INTERNATIONAL WATER SKI FEDERATION
WORLD DISABLED COUNCIL
1998 Report to the IWSF Executive Board
1999 World Championships
Italy withdrew its bid to host the event; and Great Britain has replaced it with one of its own, to be finalized by late fall. Tentative dates are August 23 - 29. The selection of officials has begun.
The 1998 Technical Rules and Competition Handbook Addenda have been distributed and posted on the IWSF and EAME web pages.
Our Technical Committee is studying a few new rules changes, but awaits the conclusion of this fall's EAME Championships and the outcome of the IWSF Tournament Council meeting to finalize and have approved any of these changes prior to the 1999 World Disabled Championships. The intent is to avoid major revisions every year.
We are now encouraging our vision impaired athletes to use the web to access all IWSF Tournament and Disabled rules and addenda, using existing programs to convert them into voice or Braille for easy access according to the individual's needs.
In the PA region at the U.S. Nationals, four pending world records were set and one tied, one by an Argentinean, as there were five foreign athletes among the forty at this event.
The Classification Committee is completing a new, streamlined skier classification program that will simplify the process and be far less time-consuming for both classifiers and athletes.
The committee is also in the long-term process of putting together a loose-leaf handbook for immediate and easy updating, which will include (1) the record series, (2) interpretations (3) all matters dealing with classification that are not strictly rules. In other words, it will incorporate the current handbook.
over . . .
AA: Australia's annual National Championships event was attended by 16 athletes, but no women. However, there were three participants in the new Arm/Leg Category. Kevin Murfitt, a blind athlete, was selected to replace the retiring Len Sheppard as the head of this region.
EAME: The EAME disabled council put together a very successful five stop, cash prize Eurotour for the disabled only with a factoring system allowing men to compete against women and athletes in different disability categories to compete against one another. Hence, there was only one first, second and third place award in each of the three events and overall. Fifty-eight athletes from 11 different countries participated with awards going to skiers from six of them. Among them, Council member Christophe Fasel became the first European sit skier to complete a pass on the outer slalom course. Most encouraging was the fact that there were 25 first-time competitors.
Scotland, Sweden and Germany held their first-ever disabled-only tournaments while Jordan will be hosting its second Disabled European Championships at the end of October.
PA: The U.S. Nationals in Alabama witnessed a record breaking 40 skiers with five from other countries. The results of this event were used to select the 1999 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team. Three sit skiers skied and completed passes on the outer course in slalom, indicating that the outer course is the one to learn on right from the beginning.
9/98 - JG