The Orakei Basin in Auckland

2025 IWWF World University Water Ski Championships To Be Held in New Zealand

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2025 IWWF World University Waterski Championships to be held in New Zealand

The Orakei Basin in Auckland

Aerial view of Orakei basin, near Auckland, New Zealand (image: Bruce W. Hayward)

IWWF


The IWWF Executive Board has approved a bid from New Zealand Waterski Association to host the 2025 IWWF World University Waterski Championships at the Auckland Water Ski Club (AWSC). The Championships, which will include the three traditional events of slalom, tricks and jump, will be held February 26 through March 2, 2025 at the Orakei Basin in Auckland. The dates have been selected to align with New Zealand’s peak summer period and pre- Moomba Masters.

“The site is unique and located inside a dormant volcanic crater on the side of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland Harbour. It is within sight of the SkyTower in the centre of Auckland. While the site is saltwater based, it has hosted several great skiers and events over the years including the New Zealand Nationals every 5 years. It skis well with historical slalom scores into 10.25 metres and jumps over 65 metres.”

This will be the first IWWF World Titled traditional waterski event hosted by New Zealand and the first since our separation from the FISU World University Championships program. It will be towed exclusively by the World Record-Setting Ski Nautique.

The IWWF World University Waterski Championships is a team event comprised of skiers between the ages of 17 and 25 who are full time students in good standing at an accredited university.

The event itself has a very rich tradition with many of the world’s top skiers competing over the years. Beginning in 1996 with the first IWSF World University Trophy Tournament, in Milledgeville, Georgia, USA and a second IWSF World University Trophy Tournament in 1998 in Cleveland, Tennessee, the IWSF went on to sanction the 1st World University Waterski Championships in Tianjin, China, in 2002. The Tianjin event, probably the largest amateur waterski event in history with tens of thousands in attendance, was broadcast live on China’s National TV Network, which at the time had a total viewership of 600,000,000.

In 2002, The IWSF (Now IWWF) partnered with the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and FISU sanctioned events in Balakovo, Russia (2004), Tianjin, China (2008), Santiago, Chile (2012) and Akita, Japan (2016). Events were also scheduled for Dnipro, Ukraine in 2020 and Minsk, Belarus in 2022. Both were canceled, the first by COVID-19 pandemic, the second due to the war. Ukraine was rescheduled to 2024 but had to be canceled once again due to the war.

2025 marks the beginning of a new era as the World University Championships returns to the IWWF. The next event, hopefully, will take place in 2026 and will include two or more sport disciplines, conducted under the umbrella of the “IWWF University Worlds.”