Posts Tagged ‘mulwala’

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……… 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