Palm Beach County to Showcase Water Ski Nationals
28 Jul, 2015
73rd Annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships Coming in August
Palm Beach County will be the epicenter for the sport of waterskiing this summer. USA Water Ski will bring its National Championships to the lakes in Okeeheelee Park on August 11-15, 2015. The 73rd Annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships, the nation’s largest water ski celebration, is a traditional three-event competition (slalom, tricks, and jumping). Over 600 adult participants and 200 youth participants will travel from across the country to compete in this prestigious event. The Water Ski National Championships consist of both men and women divisions with 24 age groups, featuring competitors that range from youth to seniors. USA Water Ski will host its premier event for the third time in the past four years in Palm Beach County.
“The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches is proud to announce that we will be hosting our 14th Water Ski National Championships at Okeeheelee Park, August 11 through 15,” said John Shealy, the president of the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches. “The club, Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission welcome everyone back for this wonderful event.”
USA Water Ski is the national governing body for the sport, which is comprised of more than 600 member clubs throughout the nation.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is supporting the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches and its efforts to host the USA Water Ski National Championships. The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches is one of the most active and productive clubs in the country and partners with Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation to maintain the skiing facilities at Okeeheelee Park. This dedication has played a vital role in Palm Beach County becoming a premier destination for competitive water skiers. The Ski Club of The Palm Beaches has hosted 13 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 30 years.
Advancement to the Water Ski National Championship is primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes can also 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.
The first National Championship was held in 1939 at Jones Beach in Long Island, New York. Except for three years during World War II (1942-1944), the Nationals have been held every year since 1939.
Okeeheelee Park, a 900-acre county park in central Palm Beach County, is widely recognized for its dynamic waterskiing facility. Its waters have been a haven for both professional and amateur skiers for over twenty-five years. There are five freshwater ski lakes custom-designed for competition waterskiing, one of which is even lighted for night-time use. Four of the five lakes feature slalom courses, while one lake provides a jump ramp and is dedicated to jumping and wakeboarding. The lakes at Okeeheelee are a virtual breeding ground for competitive water skiers. Dozens of regional, national, and even world champions and record holders train or have trained at Okeeheelee on a permanent or intermittent basis.
In addition to the thrills and excitement that will be generated by this action sport, the 73rd Annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships will bring tremendous economic benefits to the local community. The event is expecting to generate over 1,500 hotel room nights and $1 million in economic impact during the month of August, a traditionally slow month for tourism. Hosting this event further elevates Palm Beach County’s position as an elite sports destination.
Entry and parking at the event are free and there will be food vendors on site each day. For more information and up-to-date news and results from the Nationals, visit waterskinationals.com.