Regina Jaquess signs with Nautique Boats

Jaquess Signs With Nautique, Ending Two Decades with Malibu Boats

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Regina Jaquess signs with Nautique, ending two decades with Malibu Boats

Regina Jaquess signs with Nautique Boats

Jaquess of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, becomes the newest member of the Nautique Team (image: @nautiqueboats)

By Jack Burden


Regina Jaquess, arguably the greatest female water skier of all time, announced today that she has signed with Nautique Boats, ending a two-decade relationship with Malibu. The 39-year-old is the current world record holder in slalom, setting her most recent mark last year at the Malibu Open.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to represent the Nautique brand,” shared Jaquess in a press release on the decision. She added, “I look forward to competing for many more years and being able to ski behind the #1 towboat in the world every day.”

This marks a significant departure for Jaquess, whose affiliation with Malibu Boats dates back to 2010. At that time, as Malibu’s newest addition to the waterski team, she made history by breaking Kristi Overton Johnson’s world slalom record, which had stood since 1996. Since then, Jaquess has broken the world slalom record eight times, totaling nine records—more than any other woman in history. Few skiers in the world have deeper ties or are more associated with a boat company than Jaquess with Malibu.

However, Jaquess’s move comes amidst significant turbulence at the Tennessee-based boat manufacturer. Malibu has faced scrutiny in recent months, with its stock value plummeting and allegations of inventory fraud emerging from one of the nation’s largest boat dealers. The dismissal of Dennis Kelley, a 30-year company veteran, earlier this year fueled speculation about the discontinuation of the TXi model. While the company has denied these rumors and Malibu Boats Australia recently reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Australian water skiing, the scaling back of support for tournament water skiing in the US has clearly soured Jaquess’ relationship with the company.

In her announcement, Jaquess made what appeared to be a thinly veiled criticism of her former sponsor, expressing excitement at “having the opportunity to align with a company that is true to its water ski heritage.” Ultimately, this marks a disappointing end to one of the most iconic water ski brand relationships of the 21st century.

Nautique appears eager to welcome the disaffected world record holder, with their President, Greg Meloon, expressing enthusiasm for the partnership. “Throughout her career, Regina has set new expectations and inspired the waterski community. We are looking forward to her next level of performance behind the Ski Nautique!”

Jaquess, who has raised the women’s world record from 1 to 5 at 10.25m (41’ off), has her sights set on one final frontier. She expressed her desire to “catch that elusive 6 ball at 10.25m and go beyond into territory no other female water skier has ever ventured.”

The fate of Thomas Degasperi, Malibu’s sole remaining water ski athlete, remains uncertain for now. Losing the support of one of only three boat manufacturers would be a significant blow to the sport. Hopefully, Malibu can weather the storm and bounce back once economic conditions improve. However, for now, Malibu’s loss appears to be Nautique’s gain.

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