By Jacob Mathias
Setting a world record and moving up in the leagues are on the agenda for the Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers as the latter half of their season begins.
The Wisconsin State Water Ski Show championships began on Thursday with individual events including swivel skiing and jumping. The team show events run through the weekend where the Division III Aqua Skiers will attempt to move up a division if they take the top prize.
“We’re really excited,” said Aqua Skiers Show Director Amber Krohn. “This last week we’ve been out at Lake Wazeecha. We did a couple show run throughs and on Wednesday everybody left the practice so happy. It was an excellent run through. Just a few things that need to be tweaked.”
With 25 times competing, skiers from all over Wisconsin join in the competition. Shermalot Ski Team of Rome, Wis., is the closest competitor geographically.
Krohn said they hope to participate in the Division II National Championships this year.
The championships are held at Lake Wazeecha every year. The World Water Ski Show Championships selected Wazeecha as their location for 2016.
“This is definitely a huge event for us,” said Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zachary Vruwink.
“We’re a small city so it’s kind of nice. We get 20,000 spectators. That’s almost the same size as the city,” said Krohn.
On August 29, the Aqua Skiers will attempt to break the world record for the largest human waterskiing pyramid on Lake Wazeecha, their home waters and location of the last world records breaking.
“It’s usually about five or six teams and they each get a pyramid section in the large pyramid altogether,” said Krohn. “They’re also going to try and do the biggest ballet line, the longest barefoot line and the largest strapped doubles line.”
Krohn said the ski teams try and break records every year, but this years attempts have expanded beyond just the pyramid.
“The largest human waterskiing pyramid consists of 60 people and was achieved by Big Pull 2013 (USA) on Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA, on 14 September 2013. Five different show ski teams (Aqua Ducks, Backwater Gamblers, Badgerland, Beaverland Must-Skis and Water Bugs) from Wisconsin and Illinois made up the 60-person pyramid,” writes the Guinness Book of World Records.
The state competition continues on Friday, July 17 at 6:40 AM and continues through Sunday evening.