Water skiing can be a tough sport. How about trying to do it with a stack of four people on your shoulders?
That is the prospect on September 7th through the 9th at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville where the World Water Ski Show tournament is taking place.
Six countries, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, and reigning champs the USA are participating.
As tournament chair Will Bazeley explains this is not a water skiing competition, it is a Broadway show on water.
“There is a musical theme, costumes, there is a whole show that goes on,” explains Bazeley. Each team consists of 35 people that include skiers, sound people, boat drivers, and announcers. Every aspect of a show is judged, so each aspect is performed by a team member, not relying on one person for the whole tournament’s needs.
Bazeley, a dual citizen of the US and Canada skis for the Canadian team but is based in the United States.
He comes to Canada in the off-season to work on building tricks in the gym and at swimming pools. He says a lot of work goes into getting a big trick right.
“Before any of those girls go to the top we work on layers,” he explains of the tricks that feature a base layer of male skiers, with the next layer standing on their shoulders and so one. All hold tow ropes attached to the boat while it goes between 35 and 45 miles per hour. “All the guys have to be solid enough. We’ve got to be able to ski and get the girls off the dock and on our shoulders so they can start climbing.
“We take it tier by tier and work our way to the girls getting all the way to the top.”
He says the idea is the winter work will prepare them once they are on the open water again.
“When we get back on the water all of those fundamentals and muscle memory are already there ready to go for the girls,” Bazeley says.
Germany is in its first tournament he says, and based on what he has seen so far they will bring some interesting elements. He also likes Australia, and his own Canadian team has him excited.
“We are very excited about the talent we are bringing to bear,” he says. “We’re going to be putting on a good show with a lot of hometown heroes.”
Deerhurst beach will feature stadium seating, a grassy area for those who want to watch while on their own blanket and there is a beer garden so people can eat and drink on the sand while catching the competition.
“The people up here are going to get to experience something they have never seen before when it comes to these shows,” Bazeley concludes.
If you want to buy tickets or find out more information on the World Water Ski Show Tournament Click Here.