IWWF Relocates 2024 World Over 35 Waterski Championships from Greece to Spain
Botaski – Sesena Waterski Complex (image: Facebook)
By Jack Burden
In a surprising turn of events, the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) announced the relocation of the 2024 World Over 35 Waterski Championships from Stratos Lake in Agrinio, Greece, to BOTASKI in Sesena, Spain. The decision, made during an IWWF Executive Board meeting in Clermont, Florida, comes as a result of the Greek host Federation’s inability to prepare its venue for the anticipated large participation numbers by the specified deadline.
José Antonio Pérez Priego, President of the IWWF, expressed regret over the decision but emphasized the necessity to host events where venues can accommodate substantial numbers of participants. Pérez Priego clarified that while Greece may not host the 2024 Championships, it does not rule out the possibility of Greece hosting future events, and the decision was made in the best interest of the participating skiers.
The move follows the IWWF’s consideration of the lessons learned from the 2022 Championships in France, where the event attracted a significant number of skiers. The inability of the Greek organizers to meet the deadline for venue preparations prompted the IWWF to withdraw hosting rights and assign them to BOTASKI in Spain.
Critics have pointed out that extending the deadline for the Greek site’s preparations might have been a preferable option. However, Pérez Priego defended the decision, stating that it was crucial for the sake of the skiers and ensuring a venue capable of handling the event.
The organizers in Greece are expected to lose their non-refundable deposit paid to the IWWF for hosting the event.
BOTASKI is no stranger to hosting prestigious waterski events. Having previously hosted the 2016 Over 35 World Championships, the 2015 Under 21 World Championships, and the 2018 Under 17 World Championships, the venue is well-equipped and experienced in managing international waterski competitions. The 2024 Championships at BOTASKI are scheduled to take place from the 4th to the 8th of September, promising a high-quality and well-organized event for participants and spectators alike.