With 18 countries and 47 of the World?s most talented athletes involved in 10 categories, the 2009 Disabled Waterski Championships staged in Vichy, France, delivered one of the toughest battles for medals for some years. Conditions were testing with a mixture of wind, rain and sunshine. At times, backwash from the surrounding walls pushed the contestants to the absolute limit with some spectacular crashes along the way. However, this did not deter any from pushing for the highest scores possible.
In the first eight Disabled World Waterski Championships, Great Britain and the USA won four each. This year, USA broke that tie. However, it was not a clean sweep by any means. With a score of 9240.23 points, Italy ended up just 101.5 points behind USA on this occasion. In fact, the outstanding performances by Italy in both Slalom and Tricks were almost enough to win the Overall Team award. Craig Timm in the Arm Division actually broke a 20 year old World Jump Record to give the USA a valuable edge. To bridge the gap. Italy?s Tommaso Di Pilato needed to add 2.0m to his earlier score and that was just too much on this occasion. Such a tight finish made this World Championships one of the most exciting in years. In all, eight World Records were broken ? five in Jump and three in Tricks. Ratification is expected shortly.
Chief Judge Dan Van Dyk and his team were also supported by Kuno Ritschard, President of International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF), Jim Grew, Chairman IWWF Disabled Waterski Council, Alain Amade, EAME President IWWF, and also representatives of the IOC and the City of Vichy.
The excellent on-site facilities and nearness to the Hotel accommodation were a great bonus for both the athletes and officials. To simplify the competition format even further for the future, a decision was made to reduce the 10 categories in this World Championships to a total of just three next time ? seated, standing and visually impaired. While Records may still be based on 10 categories, this plan is bound to make the next Disabled World Waterski Championships even more exciting ? if that is possible !
Overall Team Clasification :
1. United States of America - 9341.73
2. Italy ? 9240.23
3. France ? 5748.02
4. Australia ? 5622.60
5. Great Britain ? 4497.86
All results are available - click here