Freddie Winter is making his comeback at the Masters

A Year After Being Snubbed, Winter is Back at the Masters


A year after being snubbed, Freddie Winter is back at the Masters

Freddie Winter is making his comeback at the Masters

Image: Spencer Shultz

By Jack Burden

A year after being unwelcome at Callaway Gardens, British slalom skier Freddie Winter is making his comeback at the Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament, stating, “My aim is to win.”

A two-time Masters champion, clinching consecutive titles in 2019 and 2021, Winter was not invited to Robin Lake last year due to alleged unsportsmanlike behavior at the 2022 Masters.

However, the reigning world champion is thrilled to be back for the 2024 edition.

“I won the last two times I was given a fair shake at competing, I’m excited to go try and win a third one.” Winter expressed in an episode of the Distance From Center podcast.

“I’ve had a number of people say to me, you really shouldn’t go, you should show them what you think of that tournament, and I’ve said nope, I’m definitely going to go, my aim is to win,” Winter added.

Over the past year, Winter has arguably been in the best form of his career. Following a runner-up finish on the Waterski Pro Tour, he concluded the season with consecutive wins, including his second World Championships title, followed by his first Moomba Masters title earlier this year.

“It would really fun to in the space of 6-8 months to have won the Worlds, Moomba, and the Masters. To hold them all at the same time would be an absolute dream,” Winter remarked.

Explaining his exclusion from the 2023 Masters by Nautique, the tournament organizer, Winter stated he was deemed ineligible to compete “after a situation at [the previous] edition when I reacted emotionally to a ‘video’ judging decision.”

Reflecting on his absence from last year’s tournament, Winter admitted, “it hurt me not to be there.” He confessed, “I went out the night before and got absolutely black out drunk… during the Master’s final I was out surfing… I was not interested whatsoever in that tournament.”

Regarding suggestions to boycott the Masters, Winter found it intriguing. “it’s interesting that people would even suggest that… I’ve heard it from a great number of people,” he shared. Evidently, the thought never crossed his mind. “I’m built for competing, I’m enjoying it almost more and more,” Winter affirmed.

Ultimately, Winter says it best: “The best protest would be to win it, wouldn’t it?”

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