Jacinta Carroll competes in night jump at the 2023 Moomba Masters

Jacinta Carroll: Undefeated, Unmatched, and Unforgettable

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Jacinta Carroll: Undefeated, unmatched, and unforgettable

Jacinta Carroll competes in night jump at the 2023 Moomba Masters

Carroll won her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters title this year (image: @vincephotography)

By Jack Burden


The sport of water skiing farewelled an all time great this past weekend. The lively Moomba Masters crowd relished the chance to witness Jacinta Carroll hit the jump ramp one last time, even as she pushed herself to compete just 100 days after giving birth. No woman, perhaps no skier, attacks the ramp with quite the same intensity as the powerful Australian.

Carroll, who grew up just outside Melbourne in Geelong, has dominated women’s jump for over a decade. Her most recent achievement, securing her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters jump title just three months after giving birth, serves as further evidence of her brilliance. No one would have blamed her for skipping this year’s tournament as she recovered from her pregnancy.

Yet, at the same time, the occasion was bittersweet. As I watched her take to the water, I didn’t want it to end, because, even before she officially announced her retirement, her recent absences had hammered home the fact that the greatest female jumper of all time wouldn’t be around forever.

Despite her ongoing dominance, Carroll has stepped back from elite-level competition while still at the pinnacle of her career. Her last competitions outside Australia were in 2021, where she secured her fifth consecutive world title. Since then, she has continued to compete at the Moomba Masters but has primarily focused on her career as a physical therapist and her growing family.

Carroll’s achievements have completely overhauled expectations in women’s jump. As the first and only woman to surpass the 200-foot mark, she has maintained an undefeated streak in professional events since 2013. Carroll hasn’t just won every event; she has won them by unprecedented margins, commonly beating the rest of the field by up to 5 meters.

Yet, this dominance has prompted reflection within the sport. Carroll herself has expressed unease about the unintended consequences of her success, with some competitors assuming a secondary position before even competing.

In a candid discussion on The Water Ski Podcast, Carroll highlighted the dilemma: “It’s good that girls now can pursue 200 [feet] and can go ‘she can do it, why can’t I?’ That barrier is not there anymore. On the flip side, I know in the past there have been girls that have said ‘why would I come to Moomba for second place?’ Now they’ve lost it already.”

The debate centers on whether close competition or the pursuit of the highest possible performance is more captivating for the sport. Carroll poses the question, “Is it more exciting to see two girls battle it out, somebody has to win on their last jump, they win by 10 centimeters, is that more exciting? Or is seeing somebody go much further trying to chase a record more exciting?”

While a hyperfocus on records and performance can sometimes be detrimental to the sport, ultimately, it is big names and storylines that draw people’s attention. Asking if Carroll’s dominance has hurt women’s jumping is a bit like asking if other dominant athletes like Serena Williams or Lindsey Vonn were detrimental to their respective sports. We wouldn’t ask an athlete like Usain Bolt to run a little slower to make the race more interesting.

In fact, having one or two dominant competitors can be beneficial for a sport, at least for a period. This dominance can inspire others to strive for similar heights. Look at Andy Mapple; his prolonged dominance significantly raised the bar in men’s slalom.

For a generation of water ski fans, Carroll epitomizes women’s jump. Storylines like her quest for 200 feet have captivated us. Everyone’s had a favorite pick at some time or another for who the next skier, perhaps still an up-and-coming junior, would be to beat Carroll. Most importantly, she has redefined the expectations for women’s jump.

Women’s skiing, and in particular jump, has always struggled for the same recognition and publicity as the men. Even looking at the sport’s so-called golden age, women’s jumpers had a hard road to becoming professional. It was ultimately the star-power of Deena Brush Mapple, Carroll’s closest historical peer, that helped to get jump added to the Coors Light Pro Tour for its 4th season in 1987. Brush went undefeated for over 20 tour stops, including the entirety of the 1988 and 1989 seasons, yet no one looks back and speculates that her dominance hurt the sport.

In the post-Jacinta landscape, women’s jumpers have a hard road ahead. It’s true that everything they do will always come with comparisons to Carroll. But this is no different from the shadow of Andy Mapple hanging over men’s slalom. Ultimately, having a GOAT to compare and contrast the current athletes creates intrigue around each new milestone. Certainly, no one would question Mapple’s legacy on the sport; likewise, we applaud Carroll for all her sacrifices and contributions to women’s jump.

Monday’s performance seemed like the perfectly orchestrated exit, a final victory at the event that launched her professional career. A lap of honor in front of the hometown crowd. Retiring with her undefeated streak intact, stretching across 12 consecutive seasons. Few athletes are given the opportunity to retire on their own terms, at the top of their game. But then Jacinta has always been special.

Is it too much to ask, as fans, to see Carroll jump just a few more times? It appears so. She has given everything she has and more. It is our loss; the sport is just a little bit richer with her in it.

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

News

Jacinta Carroll retires from professional water skiing after 10th consecutive Moomba Masters victory

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

Image: @jacintacarroll

By Jack Burden


Jacinta Carroll, the Australian powerhouse in women’s water skiing, has announced her retirement from professional competition following her incredible 10th consecutive Moomba Masters jump title. Remarkably, she achieved this feat just 100 days after giving birth, solidifying her legacy as one of the sport’s greatest athletes.

In an emotional speech shared after her victory, Carroll expressed gratitude for her journey in the sport, stating, “I started my professional career here in 2011 when I won my first Moomba Masters, so it was only fitting that I come back this year for my last professional jump event. I officially would like to announce that I’m retiring from the women’s jump event.” When questioned about a potential return in 2025, she dismissed any possibility, saying, “there’s a glimmer, and that’s why I sold my boat before this event.”

Her final victory was perhaps her toughest yet. Carroll had just two weeks of on-water training in the 12 months leading up to this event after giving birth to her daughter Amelia on December 2nd last year. She underwent a strict regimen of nutrition and strength training to recover in time for the event, with help from an international team of experts. Her message to other recent mothers contemplating a return to the jump event this soon is simple: “Don’t try this at home.”

Commenting on Carroll’s decision to return in 2024, announcer Glen Williams praised her tenacity, saying, “Hats off to Jacinta for putting that unbeaten record [on the line]. She has got the record for the most consecutive professional wins in water skiing and it’s [42 consecutive elite victories]. Last [42] tournaments she has entered she has won. Now she has put this record on the line coming back here to Moomba because she’s taking on Regina Jaquess, she’s taking on Sasha Danisheuskaya, who are both magnificent jumpers, and she has only just gotten back into jumping, hardly done any training, just had a baby, she’s put that record on the line for her competitive spirit and also to support Australia’s big water ski tournament.”

Known affectionately as “Rabbit,” Carroll has been a dominant force in women’s jumping since her teenage years. Since her runner up finish at the 2013 Moomba Masters, Carroll has maintained an unprecedented winning streak, triumphing in every professional event she has entered. This unparalleled dominance includes ten consecutive Moomba Masters titles and seven consecutive U.S. Masters titles. Additionally, she clinched five consecutive world titles between 2013 and 2021 and has held the world record since 2015.

Carroll’s retirement announcement comes after a several years of limited participation in major events. Following her dismissal by Nautique, her major sponsor, for setting the world record behind the ‘wrong boat,’ she has made only sporadic appearances in professional competitions, primarily to uphold her winning streak at the Moomba Masters.

Carroll’s achievements have set a benchmark for excellence in the sport, and her legacy will endure for years to come. As she embarks on the next chapter of her life, Carroll leaves behind a void in the sport that will be challenging to fill. However, her contributions have undoubtedly elevated women’s water skiing to new heights, inspiring future generations of athletes.

Jacinta Carroll Welcomes her First Child

World Record Holder Jacinta Carroll Welcomes Her First Child

Media

World Record Holder Jacinta Carroll Welcomes Her First Child

Jacinta Carroll Welcomes her First Child

Image: @jacintacarroll

By Jack Burden


Renowned water skier Jacinta Carroll, holder of the current world record and the only woman to jump 200 feet, has embraced a new chapter in her life. Jacinta and her husband, Sam Weeks, celebrated the arrival of their baby girl, Amelia Ray Weeks, born on December 2nd. The couple opted to keep much of the pregnancy journey private.

The pregnancy kept Jacinta from defending her title at this year’s World Championships. The most dominant female jumper of all time, she is undefeated in professional tournaments since 2013, securing another victory at the Moomba Masters earlier this year.

Since 2021, Jacinta has chosen not to compete outside of Australia, prioritizing her career as a physiotherapist and, now, her growing family over competitive water skiing. Whether Jacinta will return to top-level competition in the future remains to be seen.

Jacinta Carroll 200 Foot Jump

Jacinta Carroll Speaks Out on Nautique Sponsorship Controversy

News

Jacinta Carroll speaks out on Nautique sponsorship controversy

Jacinta Carroll 200 Foot Jump

Carroll became the first woman to jump 200 feet at the 2021 MasterCraft Pro. (Image: @jacintacarroll)

By Jack Burden


Last year, Jacinta Carroll etched her name in history by achieving a remarkable milestone – becoming the first woman to jump 200 feet. However, this triumph comes with a bittersweet tale of dreams realized and unexpected setbacks, including being dropped by her major sponsor, Nautique Boats.

The journey to the 200-foot mark wasn’t just a physical feat for Jacinta; it was a deeply personal goal that had its roots in a poignant moment with her coach and mentor Ray Stokes, who was in the advanced stages of a terminal illness. Ray’s words, urging her not to change who she was and to break the barrier of a 200-foot jump, became the driving force behind Jacinta’s aspirations. A hand-drawn poster in her childhood bedroom, asking if she would be the first female to jump 200 feet, served as a constant reminder of this goal.

However, the path to this historic achievement was laden with challenges. Breaking a record demands the convergence of multiple critical factors— the boat, the driver, the site, the conditions, and the athlete’s performance. It’s a delicate dance of precision where all five variables must align perfectly to achieve the extraordinary.

Record-breaking opportunities proved elusive for Jacinta, potentially hindered by the prioritization of the men’s event in terms of the best drivers and conditions. The struggle intensified as she balanced her full-time job with her passion for water skiing, making it difficult to align all the necessary factors for a perfect jump.

Amid the Covid pandemic, international travel posed significant hurdles for the Australian athlete. During her limited stay in the U.S. for the 2021 World Championships, Carroll participated in six tournaments, including two within a single weekend, in her relentless pursuit of breaking the record.

The breakthrough moment unfolded at the Mastercraft Pro, her final tournament of the trip. Despite falling just short of the world record in the finals of the pro event, Carroll approached the officials, presenting her case for a bonus round. Jacinta’s plea was heard, and she seized the moment, achieving a jump of 202 feet – a distance mirroring the first male to accomplish this feat in 1983.

However, the triumph turned into bitterness when Jacinta disclosed that Nautique, her primary sponsor, opted not to renew her contract. This news was delivered to her while she was undergoing a two-week quarantine in isolation upon her return to Australia.

In an emotional recounting of the experience, Jacinta conveyed her disappointment at the absence of congratulations for her historic achievement. Instead, her major sponsor inquired if she regretted her decision to break the record behind a MasterCraft. Feeling disrespected, she questioned whether the situation would be the same if she were a male world record holder, pondering, “Is this just an easy way to get me off the books?”

“I tried and tried, and I just couldn’t get the five stars to align,” lamented Jacinta. “And at the end of the day, in 50 years, I’m not going to look back, I’m not going to regret [breaking the record]. Hell, I don’t even regret it now!”

As Jacinta contemplates her future in the sport, uncertain about competing on the worldwide stage again, her story sheds light on the challenges female athletes face. Not just in their pursuit of excellence but also in navigating the complexities of sponsorship and recognition within the industry.

Saaya Hirosawa Waterski Jumping

Quiz: Every Jumper to Beat Jacinta Carroll in a Pro Tournament

Quizzes

Quiz: Every jumper to beat Jacinta Carroll in a pro tournament

By RTB


August 4 2021

4 minute play

In this quiz, you need to every female jumper to beat Jacinta Carroll in a professional tournament.

The list has twelve skiers, all of whom have beat Jacinta Carroll in a professional tournament at least once. We are only including professional tournaments with IWWF elite points on offer (now the Waterski Pro Tour). Before her current eight-year unbeaten streak, Jacinta had four years climbing up the ranks. We have given you the skier’s country and the number of times they have beaten Jacinta.

Data updated as of August 1, 2021