WSWC CELEBRATES SUCCESS ACROSS TOWED WATER SPORTS IN CANADA DURING THE 2023 SEASON

Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada (WSWC) is elated to share the remarkable achievements of Canadian athletes across towed water sports during the 2023 season. Athletes from Water Ski Canada, Wake Canada, Adaptive Water Ski Canada, Show Ski Canada, and Barefoot Canada showcased their unparalleled talent and dedication, earning accolades on the national and  international stage.

Canadian water ski athletes excelled at the 21 Water Ski Pro Events held across the world, amassing an impressive 14 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 17 bronze medals throughout the year. The 2023 IWWF World Water Ski Championships saw Canada securing four medals and a coveted spot on the Team Overall Podium. Notable achievements include Ryan Dodd of Olds, AB, winning Men’s Jump, Jaimee Bull of North Bay, ON, triumphing in Women’s Slalom, Stephen Neveu of Calgary, AB, securing 3rd place in Men’s Slalom, and Dorien Llewellyn of Innisfail, AB, achieving 3rd place in Men’s Overall.

The 2022 IWWF U17 World Water Ski Championships were held in January of 2023 this year. Team Canada placed 2nd in the Team Overall event and won four individual medals with three of them being gold. Alberta’s Megan Pelkey placed 3rd in Girls Trick and won Girls Overall. Quebec’s Hannah Stopnicki won Girls Trick and Quebec’s Nellie Allard won Girls Jump. 

The 2023 IWWF U21 World Water Ski Championships were held in Mexico this year. Canada’s sole medal came from Ontario’s Charlie Ross who won gold in Men’s Slalom. 

The 2023 Santiago Pan American Games further showcased WSWC’s success on the water, with Canadian athletes bringing home nine medals in various disciplines. Dorien Llewellyn’s outstanding performance included a victory in Men’s Overall, 2nd place in Men’s Trick and Men’s Jump. Paige Rini of Ontario secured 2nd place in Women’s Overall, 3rd in Women’s Slalom, and 3rd in Women’s Jump. Neilly Ross of Ontario achieved 2nd place in Women’s Trick and 2nd in Women’s Slalom. Wake Canada’s Hunter Smith of Vancouver, BC, claimed 2nd place in Men’s Wakeboard at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games.

Bailey Rush of Gull Lake, AB, represented Wake Canada with distinction, dominating the 2023 Competitive Wake Surf Association (CWSA) World Championships. Bailey secured 1st place in Pro Female Skim and 1st in Pro Female Surf, marking a phenomenal year for Wake Canada on the global stage.

On the National stage, Wake Canada had the 2023 Wakeboard & Wakeskate Boat Nationals hosted by Wake BC and the 2023 Wakeboard & Wakeskate Wake Park Nationals hosted by Wake Ontario this summer. 

The 2023 Wakeboard & Wakeskate Boat Nationals was host to over 60 riders who competed at Deas island Regional Park in Delta, BC. To learn more about the event and for results, CLICK HERE

The 2023 Wakeboard & Wakeskate Wake Park Nationals featured over 80 riders who competed at Planet Bayou Wake Park in Dufferin County, ON. To learn more about the event and for results, CLICK HERE.

Adaptive Water Ski Canada made history at the 2023 IWWF World Disabled Water Ski Championships by earning Canada’s first-ever team medal at a Worlds, securing a remarkable 2nd place. Additionally, Blake Lamontagne of Wawota, SK, a member of the Adaptive Water Ski Canada team set a World Record in MP3 Men’s Tricks at the World Championships. Team Canada brought home six individual medals, including Ashley Baerg of Dalmeny, SK, achieving 3rd place in Seated Ladies Slalom, 2nd in Seated Ladies Jump, and 3rd in Seated Ladies Overall. Gord Tuck of Lake Cowichan, BC, secured 2nd place in Standing Men Slalom, Blake Lamontagne claimed 2nd place in Seated Men Tricks, and Phil Kerr of Ontario achieved 3rd place in Seated Men Jump.

Show Ski Canada celebrated a milestone by hosting their first-ever Freestyle Jump Nationals this season. This exciting addition to the calendar highlighted the organization’s commitment to innovation and growth within the sport. Furthermore, Show Ski Canada formed a strategic partnership with Splash Blast Canada, enhancing the spectator experience and bringing an extra dimension to the events.

This year, Barefoot Canada sent five competitors on Team Canada to the 2023 IWWF World Open, Under 23 & Junior Barefoot Waterski Championships in Mulwala Australia. Canada also had two officials at the event. During the season, there were multiple events and clinics held throughout Canada. Two barefoot jump clinics were held this summer to continue the development of new jumpers.

WSWC extends heartfelt congratulations to all the athletes and sport disciplines for their outstanding achievements, exemplifying Canada’s dominance in towed water sports globally.

Hunter Smith places 2nd in Men’s Wakeboard at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games. Photo by Express Media / Panam Sports.

Team Canada at the 2023 IWWF World Water Ski Championships. Photo by Johnny Hayward Photography.

Team Canada at the 2023 Barefoot World Championships. Photo by: Kym Bond & IWWF Facebook.

ALBERTA’S KENDRA ERHARDT SET TO COMPETE IN THE 2023 IWWF DISABLED WORLD WATER SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS

Adaptive Water Ski Canada is elated to announce that Kendra Erhardt, our pride from Edmonton, will be representing the nation at the 2023 IWWF Disabled World Water Ski Championships. The Championships will be held in Elk Grove, California, from September 11-17, 2023.

Athlete’s Profile:

Name: Kendra Erhardt

Age: 31

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Division: Women’s MP3

Events: Slalom & Trick

Personal Best (Slalom): 2@43km

Personal Best (Trick): 397pts

Unyielding Spirit and Remarkable Talent:

Kendra’s introduction to adaptive water skiing occurred in 2022 during Alberta’s “Give it a Go Day.” From that defining moment, she embraced the sport with unparalleled passion and determination.

In a brief period, Kendra’s incredible aptitude in both the slalom and trick skiing events garnered her widespread attention, earning her a spot on the Canadian National Team headed to the 2023 IWWF Disabled World Water Ski Championships. Her accomplishments are even more impressive considering the life-altering accident in March 2019, which resulted in a T10/12 complete Spinal Cord Injury. Yet, with her invincible spirit, Kendra found a renewed purpose on the water.

Moments That Define a Champion:

At the US Nationals, the dock echoed with the nostalgic tunes of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” as Kendra achieved a spectacular 6 pass competition slalom ski set. A testament to the unwavering support and camaraderie from her teammates.

A Journey Beyond Medals:

For Kendra, it’s not just about personal milestones. Her vision encompasses the larger goal of elevating adaptive water skiing’s stature. A passionate advocate, she aims to involve more women in para sports and recreation, serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many.

A Message from Adaptive Water Ski Canada:

“We are incredibly proud of Kendra Erhardt. Her participation in the World Championships is not just a personal achievement but a moment of pride for all of Canada. We eagerly await her performance, and irrespective of the outcome, she remains our champion.”

Adaptive Water Ski Canada, championing inclusivity and excellence on water.

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