steve’s tie!! Eddie, Maryanne, Jerry,Kurt, Billy, Jesse , Jarred & Mark Fantastic day, Thank You.

Hundreds & of your friends & family turned up for the service and celebration.Karl… I can’t even begin to name everyone there, everyone that day was absolutely gutted that you left us so early.. Karl.. My darling son, I wasn’t ready to let you go and I know you weren’t either. Life can be so cruel and sometimes you wonder if you could change anything what would it be. My 1st thought is that I want you back NOW, but I know that isn’t going to happen. Me & Dad would not change any part of your life. You lived and loved life to the full.You Were kind, considerate . Friends and Family from all around the world travelled just to be with you that day. You would have loved it , being the centre of attention.

Laura looked gorgeous, just the way you liked her and loved her. Laura is being very brave , but hurting so much. Karl.. We will give her all the support Laura needs.

We have spent the day with you at the cemetery, the flowers are unbelievable.Dad has been organising the flowers so they look good, and they are positioned in the correct way!!. They have been sent from all around the world. What a fantastic view you have from there. You can even see our old house.

This is my last email to you Karl. My “diary” has helped us all Me, Dad, Peter, Robbie & Linda to cope with your death.

Sarah Cramphorn has sent us a binded book with all the emails written to you. It is so special. We take great comfort from reading the tributes.

Your Devoted Mum & Dad Kurt & Scott.

This is the poem that Laura Wrote and Dad read out:

To meet a person so lovely and true
Karl was special through and through

His infectious smile, his cheeky face
His love for life and winning the race

Two steps ahead of all the rest
I considered him simply the best

A son, a friend, a soulmate, a lover
The most wonderful person you could discover

His passion for life and drive so strong
To him my heart will always belong

In both sport and life he was number one
A real inspiration and so full of fun.

He enriched our lives and brought us pleasure
The memories of which we will always treasure

Although it’s so hard to stop feeeling despair
I know that Karl will always be there

No longer on earth, but in heaven above
His spirit lives on and surrounds us with love

Karl, this is not goodbye just a brief time apart
You will always remain alive in my heart

Written by Laura Russell

Sarah Cramphorn has given us a beautiful book with all the email tributes . We all read them each evening and great pleasure from the wonderful tributes from our friends & family around the world.

Karl this is my final email to you on this web site, which Robbie has given us and the whole world a chance to express my emotions and thouthts. Without this “diary” and reading the tributes , Me Martin Kurt & Kurt could not have coped so well.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.


Mail On SundayThe TimesSouth Wales EchoThe Penarth Times
IC WalesBritish Water Ski

Update by Karen, Martin, Kurt & Scott Brooks We are overwhelemed by the responses to this web site for Karl. Since arriving home from Vegas we have had so many emotions running through our heads it’s impossible to concentrate on the smallest of tasks.As soon as we arrived home Kurt & Scott immediately asked the question “Wer’e not going to give up skiing are we?”. Both me and Martin replied “ABSOLUTELY NOT”.
Me & Martin both come from ski racing families and would not change anything that we have passsed onto our children at any time.
What a fantastic sport! Our family have friends from all around the world, and to us the world is a small place.To have been given the opportunity to meet such fantastic people is an opportunity anyone should not miss.Today we received a letter from the Prime Minister’s wife Cherie Blair, Karl even touched her heart when he met her in 2006 at Downing Street.Tuesday 03 July will be a Celebration of life for Karl, just the way he would have wanted it.And our family hope that you will join us.Karl… I look at the picture of you and Bub on the final prersentation night in Rotorua, Bub with his bottle of Smirnoff and you with a huge grin, and it lights up my day.Karl… Scott is going to Belium with Daryll Tyndall this weekend for the Diamond race. Last year he went with you & Chris Cole, he had such a great time.

Your Devoted Mum & Dad Kurt & Scott.



Update by Karen & Martin Brooks

Today was the day you were booked to fly home and spend a couple of weeks before returning to Vegas to WIN the Catalina. WHY WHY WHY ????
We had lunch today at “The Coffee Cup” your favourite place to eat at Boulder. Lorri, Billy, Mr D, Jessie & Mike all joined us. What a great place. A skiers restaurant dream..
Mr D is taking us to the buffet at Green Valley Ranch tonight. Kurt,Tricia & Kendal are coming over to say goodbye.
We all leave Vegas behind us tomorrow. We’ll all fly home together.
Not long now
Your devoted Mum & Dad


Update by Karen & Martin Brooks Karl.. We celebrated your short life yesterday. You are most definately looking down on Me,Dad,Robbie,Linda & Peter and we know that you wouldn’t have the service any other way. In true Las Vegas style, we were taken to your celebration in a bright red limo..
Karl there were so many people that turned up yesterday it was unbelievable. We celebrated your life with speeches and a fantastic DVD of photos,which we will bring home from Lauren Dunsmore, Eddy & Tim and Kurt who all said amazing things about you, they were so brave.There’s not enough space here to
name everyone that attended,you would be so pleased to have seen all your friends that truly loved you. Karl you have no idea how much you touched people’s hearts with your infectious smile and wonderful personality.
The Herbst family arranged for us to all go back to “Whiskeys” your favourite bar at Green Valley, where me & Dad tried to meet everyone that came to your celebration.. Robbie & Linda are amazing, we listned to stories about your time here,which are all making us scream with laughter,you certainly lived the life here Karl,even stories that mother’s should not be to told, but as you know Karl we had no secret’s, Dad & Robbie are really jealous!!!!. Linda had to keep telling Dad to behave himself!!
The girl’s turned up in their best outfit’s which you would have liked. You were exactly right about Edd’s wife Sandra, she is a BABE….Little Trevor was here, Karl he loved you.
The Herbst brothers, Edd,Tim,Troy, they are such wonderful people. Warm,kind,supportive, everything you told us about them is so true. Good family people, just like our family, that’s why you got on with them all so well.Kurt,Tricia & Kendal. They were your Mum,Dad & brother here.Kurt is hurting so much,we have been telling them over again how much you loved them too.We have heard the stories about your trips to the school football games, and how you embarresed Tricia, with your shouting at the teams from the side line.
Kurt is a great guy and we know how much you looked up to him.
Jerred. Karl, you always admired Jerrred, the young handsome fireman from LA. We had the photo of you dressed in his Fireman’s suit. It is so funny. He is such a good friend Karl.Billy,Lori,Lauren & Mr D.They made a fantastic tribute for you, which I cannot wait to show people at home. The blow us away with their kindness.!!Dad & Robbie have gone to the hanger to collect your ski and equipment.Karl.. you are coming home, we have just had confirmation that we will all fly back on Friday.We are desperate to get you home.Kurt & Scott are amazing, but you know that,they are just like you.Karl me & dad are sick with grief , we keep asking the question WHY WHY WHY,no one answers us.XXXXXYour nearly home
Mum & Dad

Update by Karen & Martin Brooks Karl
We seen you yesterday, but the wonderful smile that was infectious has gone, you are peaceful. Me & Dad feel guilty when we sleep, because we can wake and open our eyes but you can’t.We spent the evening at the Dunsmore’s, which you did a lot. Karl, they are a wonderful family and we know that you respected them very much. Mr D you are a fantastic person,Karl enjoyed your little trips to the Green Valley Ranch Buffet, and had so much time fo you all.
You were with us yesterday when Ed,Timmy & Troy along with their families and friends took us out to Lake Mead to lay flowers. It was a wonderful day, and many a moment was filled with tears and then laughter,because Karl as you know me & Linda can turn any situation into fun, which you would have been proud of. Kurt & Patricia were their along with Jerred, Mark & his wife.Billy,Lori,Lauren Dunsmore and wonderful Mr D who we know you loved so much. It was a wonderful day and we can see why you loved it here so much.The water was an amazing colour, the weather hot. Dad wanted to get into the water to be close to you,but he worried me. This gives us all strength knowing that you were so happy here. Karl… Peter is blown away with the amount of tributes that we are receiving here.It’s good that he can see how much you are loved and too share these special moments with us.Karl…Linda & Robbie are a tower of strenght for us. Karl, they love you as much as a mum&dad would, and they don’t want to let you go.You were coming home Thursday to try the new boat out and ski the Diamond Race.Karl.

Me,Dad,Kurt,Scott love &miss you so much,the pain is unbearable.You would be so proud of Kurt, he has turned into an adult overnight.You used to take the mick out of him all the time. Always challenging you for a race in the pool or a run, last week he even told you that at 16 he is now skiing faster than you were at his age!!!, which you came back with a rude comment!!

Scotty is hurting, he is so vunerable at the moment. Scott is so much like you when you were 13.Scott was looking forward to you coming home and fitting the bindings on his new ski that you bought for him in NZ.

Roxy & Chucky were excited, everytime we said “Where’s Karl” they went mad..barking and running around the garden. Chucky will miss you sneeking him in your bed, which me &dad used to go mad at.Today we are having a celebration for you Karl, here at Green Valley, Lauren has put together a wonderful collection of your favourite songs which we’ll play.Me & Dad sat at the “Drop Bar” late last night, we know how much you used to love going their, watching all the beautiful girls…
We hurt so much, we need to take you home soon Karl. It won’t be long now darling.
Your devoted Mum, Dad, Kurt, Scott

Update by Karen & Martin Brooks

We are now staying at Green Valley ranch so we can be close to Karl.

For all Karl’s friends in the USA, a service has been arranged on Tuesday 19th June at Palm Green Valley, before we take Karl back home to the U.K to be buried.

For further details you can call Jerred on 714 4259173.

Thank you all for your continuing support

Karen & Martin

Update by Karen & Martin Brooks

“We have just arrived at Las Vegas after a long flight. Karen, Martin ,Robbie, Linda Wright & Peter Harding.We must stress that the help and support of the Virgin Crew on flight VS23 was unbelievably kind. Especially Zoe & Steph, without you we wouldn’t have arrived here so calm and prepared for what we have to encounter.All we can tell you at the moment is that an autopsy is being held today. We will try and keep you all updated with the facts as we receive them.Having read the remarks on the web site, we are deeply moved by all your words of hope and wisdom and are taking comfort from all your calls & texts. Without the support of Robbie & Linda we couldn’t have coped with this trip. We are in total shock,and I cannot even express how we feel other than knumb. We just want to hold him again! and tell him how much we love him and miss him.xx.

Visit &

Karen, Martin
Las Vegas
15th June”



I woke Friday morning and the email above was waiting for me. I couldn’t quite believe it and I sat in shock for a while and then called Martin Brooks to confirm this awful news. I am devastated, upset and in complete shock, as are so many others.

Britain’s Karl Brooks was killed as a result of a fall, whilst out practicing on Lake Mead, Nevada on Thursday. His family was shocked to receive the tragic news a few hours ago at 3am Friday morning (UK time).

Karl was 25 years old and one of the nicest people in our sport. Far beyond his ability to ski, was the fun, lively and positive character of a guy who had so many friends and who was liked for being the great person he was. His smile and character was captured by Linda Keys in the photo above.

Having just got off the phone from Martin Brooks, I have been asked to let everyone know about this. It’s not easy for me to conjour up words right now as this is so upsetting, but below is an extract from a letter I wrote about Karl 6 months ago and it describes this wonderful lad.

<<<I have known Karl since he was born. His mother and grandfather were in fact water ski racing competitors in my home club of Penarth, Britain, and good friends. I can vividly recall the day that I observed for Karl in one of his early British National races and it is incredible to see a novice skier go on to become one of the finest water ski racing athletes in the world.

Not only is Karl an exceptional athlete whose success is borne from tenacity, commitment and extraordinary ability, but he is one of the most likeable young men in this highly competitive sport. He is the epitome of a true sportsman who excels on the world stage, yet who remains a down to earth man with a splendid personality.

I have witnessed Karl’s sporting career blossom into a long series of remarkable performances which have resulted in him becoming the current European Water Ski Racing Champion and four-time British Champion. Among other international successes, Karl’s extraordinary ability was best seen at the 2005 World Championships when he won the Silver medal. Having watched him progress to this level, the Gold medal is but one step away from this most gifted athlete.

Karl’s achievements have resulted in numerous TV and Radio appearances and a personal meeting with the British Prime Minister’s wife at her home, which was arranged by the British Sports Minister. Karl is a shining example of what any nation’s sporting ambassadors should be.

I have great respect for the fact that Karl shares his knowledge and talent with young aspiring athletes in a bid to help them to excel in the sport. Karl’s training and sporting spirit in fact helped Britain’s Kim Lumley become a World Champion.>>>


Photo by

I have spoken with other people this morning who are all upset over this. I know hundreds will be truly saddened by the loss of Karl. Let our thoughts be with Karen and Martin, and with Peter, Karl’s brothers Kurt and Scott, his grandparents (who have all been involved in ski racing) and the other members of the family that Karl has left behind. And course with Karl, who had so much going for him.

I know many people will want to write some words about Karl and for his family. Please use the comments section below. It might take a few hours for your comments to be displayed, but they will definitely be there for the family and friends of Karl to read.

Robbie Llewellyn

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