Two years ago at Elk Grove, California, Team USA took the gold medal at the Disabled World Waterski Championships with a clear margin of over 1,700 points ahead of Australia. This weekend, Australia turned the tables in a thrilling and close fought battle on the water with a margin of almost 600 points ahead of USA. Congratulations to the athletes from all ten countries who competed in Slalom, Tricks, Jump and Overall, at the magnificent Myuna Bay site in New South Wales. Team Australia now celebrates as worthy World Team Champions.
Special congratulations must also go to those who successfully defended their titles over the past week. These included Craig Timm (USA) in Standing Men Slalom and Overall, Kate Mawby (USA) in Vision Impaired Ladies Slalom, Tricks, Jump and Overall, Daniele Cassioli (ITA) in Vision Impaired Men Slalom, Tricks, Jump and Overall, Ashley Baerg (CAN) in Seated Ladies Jump and Scott Wintle (AUS) in Seated Men Jump. Clearly, the Tournament Men Overall title was very well earned once again by Italy’s Daniele Cassioli for his outstanding performances throughout.
For the women, nothing was really predictable this year for two reasons. The highly talented Standing Ladies competitor Claire Ellis (GBR) could not enter and this opened up the Overall contest. On the other hand, France’s international star, Delphine Le Sausse (FRA) returned having missed the 2015 event and certainly made her mark. In taking the titles this time in Seated Ladies Slalom, Tricks, and 3rd in Jump, she truly deserved that 2017 Overall title.
One of the many highlights was the setting of two new World Records – both for Jump. Scott Wintle (AUS) in the MP2 Seated Men category and Ashley Baerg (CAN) in MP5 Seated Ladies, both created a sensation on the Jump Ramp. Those new World Records will now go to the IWWF for ratification.
Congratulations also to the other new World Champions. In Seated Men Slalom and Tricks, Jason Sleep (AUS), Seated Men Overall Derek Vanderbom (AUS), Elisabeth Dot Bergh (NOR) in Standing Ladies Slalom, and Craig Timm (USA) Standing Men Tricks and Jump.
Chief Judge Bill Bowness (USA) and Organiser Noel Dix (AUS) brought their lifetime experience to the event and it showed in the smooth running throughout. Boat drivers Shane Coulter (AUS) and Will Bush (USA) ensured that the Nautique 200 boat delivered perfect performances throughout the week and helped to deliver yet another two World Records to over 200 already to their credit.
IWWF CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation