This coming weekend the show skiing world will focus on a tiny lake in central Wisconsin to watch the world’s largest water ski tournament.
The place… the red sands of Lake Wazeecha, just east of Wisconsin Rapids. 25 Show Ski Teams from the State of Wisconsin will compete, probably about a 1000 or so people receiving many thousands of pulls behind the boats.
The man on the street is probably wondering how you can pull that many people that many times behind the boats in one weekend? The answer is actually very simple… put a lot of them behind the boat each time it leaves the dock. 2 people, 4 people you might be thinking… No. More like 10, 20, 30 or more all behind one boat at the same time. And they aren’t just skiing. They are doing ballet, swivel, jump, barefooting and pyramids.
Your also probably wondering what the hell is a show ski tournament? Well, each team gets 90 minutes to do their thing. They have 20 minutes to setup their show, 60 minutes to perform it and 10 minutes to clean up after themselves. The show consists of 14 acts and is judged based on difficulty, execution, flow and crowd appeal. The judges write down their numbers and at then end of the weekend they add them up and a champion is crowned.
Last year, my team, the Mad-City Ski Team, took home the gold and we are working hard to repeat as champions. We know that our neighbors to the south in Janesville want the title back and are doing everything they can to put out a better show than us and we’ll finally find out what happens this weekend. We ski Saturday about 11am and they ski on Sunday. Word on the street is Badgerland is bringing it too…
The crazy part of this competition, as we watch the other teams, we’re cheering them on, even though they are competing against us. We want to win, but we want to beat them when they bring their A-game.
Meanwhile, this weekend we’ll see people ski on everything from regular old skis, to their barefeet and even see people probably ski on some toilets. Beautiful ballet lines, strap doubles and maybe even get to see some doubles girls get tossed in the water so the guys can make it to jump on time.
And at the end of the weekend everyone comes home with red feet.
This week we had good water every night for practice, but had rough practices on Monday and Tuesday… Wednesday we finally had a good night on the water. Everything (more or less) is ready for Saturday…. Game On!!!