2017 World Championships

Disabled Water Ski Australia (DWSA) successfully hosted the 2017 Disabled Water Skiing Championships at the Myuna Bay Water Ski Club, NSW in April 2017 and pulled off a remarkable Team Gold Medal for the first time ever and it was on their own soil. Australia finished with 13110 points, a healthy margin of 600 points ahead of USA, who were the World Champions two years ago in California. USA finished with a score of 12621, and Italy took Bronze with 8549 points. These Titles are held every two years and the 2019 World Championships are due to be hosted by either Norway or France.

Two World Records were set this past weekend during Disabled World Water Ski Championships in Myuna Bay, Australia. 10 teams from around the globe battled it out all weekend long in the Slalom, Trick and Jump categories until team Australia edged out team USA by a mere 600 points to take the overall win. With an incredible field of athletes and the beautiful site Myuna Bay delivered in New South Wales, the event was one for the books!

The two new records were both during the Jump portions of the event, and they were set by Scott Wintle (AUS) in the MP2 Seated Men category and Ashley Baerg (CAN) in MP5 Seated Ladies. These new World Records will now go to the IWWF for ratification. Once confirmed, these will be the 23rd and 24th World Records to be pulled by the record-setting Ski Nautique 200, the definitive leader in the water ski world.

The new Seated Men Slalom and Trick champion was Jason Sleep, and Derek Vanderbom was the new Seated Men Overall Champion.

2015 World Championships

The twelfth World Titles will be held at Shortline Lake, Elk Grove, California, USA 20 27 September 2015.

Approximately 80 skiers with disabilities such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, arm or leg amputations and vision impairments from up to 18 countries participated in this exciting tournament.

The Australian team was selected in early 2015 to allow for detailed planning and individual fund raising.  The skiers are elite athletes, some skiing close to the level of their able-bodied peers. These skiers put in many hours of intense training aiming at being the best in the world in their division. These skiers will compete in the same events as able-bodied skiers (i.e. slalom, jump and trick).

2013 World Championships – Milan, Italy



August 17th 2011 saw the start of the World Water Ski Championship trip for the Australian team, Darryl Hoyle, Belinda Sidman, Jamie McDonald & myself (Ian Hickmott). We were gratefully accompanied by team manager, Noel Dix, chief boat driver Kevin Wiseman and Glen Sidman as the team’s general assistant.

Our first group meeting point was Sydney International Airport, where we flew direct to LA, followed by another relatively quick flight to Cincinnati. Noel, who then took over the team’s next port of transportation as driver to the hotel, needed only a quick reminder (from an on-coming semi-trailer) what lane he was meant to be driving in. I think I can speak for the team, when I say “our hearts almost jumped out of our bodies”.

We first stayed in the same hotel in Cincinnati as the American team, where we would also train together on a private lake for 3 days prior to the competition. Unfortunately on the second day it was discovered I had taken all the skin off my lower back. This left me bedridden for the remainder of the training period, in hope that it would heal well enough to allow me to compete. The remainder of the team was really happy with the training location and facilities.

We then moved to another hotel in West Chester where we met up with the other teams from around the world. All up there were 39 competitors. We were also joined by some really windy and stormy weather due to a hurricane moving up the east coast.

Before competition started there was another three days of familiarizations, where each competitor was grouped into their division, depending on their abilities. The competition was going to be hard as all 3 MP divisions had to compete against each other for the first time at the worlds.

Trick and slalom were held on the first day. Darryl made both finals, while Belinda made it into the slalom final. Day two showed the jump heats, with Darryl, Jamie & myself all making finals. Belinda performed great and brought home a bronze medal for slalom on day three. The trick finals were also held on this day.

Darryl had a great effort and broke his record in jump on the fourth day by one meter, reaching a new 26.3 metre mark. I jumped my personal best of 15.9 meters and placed 6th.

Jamie had serious complications with his elbow. The Victorian Institute of Sport Physiotherapists worked on it for months, culminating in injections directly into tendon. Jamie trained lightly at Bushy Browns Adventure Ski Park in QLD for a week prior to leaving. He injured his hand in off-site training with US team while practicing for the jump event. His board was broken but repaired with help from Glen Sidman & also the Team USA. Jamie went on to break his own World Jump Record by 1.2m now 17.4m (adjusted score 5.8). (not 5.8m) Jamie won 4 medals in the Standing Division – Slalom: Silver, Tricks: Gold, Jump: Gold, Overall: Gold.

The closing ceremony dinner and presentation was also held on the evening of the fourth day. Darryl placed 2nd out of sit skiers division and placed 2nd overall. It was a great night with all the skiers celebrating a good event, having the opportunity to say goodbye and talking about preparations and regrouping in 2013 for the next Worlds in Italy.

I would personally like to say a big thank you to Noel for preparing and organising the Australian team – it wouldn’t of happened without him! Thanks also to Kevin & Glen as they were a massive help to all of us and a quick mention and thanks to Nick Purcell who also helped out in the boat.

See you all again at the next comp!

Ian Hickmott

2009 World Championships – Vichy, France

2007 World Championships – Townsville


“BRILLIANT” is how IWWF Disabled council described the worlds in Townsville.

Most competitors at the 2007 World Disabled Titles in Townsville commented that it was at the most beautiful site and it was the most organised event they have ever attended.

14 Countries and 52 competitors’ attended the event.

Australia for the first time ever in the history of disabled world titles, placed second on the podium in the teams point score. This is a huge achievement to finally get ahead of the United States who have long been the leaders in the sport.

The team was strong and made up by almost 50% Queenslander’s who attributed greatly to the team scores. They were:

Peter McClintock, Townsville

Ian Denman, Mackay

Darryl Hoyle, Strathpine

Dave Parry, Bribie Island

Scott Wintle, Wellington Point

Two Gold medals in jump were won by Ian Denman and Darryl Hoyle, who also smashed the world record. Scott Wintle also took out the Gold medal in the Trick event.

Queensland Water ski and Wakeboard Federation ‘Congratulate’ all these skiers!

An interesting point on how competitive these worlds were is that of the 14 Countrys present, 13 of them gained medals.

The Australian team was well managed by Noel Dix who we all know as the CEO of  AWWF and coached very professionally by Drew Miller.

The event would have been one of the largest in Australia for the 06-07 season with the total budget being over $300,000.

As we all know the opening ceremony was sponsored by QWWF, and went off brilliantly!

The ceremony comprised of the presentation of the teams and officials, a reading by an Australian poet, a native traditional welcome and a dance, a bush band and exhibitions of native wildlife by the Billabong Sanctuary, all in the Auditorium and beside the fantastic pool at the Riverside.

A huge thank you was given to QWWF for its contribution.

A video of the event is compiled by WIN TV in Townsville and is available commercially.

The Townsville site and the Townsville Water ski club are to be commended and certainly recommended for future events.

Bushy Brown – Disabled Division