USA Water Ski and the American Water Ski Association have announced that the 2012 Goode Water Ski National Championships will be held Aug. 14-18 at Okeeheelee Park. The 70th nationals will be hosted by the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches.
The finals of the 2012 Nautique Big Dawg World Tour, presented by O’Brien, will take place Thursday and Friday, Aug. 16 and 17, during the nationals under a separate sanction.
The American Water Ski Association, one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski, approved the bid from the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches at its mid-winter board of directors meeting. The bid approval also includes an option for the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches to host the 2013 nationals.
“The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County commissioners and Palm Beach County Sports Commission are pleased to hear that the 2012-13 Water Ski National Championships will be returning to Okeeheelee Park,” said Charlotte Melchers, president of the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches. “It is with great pleasure that we anxiously await the return of the largest three-event water ski tournament in the world.”
The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches has hosted 11 Water Ski National Championships, five Southern Regional Water Ski Championships, two Florida State Water Ski Championships and the 1989 Water Ski World Championships — in addition to a handful of professional cash-prize tournaments and hundreds of other amateur water ski tournaments — over the past 25 years. It most recently hosted the 2008 and 2009 Goode Water Ski National Championships, and it will host the Big Dawg Slalom Series Championship, Sept. 23-25. For more information on the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches, visit www.okeeski.com.
“It is always exciting to watch the best water ski athletes in the nation compete at a world-class facility such as Okeeheelee Park,” said Gene Davis, president of the American Water Ski Association. “The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches always provides a great venue and atmosphere for the competitors and their families, and we are very much looking forward to returning to West Palm Beach.”
More than 800 of the nation’s top water ski athletes from across the United States will compete for national titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall in respective age divisions and two Open divisions.
Advancement to the Water Ski National Championships — the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament — is primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list.
Athletes also can qualify for the nationals by placing in the top five at regionals or by placing in the top five at the previous year’s nationals.
For more information, visit www.usawaterski.org.