Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Lizzie Rhea: My Trip to Australia

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

I mentioned going to the 2014 Barefoot Worlds in my last blog about girls jumping. My experience in Australia was very fun. It was the best trip I have ever taken. Australia is an awesome country, and I can’t wait to go back again. The people, the food, the weather, and the skiing were all great.

I met people from all over the world during my trip to Australia, and I loved them all. We had different languages, accents, cultures, and traditions. It was very interesting to learn about what it is like in other countries. All of the Australians were so nice and friendly and welcoming.

I loved meeting the locals when we went to restaurants. Australian food was delicious and cool. I loved drinking the lemony Solos and snacking on Savoy crackers – they were my favorite. I also loved the meat pies and the prawns. I regret that I never tried the vegemite on my toast though! I will next time!

The weather in Australia was perfect while we were there. It was sunny and warm for most of the trip. It was so nice to escape from America’s cold winter, and go to Australia’s warm summer.

The water and the skiing were great too! I loved the Custom Ski Boats, which were used in the tournament. The water was very smooth each morning and afternoon. The Max Kirwan Ski park was a perfect spot in the middle of a beautiful countryside. We even saw wild kangaroos on the ride to the lakes. The Mulwala Ski Club was a really fun place to hang out, and Lake Mulwala was very beautiful.

The only part of the trip I did not like was the flight. When we arrived in Melbourne, I asked my Mom if we could just live there, because I did not want to have fly back! After such a great trip, I think the miserable flight is worth it to go to such a great place! I am looking forward to my next trip to Australia!

Lizzie Rhea

Jim Forster: My 2014 Barefoot Worlds Experience

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Peter Fleck, Betsy Gilman, Jim Forster

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to compete in a world class event? My trip to Mulwala, Australia to compete in the 2014 World Barefoot Waterski Championships was a very memorable one. Memorable because of the time spent training, the people that I met along the way and it was my very first time skiing in Australia. As I have written before, one of my goals is to ski in every country that I travel to, so I just added to my list.
This was my third World Barefoot Championships that I competed in, Germany in 2010 being my first, but I came to this tournament with valuable knowledge gained from lessons learned in my previous Worlds experiences. Lessons such as no matter how good the competition, don’t count yourself out. I learned to stay focused and to ski consistently, not to worry how well the other skiers in my division were skiing. Skiing in a tournament brings a lot of risk, you only have one chance, so make it count. I have always said that there are a lot of very good barefooters that don’t compete, but few that are willing to step up and put it all on the line at a tournament. Another valuable lesson learned was to adapt my skiing to the water conditions, have an alternate trick pass for rougher water, know what to attempt and when to pull it back to insure that I advanced to the second round. It all paid off as I made it through the elimination rounds in both Tricks and Wakes and skied in the Semifinals. I missed the Finals by one skier, finishing 6th in both events, my best finish ever at the Worlds.


Of course, this was overshadowed by the comraderie that I shared with all the US Elite, Junior and Senior Team skiers, and a lot of skiers from the other participating countries. It was good to see Team China arrive with 5 skiers, up from just 2 skiers that came to Germany in 2010. Of course, the Aussies and Kiwis were teams that put in strong performances and had to be contended with. Keith and David battled it out in the Elites, Keith setting a new World record in Wakes at 21.1 and even winning Jump! But it wasn’t enough to overcome David’s strong performance to claim his third World Overall title in a row. Great skiing David and Keith! Thanks to the Jordan family for hosting a team dinner at their rental house, no expense was spared and there was great food and fun for the whole US contingent. The entire week was filled with get togethers as we shared stories, both old and new, as we made new friends at the Mulwala Water Ski Club, the main gathering place for the week. What made it special for me though, was my brother Mike and my nephew Matt traveled down from their home in Canberra to watch me ski. He is an American-born Aussie who came to Australia in 1988 to fly F/A-18 s for the Australian Air Force and now is a B737 captain for Qantas. They had never been to a barefoot tournament before and really thought it was cool! I spent the week before the tournament visiting with them and the rest of the family up in Canberra ( I have another nephew and a niece ) and was glad that they cam to support me and meet my friends. Thanks Mike and Matt!


With the next World Championships in 2016 being held in Alma Center, Wisconsin here in the US, I expect a large participation again from US skiers, so mark your calendars and get ready. The US Teams have their work cut out for them to regain their crowns………..you won’t want to miss it!

Jim Forster

2014 World Barefoot Championship Running Order

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Running order for skiers for the 2014 World Barefoot Championships (thanks to Kami Koehler):

Australia is a day ahead of us– check the time here:  What time is it in Mulwala, Australia

Who’s skiing in the Barefoot Worlds:  List of Skiers

Skier results and scores:  Skier Scores

USA Barefoot Team (photo courtesy of Lisa Ebbert):

The 2014 Barefoot World Championships

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The 2014 Barefoot World Championships will take place in Mulwala, Australia on March 11 to 16.  Here are the links to follow:

Official Facebook Page for 2014 Barefoot Worlds

Instant scoring and skier results

2014 Worlds Skier Videos

BarefooterHQ Facebook Page

World Barefoot Center Facebook Page

World Barefoot Council

From USA Water Ski: U.S. Teams

Upcoming 2014 Barefoot Worlds

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
IMG_0555.JPG

Jim Forster

As we approach the upcoming World Barefoot Waterskiing Championships in Mulwala, Australia, I would like to take time to wish all of the participating skiers the best of luck. There are only 5 weeks left before skiers from many different countries, take to the water in head to head competition that will determine the best team and best overall skiers. As a sponsored Team World Barefoot Center skier, I have met and skied with many of the athletes that will travel to Australia and compete. I myself will compete as an Independent U.S.A. skier, but want to point out that I have the utmost respect for all the competitors as I have seen their dedication and preparation over the last year. Countless hours of training on and off the water have been spent practicing new and untried techniques, searching for the key to perfecting their trick run, slalom pass or jump.

The Australian team is a force to be reckoned with, but each country brings top skiers and anything can happen. Whatever the results, each individual skier can be proud that he or she was there to represent their country. Kudos to Keith, David, Ashley, Ben and Swampy for pushing us to be the best that we can possibly be……I’m lucky to have been coached by each and every one of them. I’m lookng forward to skiing ‘Down Under’ as it has always been a goal of mine. I will be visiting family there before moving down to Mulwala on he border of New South Wales and Victoria, on the Murray River. It will be the middle of Summer there as the rest of you in the Northern Hemisphere will experience extreme cold weather, so bundle up and stay tuned to Australia…………. Good Luck to everyone!

Bob’s Your Uncle,
Jim Forster

Jerry Kanawyer: Thank You, Swampy

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Displaying Jerry Kanawyer Aug 2010 (49 of 55).jpg

I will be traveling to Australia three weeks early, prior to the 2014 Barefoot Waterski World Championships. I will be training with Ken Derry,  hoping that some of his slalom skills will rub off on me lol. I met Ken back in 1990 when he trained behind my 1989 Barefoot Nautique, in preparation of the 1990 World championships.

I’m coming off my best year in slalom. I posted a personal best score of 16.6, which put me 2nd in the nation with only the legend Keith St.Onge having a better score. To my surprise the elite team needed a slalom score for the world championships. The event that rarely is ever needed.

As I reflect back two years ago, I remember Swampy telling me to concentrate more on slalom and less on jump.  Swampy, I took your comments to heart and it paid off. I’m going to say it… Yes, Swampy, you were right. Thank you for being a part of making a goal that I set out to achieve 25 years ago.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)

Ashleigh Stebbeings: Barefoot Waterskiing Clinic at Bedford Weir, QLD AUST!!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Each year I travel back to Australia to attend the Australian National Championships and spend some time catching up with family and friends. This year I have been fortunate enough to be doing a few clinics around the region while I am back to promote not only myself but the World Barefoot Center. My goal is to build up the sport of barefoot waterskiing throughout QLD and Australia and would love to see people progress in the sport they love as much as I do. It’s also great to see new faces throughout the region getting involved and so enthusiastic.

My first clinic was a 2 day one at the Blackwater Ski Club located on the Bedford Weir. It is about a 4 hour drive inland from where I live in Mackay, QLD.

Getting ready to leave!!

I drove there accompanied by Milly Grech, another skier from Mackay. We left the afternoon of the 19th of April and arrived just on dark in Emerald, the place we would be staying the next 2 nights. We got up bright and early the next morning to make the hour trek to the river where we would be spending the next 2 days. The weather was a little overcast Saturday morning but as the day went on it got hotter and the water was glass.

Glass Water

Saturday Crew

The river is a beautiful place to barefoot, with long straights and trees to keep it protected from the wind. It was good to see the girls taking control of the boat with the boys being out numbered for once. With the Nationals been and gone the skiers wanted to start learning new tricks and clean up old ones.

12 year old Nik Bray from Emerald worked on his back toe holds and made both his basic and reverse long line. He also had his first go at the line step position and after 2 days was comfortably getting in and out as well as doing both one foots. To finish up he worked turns on shoe skis, he made 3/4 and all were step overs.

Nik's first time trying back toe holds long line

Nik rocking the back line step one foots on his feet!!

Nik working on turns!!

Milly Grech worked on front and back tricks both on the extension and behind the boat. She also did some slalom, impressing the new beginner Casey.

Milly doing a front toe hold!!

Jody Haylock from Emerald did her first full slalom crossing and also got up backwards for the first time. She was all smiles during the pictures below and was cheering with happiness at the feeling of riding backwards!!

Jody working on toe holds

Jody got up backwards for the first time :)

Leanne Cross of Blackwater went back to the basics and worked on her one foot and also one foot one hands. She tried one foot stand ups on the bar for the first time as well as starting to learn backwards where she dipped her feet (or shoe skies) in a couple of times.

Leanne working on one foots

Leanne learning to place her feet in for backwards

David Bray (Brazy or funky pants) tried to keep up with his son Nik and did both back toe holds on his feet on the extension and did his first line step one foots on shoe skis. Brazy said he will have to do some secret training to catch up to Nik!!

Brazy getting into line step for the first time

Brazy doing back one foot, one hands

Casey from Blackwater has tried to step off a ski before but never tried a deep water start. He got his first taste of it on Sunday.

Casey's first attempt on the bar

I would just like to say thanks to the Haylock Family for having us at their house, Jody for organising it and Brazy for allowing us the use of his boat. You guys and girls all did a fantastic job. We shared lots of laughs over the 2 days, it was a great clinic and we couldn’t have gotten better weather if we tried! I look forward to going back in a couple of weeks to do it all over again… but this time for 6 days. Next I am heading up to Cairns, QLD for a 6 day clinic from the 7th May – 12th May.

Nik, Jody & I enjoying the ride back.

Nik & I in our WBC attire :)

Ashleigh Stebbeings


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates