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2009 Belgium Worlds Bid – Excitement Builds

On 19 July, Belgium submitted its bid to the IWSF to host the 2009 World Water Ski Racing Championships and the world of top class competitors and supporters is getting excited. This event would be 14 years after the only time Belgium has hosted the Worlds, when the superb Stefano Gregorio won Mens, the superstar Leanne Brown won Womens and a young Alex Ross and Tami Khan won the Juniors. It was a sensational week of racing.


It’s no secret that a 2009 Worlds in Belgium would be a tough test of skiers and teams, but these are the Worlds and anything less than tough is not good enough. With no less than three different venues, Belgium is raising the bar.

1) Viersel
Home of the most gruelling race in the world with unprecedented close up action and some of the largest crowds ever seen in our sport. Home of the legendary Danny Bertels, the past and present Bertels family and many more names that are synonymous with water ski racing.

2) Genk
Twice as wide as Viersel and located on the Albert Canal, Genk was recently voted the friendliest city in Europe.

3) Gent
A new site that is as new to the international world of ski racing as Rotorua was in May. An exciting venue that Belgium will soon unveil. A city oozing with European character, culture and night life.

The whole event is planned to be concentrated around Viersel and nearby Antwerp for the enitre period, with all races within 80km of Viersel.

The proposed dates are:

Sunday 19th July 2009 – Round 1 – Gent
Tuesday 21st July 2009 – Round 2 – Genk
Thursday 23rd July 2009 – Round 3 – Viersel
Sunday 26th July 2009 – Round 4 – Viersel

The Belgian Water Ski Federation is now working to finalise the event.

About Belgium
There’s just something about Belgium. Maybe it’s the friendly & welcoming people who with three official languages still find it easy to converse in English, the 4th unofficial language. Maybe it’s the stunning architecture decorating the quaint cobblestone squares. Or perhaps it’s the incredible cuisine found in the vast array of restaurants where each meal seems better than the last. Energetic and carefree, the overall mood in Belgium is infectious, summoning in all of us to live as Belgians and enjoy life to the fullest.

Well situated between France and Holland, the kingdom of Belgium encompasses all the best that Europe has to offer in an area no bigger than Maryland. Within the span of one day you can take a romantic cruise down a canal in Bruges, hunt for diamonds in Antwerp, enjoy waffles on the beach in Oostende, frolic in a festival in Binche, get lost in a castle in Namur, discover antiques at an outdoor market in Liege, and explore a fine art museum in Brussels. A dense train network connects all of Belgium and makes navigation simple and comfortable for travelers.

To learn more about Belgium for visitors, visit the official Belgian Tourist Board online at:

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