Loves Park recently became water ski headquarters when the Ski Broncs hosted the MasterCraft Show Ski National Championships at Shorewood Park. The three-day event featured 1,500 athletes vying for the coveted national title. This year, 14 teams were eligible for the tournament after placing in the top two at regional qualifying competitions.
The championships kicked off with individual events on Friday Aug. 8. The Ski Broncs placed seventh in the jumping contest and team member, Becky Hartmann took fifth place in the Swivel event.
The show ski performances were spread over Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-10. Each club was given one hour to entertain the audience with a choreographed routine that focused on a central theme. The skiers incorporated a variety of tricks into their shows and wore elaborate costumes relating to their particular concept. The announcer was also a part of the act. He often portrayed a character in the performance and explained the technical aspects of water skiing to the crowd. Teams were judged on flow, execution, difficulty, and spectator appeal.
After earning 2,079 points, the Rock Aqua Jays of Janesville, Wis. emerged with the national title. This victory marks the 14th time in the events 28-year history that the team has taken home the Show Ski National crown. The Ski Broncs finished 12th with 1,551 points.
This event was a great opportunity not only for water ski fans, but also those unfamiliar with the sport. They were fortunate to witness show skiing at its highest level. Tournaments such as this are certain to win over a number of new fans to this fast action and adrenaline-charged sport.