By Joe Bachman
For the first time ever, the Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers will be hosting the World Water Ski Show Tournament.
Set for Red Sands Beach on Lake Wazeecha this September, there has been official announced confirmation of all five participating teams. Along with the United States, China, Australia, Belgium, and Canada have now been confirmed for the tournament.
Janesville hosted the previous two tournaments in 2012, and 2014, which saw the same five teams in the competition. Skier Delegate Jordan Becker expects the turnout in Lake Wazeecha to exceed their state tournament this July.
“Even though this is our first time hosting it, Janesville had people coming from all over to watch the tournament, so we’re expecting it to be much bigger than the state tournament,” said Becker.
Each team in the tournament is limited to a 35 member squad with five alternates. This number includes skiers, drivers, directors and announcers. The judges score the presentations on originality, execution and presentation. The United States have won the previous two competitions and is expected to capture a third championship.
This year also marks the 50th annual state tournament, also held at Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids on Jul. 21-24. With that has come an expected buzz, excitement and stress with this year’s hosts.
“We’re really excited and honored to have this tournament; it’s such a huge year because it’s also the 50th anniversary of the state tournament,” said Becker. “Our team is also going to nationals in Indiana, as well as preparing our own show for state — this is going to be a huge year and we’re all really excited, and also a little stressed with so much happening.” said Becker — “This is definitely going to be a year that we’re all going to remember.”
Mayor Zach Vruwink spoke about the importance and impact this event is going to have on the community, as well as surrounding communities.
“It’s going to have an impact well beyond Wisconsin Rapids as we understand, given the amount of hotel nights, and people coming in whether they’re spectators or competitors,” said Vruwink. “I think it’s also a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase the best of Wisconsin Rapids and the assets that we have, not to mention the impact it’s going to have on the business community.”
The World Ski Show Tournament kicks off on Sep. 9 with opening ceremonies, and teams will compete on Saturday and Sunday. Red Sands Beach on Lake Wazeecha is located at 7200 South Park Rd.