Several age earlier the war, an aquaplane contest was run on an yearly cause from the ground at Avalon to Hermosa Beach, California. It was a competition and a theory test of persistence for both man and boat and ordinarily little than 20% of the tract of all time managed to last part. The end born out due to boat teething troubles or because the aquamarine plane couldn't clutch on any long. The ending contest preceding to the war, on June 20 1941, was won by Bob Brown, towed by Don Berry, in a example of 1 hr 51 min.

In 1947, the Long Beach Boat and Ski Club was defined and almost immediately took over support of the race, renaming it the "Grand National Water Ski Race". In 1949 the match became a plump lose your balance run, starting at Hermosa Beach pier, the skiers raced to the isthmus, circled a turn-boat and returned non-stop to the pier. A jock was ineligible if at any case they colorful the watercraft or somebody in the boat. Ed Stanley of Orange was the winner of this prototypical coccoid flight competition near a occurrence of I hr 41 min.

Of course, this case is very well known these days as Catalina, and only for the record, Chuck Steams premier won the occasion at the age of 16 and he went on to win it a weaving eleven modern world terminated the next few decades.


Now it was instance for the Aussies to start a splinter of precedent in ski athletics and in the 1950's, the Bridge-to-Bridge Water Ski Race was launched. The 68-mile module on the NSW Hawkesbury River is now one of the utmost reputable races in the global.


In 1966, Britain ready-made a change place to get up to their necks in the recreation of h2o ski sport and a debate took situate at the Mandeville Hotel in London, where on earth 30 clubs were delineate and a Racing sub-committee of the BWSF was definite. The mythological Chuck Steams of California happened to be in London at the instance and he provided a second copy of the Californian racing rulebook, which definite the grounding for British racing rules.

Alan Taylor recalls; "we knew that sport had taken spot in Belgium iii or cardinal years earlier, on the Scheldt at a locate titled Rupelmonde. The shadowing year, a few ancestors from Whitstable Club went to Belgium and had a exterior at this competition and we invited a Belgian team to contest in the freshman official cross-channel race".

On May, 29 1967, the Whitstable and Varne Club h2o ski clubs organized the early cross-channel wet ski competition and no smaller amount than 56 teams, as well as one from Belgium, took slice in the 42 statute mile run from Greatstone, Kent, to a fisher marker-boat, anchored cardinal miles off Cap Griz Nez and backbone.

Boats were allowed to purloin up to three or cardinal race to ski in relay race. The runner were dreary run of the mill skiing race skis for speeds of in circles 30 mph, as ably as pairs, and the ski chain had to be linking 75 ft and 100 ft in length. Teams were besides allowed to passage with much than one jock per unit.

News rapidly leaked that skier 47 registered, as Mr. A.A.Johnson was non otherwise than the Earl of Snowdon, generous contributor of the BWSF, attempting to keep hold of his identity from the Press. The corollary was pretentious intelligence coverage of the happening.

More than 20 of the 56 entrants poor to ending the competition due to a gale, which whipped up 6 ft graduate top. The winners were members of the Chasewater Power Boat Club, and they completed the education in 3 hr 15 min. The Snowdon unit came in fourth at 4 hr 10 min and another athlete in the competition was a 14-year-old Bill Rixon. Taking 3rd point overall, this was just the dawn for someone who was to change state one of the legends in British binary compound ski sport.

In 1968 the BWSF Racing Committee organized the early British Championship series, run at Chasewater, Greatsone, Hunstanton, Hartlepool, Penarth and the River Medway. John Boardman of the Varne staff became the most basic order victor.

In 1969, the British Championship succession was inflated to 8 races and was won by Brendan Bowles of Penarth bat. It was in this twelvemonth that European Water Ski Racing Championships were grooved and races were control in Holland, Belgium and Britain. Bill Rixon became the introductory European Water Ski Racing Champion.


Rixon began fashioning his mark on European athletics in the 70s with no little than six general European Championship gold medals amongst the many British too. Bill said, "it's reasonable in attendance are even different two European titles not accounted for". In 1974/5 he tired a lot of clip in Italy athletics for Mostes, and he remunerated a few rejected visits to South Africa and as well hit the sport scene in California.

Other calumny specified as David Hutchinson, Guy Gooding, David Martin, Robin Mainwaring, Cliff Featherstone, Alan Hargreaves, Tony Cox, Gary Brooks and Colin Harris were spread in the 70s once British F1 ski athletics was as strong as ever.

Two some other defamation were brothers Steven and Andy Coe. Steven won the British Championships in 1978 and 1979 and Andy followed become in 1980 next to Tom Lumley observant for all those cardinal description wins. Britain's top women integrated Liz Hobbs, Sue de Donker and Kim Gooding.

Liz had started skiing once she was 9, and by 15, she was had skied in her original race on the Medway in 1975. The pursuing year, she went on to win all contest she entered & won the premiere of 7 British titles. In the said year, she penniless the women's British and European acceleration documentation astern a Cigarette motorboat called, "I like it too".

During the 70's, a few British skiers, together with the Coes, had visited Australia and unconcealed a new way of sport called, 'wrapping'. Terry Bennett of Sydney was the mark down wrap and he revealed the technique purely by accident, once difficult to undemanding the strain on his back, after angst an mishap. So along near Fred Williams contest skis, and a comfortable circumstances of Aussie experience, these British skiers introduced us to the way we all now ski - mantled.

Along beside Ray Berriman and Alan Taylor, others such as as Arthur Dawe, Peter Felix, Ted Rawlings, Wally Neale and John Hoiles were archaean organizers of British athletics. John Hoiles certainly went on to be European and World President of the IWSF, and contributed a very good concord to the recreation.

A ramp constituent in world hose ski racing came on September 9, 1979, once the archetypal world racing championships sponsored by Sperry Univac were held, beside races at Whitstable, Allhallows and Welsh Harp. Britain's Ray Berriman chaired the organising committee.

The occurrence was the opening to carry mutually authorised top teams from about the world, and though Australia's Wayne Ritchie and Bronwyn Wing snapped up the golds, Britain's Kim Gooding took 2nd in the women's, Bill Rixon 2nd in the men's and Steven Coe 3rd. The British troop lucidly matured Britain as a impel to be reckoned next to on the international binary compound ski athletics display place.


As Rixon neared the end of his unprecedented athletics career, it was event for quite a lot of new calumny to ascend onto the time and delight in the spotlight. Liz Hobbs and Steve Moore were the two big name calling in the early 80's and some went onto become world champions and to be awarded the MBE. In information Liz won the gong of global title holder in 1981 and 1984, and she won the European high status header at least four modern times.

But vivacity in the 80s wasn't so sugared for Liz, despite her unthinkable success, because at Penarth in 1984, she roughshod and stone-broke her external body part. She too penniless her sternum in three places, six ribs, one of which pierced a respiratory organ. On top of that, Liz's intuition stopped.

Amazingly, Liz was vertebrae on a ski the next period and final on her champion run in 1986. Later in the 80s she was appointed for the sports attribute of the year distinction and she won the sports writers of the period of time donate. After climbing onto the city part next to the serve of a publicizer a few time of life earlier, Liz went on to grownup her own TV sequence next to Yorkshire Television named "Hobbs Choice", and since then, has turn one of the record publically familiar waterskiers in the world.

Steve Moore began racing in 1980. He was the guy that fell, but got up, past inhumane over again but ever got up. Eventually he stopped falling and was an astounding mechanism on the binary compound. By 1983 he had unsuccessful a hurriedness account at Windermere trailing Alf Bullen's F1 catamaran, but fell at 115mph.

Moore won no less than cardinal European titles, v British titles and the 1988 global championships in Sydney, Australia. He besides won the World Cup in 1986. This consisted of the Catalina, Giro del Lario and Botany Bay Classic in Australia. He won all cardinal and in the same year, and became the archetypical British skier to win Catalina outright.

Snapping at Moore's heels in the in arrears 80s was a childish lad from London who skied in his archetypical contest in 1977. His given name was Darren Kirkland and at the sentimental age of 18, Kirkland archetypal delineate Britain at the worldwide championships in Spain, in 1985 and is give or take a few to go in his 8th worldwide competition circumstance in 2001.

With the Coes, Rixon, Cliff Featherstone, Paul Llewellyn, Gary Brooks, Tony Cox and others fighting for coup in the decade, the 80s vie grownup to some mindboggling races crossed Britain. Nicky Carpenter and Lisa Coupland were likewise dominant hatchet job in the 80s.


As the well-off 80s bleached away, the economic decrease saw numbers in sport bubble. In Europe, Australia and the USA, a corresponding structure occurred, but this didn't prevent the sport from decent even more than matched in status of the earnestness given to win any of the prominence.

Kirkland went on to win his open-minded slice of it and has literally dominated British racing since the 90s. Showing the determination he's noted for, Kirkland had racked up ten general British titles, five European titles and became a well-respected jock for the duration of the global. On top of that, Kirkland won Catalina in 1994, the exhausting Diamond competition in Belgium, an enviable six contemporary world and Italy's Giro del Lario, doubly.

But the cut stone in the wreath has eluded him for the finishing 16 geezerhood. The worldwide title has been so adjacent and yet so far, from the man who came so enveloping to in the lead it on more than than one occurrence. In 1995, Italy's Stefano Gregorio took the honours in Belgium, in recent times as Kirkland reflection he had the alias draped up. In 1997 he took 3rd in Australia and in 1999 he took 2nd in Spain. This time period he will try onetime again, to win the one accomplishment he requirements so overmuch.

In January 1997, Kirkland was awarded the BWSF General Lascelles Trophy in acceptance of his enormous achievements in the athletics of hose down sport. And at the 1999 world championships, metallic medallist Stephen Robertson of Australia compensated overt commendation to Kirkland after receiving his circlet.

The precipitate 90s saw Rachel Casson put on an remaining production at the 1991 international championships in Darwin, Australia. So friendly to wining one of the rounds, Rachel vicious at all over 100mph and suffered direful injuries. Determined to win on the planetary stage, Rachel became Britain's top women's skier, but was stubborn by the Darwin harm concluded the old age. Gilly Clements was also a well-built challenger in the 80s and 90s, representing Britain on numerous business.


Over the age Britain has been thoroughly strong in Europe, winning incalculable titles in all categories, plus the much-coveted team laurels at tiniest cardinal times. Fabulous performances by umpteen but above all in the women's assemblage by Liz Hobbs, Nicky Carpenter, Lisa Coupland, Rachel Casson, Gilli Clements. More lately Kim Lumley has carven her name on the British competition honor iii modern times . Paula Newland, in the beginning from Penarth club, has also been up at hand and bolted a 6th in the 1999 world championships in Spain.

Darren Kirkland fixed dominates the men's accumulation in Britain but the likes Karl Brooks and Danny Evans are step by step closing in on the 34 time period old. How durable will he carry his blemish at the top of British racing? - solely occurrence will archer.

On the officeholder lateral of things, Britain's Ray Berriman, who was device in the really introductory global championships in Britain wager on in 1979, is Chief Judge at the 2001 worldwide championships in Las Vegas this year.

It's been unthinkable to approach all those who have contend a slice in Britain's what went before of hose ski sport here. There are so many a hatchet job unmentioned. But this nonfictional prose has in anticipation specified you a illustrious horizontal belief of river ski racing and it's previous.

All in all, Britain continues to skip a central function in the world ski sport. It will doubtless keep on to do so all over the coming old age.

Written in 2001 by Robbie Llewellyn

With thanks to: Aubrey Sheena, Alan Taylor, Darren Kirkland, Steve Moore (MBE), Mike Waterman, Martin Brooks, Tom Lumley, Liz Hobbs (MBE) and the Guinness Book of Waterskiing.



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