Night show fireworks for Australian water ski nationals return

The TXi is Alive and Well Down Under; Malibu to Support Australian Nationals Through 2030

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The TXi is alive and well down under; Malibu locks in support for Australian Nationals until 2030

Malibu Boats signs with Tournament Water Ski Australia until 2030

Malibu will be the exclusive towboat for the Australian Nationals through to 2030 (image: Mulwala Waterski Club)

By Jack Burden


Amidst speculation surrounding the future of Malibu’s Response TXi model following recent company layoffs, Malibu Boats has solidified its dedication to tournament waterskiing in Australia. The company announced a long-term sponsorship agreement with Waterski & Wakeboard Australia (WAWA), ensuring its support for the Australian National Water Ski Championships until at least 2030.

The announcement, made during the Open finals at the 2024 National Championships by Noel Gordon, a representative of Malibu Boats Australia, reaffirmed Malibu’s longstanding commitment to the sport in Australia. Gordon expressed Malibu’s pride in continuing to sponsor the national championships, highlighting the company’s long history of support for tournament waterskiing in the country.

Mark Quinn, President of Water Ski Australia, echoed Gordon’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of Malibu’s sponsorship and its positive impact on the sport over the years. “It’s great to have them back on board for the next five years,” shared Quinn, “hopefully we keep running in this direction for many years to come.” Quinn praised Malibu’s involvement in various initiatives, including the New South Wales Malibu Series and junior development programs, underscoring the value of their continued partnership.

The sponsorship announcement comes amidst rumors surrounding the future of the Response TXi model following recent company layoffs. However, Rob Corum, Malibu’s marketing manager, dispelled these rumors, affirming Malibu’s commitment to producing the world-record ski boat for the foreseeable future.

Corum, now overseeing the promo program in the US following Dennis Kelley’s unexpected termination, is collaborating with AWSA to try to maintain the presence of Malibu boats at tournaments across the country. The stated goal is to continue to use all three manufacturers at AWSA Regional and National Championships this year, although there are areas of the country where this may be challenging.

Despite some uncertainties regarding promo boat availability in the US, Malibu remains a key supporter of tournament skiing in Australia. Malibu’s strong presence in Australia dates back to the early 1990s when it acquired Flightcraft, subsequently establishing a manufacturing facility in Albury, New South Wales, in 1994.

The company retains deep ties to the water ski community in Australia, perhaps exemplified by Gordon, who is himself competing in the Australian Nationals this week and whose wife, Cathryn Gordon (née Humphrey) is a former Moomba Masters champion.

The move to sign a long-term deal to continue to support Australian water skiing is a positive sign, signaling that the TXi is here to stay. Gordon, for his part, is adamant, telling us to “look out for the TXi 25, [we’ve] got some improvements coming!”

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.”

 

Wagga’s Graham Ashcroft, in action recently, is among the skiers who have qualified for this weekend’s national championships, to be held in Mulwala.

Night Show and Fireworks set for Australian Nationals | Shepparton News

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Night show fireworks for nationals return

Night show fireworks for Australian water ski nationals return

Jumps will be a feature of the tournament and Saturday night’s show under lights, with Mulwala one of the best ski jumping venues in the world.

By John Conroy

Shepparton News


More than 200 competitors will descend on Mulwala this weekend for the [Australian] National Water Ski Championships, which will include the spectacular Night Ski Show on Saturday.

The tournament is one of the ‘big three’ water skiing events nationally, alongside the recently completed Moomba event in Melbourne and the Australian Masters, which was held at Bridgewater in South Australia in January.

The event returns to the Max Kirwin Water Ski Park for the first time since 2022, and the five-day tournaments runs through to Monday.

Saturday night will feature a full bar and food vans, with the Yarrawonga/Mulwala-based ski show team to give an exhibition of what “waterskiing is all about.”

“It’s a real family night out, with a pretty cool atmosphere when it’s dark with the boats,” championships committee member Ada Richards said.

“All three disciplines will be on display – tricks, flip-off and slalom – it’s pretty cool under lights.”

The show will conclude with fireworks at 9pm.

Full story at Shepparton News

Watch the live webcast on YouTube

Australian Water Ski Team from the 2023 World Championships

Meet Australia’s Young Hopefuls for the 2024 Moomba Masters

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Meet Australia’s young hopefuls for the 2024 Moomba Masters

Australian Water Ski Team from the 2023 World Championships

Image: @aussiewaterskiers

By Jack Burden


Only the most avid water ski followers from outside of Australia might recognize more than just a few names among the local skiers participating in the 63rd Moomba Masters International Invitational. While the top seeds boast seasoned and well-known figures in the world of water skiing, the rest of the field consists of emerging talents, many of whom remain relatively unknown to the international audience. The event’s timing and location have historically restricted the pool of northern hemisphere athletes, adding an extra layer of excitement as these young talents aim to make their mark on the global stage.

Here are five skiers who could pose a challenge to the regular pros in Melbourne this week:

Archie Davis at the 2023 World Championships

Image: @aussiewaterskiers

Archie Davis

The 25-year-old Canberran is an exceptionally skilled overall skier. Before the Covid Pandemic, he held a top-10 world ranking for men’s overall, capable of running mid-10.75m (39.5′ off), tricking over 9,000 points, and jumping over 200 feet.

While he has excelled across disciplines, the jump event has been particularly successful for him in recent seasons. In the 2022 Moomba Masters, he posted a personal best of 67.4 meters (221 feet), finishing third in the highest-scoring Moomba final ever. Watch for Davis to contend for the title again this week.

Sade Ferguson at the 2023 Under-21 World Championships

Image: @connorpauleyski

Sade Ferguson

The 20-year-old Queenslander was once regarded by some as the heir apparent to Jacinta Carroll. She gained attention by winning the jump event at the 2018 U17 World Championships at just 15 years old, but a series of injuries have kept her sidelined in recent seasons.

2023 marked a significant return to form for her, finishing as the runner-up in slalom, jump, and overall at the U21 World Championships. At the Open World Championships, she narrowly missed the finals in both slalom and jump, including a runoff for the 12th spot in slalom. Look for her to potentially upset the field in either of her two favored events.

Josh Wallent jumps at the 2018 Moomba Masters

Image: @josh.wallent

Josh Wallent

The 26-year-old South Australian was incredibly talented from a young age. He narrowly secured second place to Taylor Garcia at the 2014 U17 World Championships and is a former Junior Moomba champion. After setting a personal best of 67 meters (220 feet) in 2022, he took a nearly two-year hiatus from tournament skiing. Now back for the Moomba Masters this year, it will be intriguing to see if he can regain his previous form.

Lucas Cornale at the 2023 Moomba Masters

Image: @marklucas900

Lucas Cornale

The 18-year-old Queenslander is one of the rising stars in Australian slalom skiing. Finishing as the runner-up at the 2022 U17 World Championships after a dramatic double runoff for the title, he is capable of running 10.75m (39.5′ off). Placing 5th at last year’s Moomba Masters, he aims to climb the ranks further this year.

Image: @waterskinsw

Lara Butlin

The 19-year-old New South Welshmen was one of the most improved skiers in the 2023 season, climbing 39 spots on the world ranking list after elevating her personal best from 37 to over 45 meters in jump. She clinched a bronze medal in overall at the U21 World Championships last year and will aim to advance to Monday’s finals across all three events, challenging for a podium finish in jump.