Kentucky Waterski Federation is an organization of water skiers and their families, dedicated to the growth and development of the 3-Event Discipline of water skiing in the state of Kentucky.
KWSF Minutes - 07/13/19
KWSF Minutes - 11/10/18
KWSF Minutes - 11/11/17
KWSF Minutes - 11/05/16
KWSF By-Laws

Dale Coffey Elected to the Kentucky Water Ski Hall of Fame

At the summer meeting of the Kentucky Water Ski Federation, held in Paducah at Twin Oaks Lakes, state superlatives for the Ski Year 2017 were announced.  Superlatives are elected in three categories: Junior Skier of the Year, Adult Skier of the Year, and Member of the Year.  In addition, as qualifications deem appropriate, we may induct a new addition into the “Kentucky Water Ski Hall of Fame.”

This year, we are happy to announce the election of Dale Coffey into the Hall of Fame, as our 14th inductee since inception of this award in 2000.  Dale has been a fixture of Kentucky water skiing for close to 40 years.  Skiing in the upper echelons of his divisions in his favorite event – slalom – he has placed highly, and on the podium, in numerous state, Regionals, and Nationals competitions.  He developed Cave Lake into one of our state’s few tournament water ski sites back in the 1990’s, and was one of the original core group in the Cumberland Skiers Ski Club.  He has served on the Southern Regional Council.  And he continues to be active in the Men 7 division, qualifying for the 2018 Regionals and Nationals.

Superlatives elected for the Ski Year 2017 were as follows:
Junior Skier of the Year – Lake Jones
Adult Skier of the Year – Pat Coomes
Member of the Year – Joe Burkhead

Congratulations to all of the above skiers!  Job well done!

Nominations for Kentucky Water Ski Federation superlatives for the Ski Year 2018 are needed. 

In meeting the requirements of our revised by-laws, any federation member can make a nomination for any of the following superlatives:
  • Skier of the Year
  • Junior Skier of the Year
  • Federation Member of the Year
  • For election into the KWSF Hall of Fame, nominations may be made only by a currently serving director (officer or regional councilman).

Nominations are due to be received by November 1st.  However, since I “went to sleep” in getting out a notice on this deadline, the nomination period will be extended to November 9th (the day before our fall meeting).  Please submit all nominations directly to me at >>  .

REMEMBER!!  If you submit a nomination, you must also submit a list of qualifications upon which you are basing that nomination.  Simply submitting a name will not be considered a valid nomination.



Kentucky Water Ski Federation ANNUAL MEETING

DATE:  November 10, 2018
TIME:  11:00 AM CST (12:00 Noon EST)
Owensboro, KY
100 W. 3rd Street
Suite 303 – 3rd Floor Conference Room

NOTE:  Pat Coomes has reserved the conference room at J I Haas, Inc. – his company – at no cost.  Very nice meeting location, central conference table seats 20, room for significantly more attendees around the perimeter of the room.
This room will be provided at no charge to the KWSF.

I’ve checked with several of you who are located to the east, and consensus is that Owensboro versus Elizabethtown is not a significant issue travel-wise.  As usual, we’ll start the meeting with pizza and soft drinks, then continue afterward with the business meeting.

If anyone has any items of business you want to see on the agenda, please relay to me.  We do have several offices of election to consider this year, so that will be one major topic of business.

We had a great turnout for the meeting last year.  Let’s try to duplicate the numbers again this year.

Hope to see you there –

Joe Burkhead
Kentucky Water Ski Federation

Ski Nuts Host USAWS Adaptive National Championships

The 2018 U. S. Adaptive National Water Ski Championships (formerly known as the Disabled National Championships) was hosted by the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah. This represents the second time the Ski Nuts have held a national championship competition, the first being the 2005 Collegiate National Water Ski Championships.

This was a tremendous event, with some amazing athletes doing some really amazing skiing!  If you’ve never seen a paraplegic skier on a sit ski soar almost 90 feet off a jump ramp, your jaw would drop, just like many at this competition who had never witnessed an adaptive competition.  The slalom skiers perform at an athletic level similar to fully abled skiers, and the top trick skier to compete ran over 1,400 points in two 20-second passes.  A blind skier who rides out jumps borders on the near unbelievable!

From this writers personal viewpoint, I think the most impressive aspect of this competition were the attitudes of the competitors.  They all support each other, there is zero complaining, and virtually no re-rides requested.  Just overwhelming smiles and enthusiasm.  It was a treat to be a part of this event.

From a performance standpoint, the tournament highlight was that there were two new national records and one new world record established.  Connor Poggetto, a sit skier, established a new national record in jumping at 82 feet (which would read as 89 feet in the 3-Event measuring system). He followed up on that with a new pending world record in tricks at 1,460 points.  Sarah Switzer, a women’s sit skier, set a new national record in Women slalom.

For all results from the Adaptive Nationals, visit the USAWS website and click on the “Disabled” icon at the upper far right.

This was the sixth and final tournament of the 2018 season hosted by the Ski Nuts – all record capability.  What a year!

2018 U. S. Nationals

The 2018 U. S. National Championships was held in Maize, Kansas, from August 7-11. Our state had a somewhat lower than usual representation in this year’s Nationals, with only eight Kentucky skiers in the mix.  Just as significant, for the first time in memory, we had no female competitors.  In spite of the thin showing from Kentucky, the Nationals had the highest number of entries in several years – a good sign for the 3-Event discipline of our sport.

Tournament highlights included:

  • Errol Bryant of Beechmont and the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts had the highest placement of any Kentucky skier, finishing second Men 9 tricks with 940 points.  Errol also had good finishes in slalom (7th) and overall (3rd).
  • Austin Collins had strong performances across the board in all three events in Boys 3.  His best placement was in jumping – 9th with a leap of 144 feet (4th among those jumping on the 5-foot ramp).  He finished 11th in slalom (3 @ 35 off), 11th in tricks (2,710 points), and was on the podium in Overall with a 5th place finish.
  • Dave Keller of Somerset also had strong finishes in his division – Men 8.  Dave made the podium in both slalom (4th place, 3.5 @ 32 off) and tricks (1,100 points), as well as 4th in overall.
  • Lake Jones, a member of the Laurel Lake Skiers, had an excellent slalom run in Boys 3, finishing 9th with 4 @ 35 off.
  • Kyle Jones, father of Lake Jones (for those of you who’ve been living under a rock the last few years!), had a terrific performance in Men 4 slalom, finishing on the podium with 0.5 buoys at 39 ½ off – good for 5th place.
  • Pat Coomes, also a Ski Nut, skied in all three events in Men 6.  He had a somewhat disappointing tournament (including a very nasty crash on his first jump), but still managed a respectable 9th place finish in jumping.  Patpaw has now moved up one division to terrorize the Men 7 skiers in future competition!
  • Dale Coffey of Somerset competed well in Men 6 slalom, finishing 27th with 3.5 buoys at 32 off.
  • Mike Rouse of Walton also qualified in all three events in Men 5, just missing the podium in jumping (88 feet for 8th) and overall (7th).

The state was also represented on the judging side by Bob Harris, who was an Appointed Judge from the Southern Region.

Reports from those who skied at the Maize site generally agreed that this was an excellent site for this competition.  Next year’s Nationals will be back at a familiar location – Ski Club of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach (FL).

2018 Southern Regionals Championships
Paducah, KY – July 26th thru 28th

The 2018 Southern Regionals were once again hosted by the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah.  This marked the tenth Regionals hosted by the Ski Nuts – the first being at Cypress Lakes in Calvert City in 1980, the last nine being at Twin Oaks.  Since 1987 – our first in Paducah – the Ski Nuts have averaged hosting a Regionals once every three to four years.  I haven’t done the research, but it’s probably safe to say that the Ski Nuts have hosted more Regionals during that time span than any other club!

Noteworthy notes for this Regionals:
  • We may have had the best weather of any Regionals ever held here – high temperatures never topped 90 degrees, wind conditions were excellent throughout, and no rain that interrupted the skiing.  Memories of those 100+ degree days from some past Regionals held here were distant and foggy!
  • This was the first 3-day Regionals in memory, and it worked out well.  Skier numbers were down, as expected (about 170 total entrants), but overall the tournament ran smoothly and efficiently.  We  would have finished every day before 5 PM if not for a rope snafu in slalom on the last day (a 2 ½ hour setback), but even that day (Saturday) finished by 6:30 PM.
  • Participation by Kentucky skiers was excellent, with 19 total Kentucky skiers entering one or more events (that number would have been an even 20 if not for a “last minute” injury to Carl Marquess).  And Kentucky skiers had their fair share of podium time.

It’s always difficult to discern what the tournament highlights were for our team, but some of the more notable ones were:
  • Austin Collins of the Ski Nuts, skiing in Boys 3, won jumping in his division for a mind boggling sixth straight time, going all the way back to 2013!  Austin has never been beaten in a Regionals jump competition.  This includes twice when he was at the bottom end of the age bracket in his division. 
  • Dale Coffey and Gary Gambrel had a “battle for the ages” between Kentuckians for podium placement in Men 6 slalom, duking it out in an epic battle to determine who would take 5th place.  They tied in the original competition. Then they tied again in the first run-off. Finally, in the second run-off, Dale nudged Gary off the podium by a buoy.
  • Kentucky harvested a total of five gold medals.  Gary Gambrel got a measure of revenge (after the slalom battle) by taking first in Men 6 Tricks.  Errol Bryant won three in Men 9, taking first place in tricks, slalom, and overall. And Austin Collins, of course, took the victory in Boys 3 Jump.
  • Kentucky had a total of 29 podium placements, one of our best team performances ever.  While our gold medal production was down a bit, total medals were maybe our highest ever.  As a team, Team Kentucky finished third, behind only Florida and Tennessee, meaning we beat out four states.
  • Kyle Jones had the top buoy count in slalom for Kentucky, a total of 104 buoys.  Josh Kelley had the longest jump of any Kentuckian at 156 feet.  And tops in tricks was Gary Gambrel at 2,360 points.

Placements for medals (golds already noted) were as follows:
  • Second Place:
            o   Kyle Jones – Men 4 Slalom – 104 buoys (2 @ 39 off)
            o   Josh Kelley – Men 1 Jump – 156 feet (5-foot ramp)
            o   Pat Coomes – Men 7 Jump – 76 feet (and he beat Ham Wallace!)
            o   Jack Hawes – Men 1 Tricks – 1,880 points (highest ever Regionals
            o   Dave Keller – Men 8 Tricks – 2,000 points (WOW!)
            o   Austin Collins – Boys 3 Overall
            o   Pat Coomes – Men 7 Overall

  • Third Place:
            o   Austin Collins – Boys 3 Slalom – 98 buoys (2 @ 35 off)
            o   Pam Guthrie – Women 6 Slalom – 76 buoys (4 @ 28 off)
            o   Saylor Davidson – Girls 3 Jump – 83 feet
            o   Corey Hawes – Men 4 Jump – 106 feet
            o   Mike Rouse – Men 5 Overall

  • Fourth Place:
            o   Josh Kelley – Men 1 Slalom – 100.5 buoys (4 ½ @ 35 off)
            o   Lake Jones – Boys 3 Slalom – 95 buoys (5 @ 32 off)
            o   Leon Leonard – Men 8 Slalom – 73 buoys (1 @ 32 off)
            o   Garnet Fowler – Men 1 Jump – 114 feet
            o   Pat Coomes – Men 7 Tricks – 770 points
            o   Garnet Fowler – Men 1 Overall

  • Fifth Place:
            o   Ben Brannan – Men 1 Slalom – 98 buoys (2 @ 35 off)
            o   Dale Coffey – Men 6 Slalom – 88 buoys (4 @ 32 off)
            o   Dave Keller – Men 8 Slalom – 72 buoys (6 @ 28 off)
            o   Saylor Davidson – Girls 3 Slalom -- *!#% buoys (It’s not always the total that                  counts!!)
            o   Ben Brannan – Men 1 Tricks – 1,480 points
            o   Saylor Davidson – Girls 3

Good skiing, Kentucky!!  Here’s wishing everyone great success at Nationals, which runs Tuesday thru Saturday in Maize, Kansas.


Everyone coming to Paducah for Regionals, please note. The location for the Thursday night council meeting has been changed. The new location is:

Shandies Restaurant
202 Broadway (downtown Paducah)
(upstairs in the private meeting space)

This is the same location where we met in 2015. Shandies has an excellent menu, and very reasonable, so it will be easy to eat and stay at your table for the meeting.

Meeting time is still planned for 8:00 PM.


2018 Kentucky State Championships
There were a number of great story lines for the 2018 Kentucky State Championships. Notably, five state records were broken.  Austin Collins established a new Overall mark in Boys 3 with a score of 2,733 points.  Leon Leonard set a new state record in Men 8 Slalom with 87 ½ buoys, only minutes after Dave Keller had broken the old record in Men 8 with 79 ½ buoys.  Dave Keller smashed the old Men 8 Trick record with 2,310 points.  And Errol Bryant set new state marks in both Men 9 Slalom (73 buoys) and Overall (1,111 points).
But perhaps the best story lines of this tournament were the intense competitions in Men 1 Slalom and Men 6 Slalom and Overall.  Those two segments of competition provided some of the best match-ups in recent history.  When the dust had settled, the “new kid on the block” had taken the top spot in   Men 1 Slalom, and a seasoned 3-event skier ruled the roost in Men 6.
Ben Brannen, a Kentucky Lake Ski Nut skiing as a Kentucky skier for the first time, cleaned the 35 off pass on Sunday morning, and add a half buoy at 38 off, to win Men 1 Slalom.  He topped a total field of six slalom skiers in the event, with three others (Garnett Fowler, Ryan Harris, and Josh Kelley) skiing into 35 off.
Carl Marquess, another member of the Ski Nuts, topped the list of five Men 6 competitors in Slalom (87 buoys), Tricks (2,710 points) and Overall, nudging out Pat Coomes in Overall and beating Dale Coffey in a tie breaker in Slalom.  A total of one-half buoy separated the top three in Men 6 Slalom, with Dale Coffey (87 buoys) and Gary Gambrell (86 ½ buoys) taking the next two spots.
Other tournament highlights included:
  • Wyatt and Troy Fowler matched up in Boys 2, with Wyatt taking 2 of 3 events and Overall.  Wyatt won Slalom (64 ½ buoys) and Jump (44 feet), with Troy taking Tricks (700 points)
  • Austin Collins of the Ski Nuts won Boys 3 Jump (136 feet), Tricks (2,600 points), and Overall (2,733 points), but Lake Jones claimed a Slalom victory for the second straight year with 3 @ 35 off.
  • Saylor Davidson made a clean sweep of all Girls 3 events and Overall.
  • Josh Kelley scored a win in Men 1 Jump with a leap of 146 feet, followed by Ryan Harris (132 feet) and Garnett Fowler (109 feet).
  • Jackson Hawes had his first ever state championship win, in Men 1 Tricks with a score of 2,110 points.
  • Greg Collins of Murray (father of Austin Collins) scored his first ever state championships victory, in Men 3 Jump (36 feet).
  • Corey Hawes, skiing in the Men 4 division, scored a victory in Jumping by sailing 106 feet.
  • Eric Kelley (4 ½ @ 38 off) beat out Kyle Jones in Men 4 Slalom by 2 buoys, with Tim McKune finishing third.
  • Pat Coomes soared 82 feet in Men 6 Jump for a win in his best event.
  • Gar Gambrel (2,220 points) finished second to Carl Marquess in Men 6 Tricks.
  • Joe Burkhead returned to the water for a clean sweep of all three events in the Men 7 division.
  • The state slalom record in Men 8 was actually broken three times over the course of the weekend.  First, Dave Keller set a new record on Saturday at 79 ½ buoys.  Minutes later, Leon Leonard broke that record at 82 ½ buoys.  Then Leon upped the record further on Sunday by rounding 87 ½ buoys.
  • Pam Guthrie, one of only two female skiers in the tournament, won Women 6 Slalom with a score of 75 buoys.
What a great state championships!  The numbers were pretty much stable from last year, but the quality of performances was top notch!  Congratulations to the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts for hosting a superb event, and thanks to all of our officials and other volunteers who made this competition possible.


OK, Kentucky skiers, you’d better be ready to hit the ground running starting this weekend.  Kentucky has a July calendar chock full of tournaments, with four tournaments over the next three weeks and weekends, plus a juniors clinic.

  • Coming up this weekend (July 14 & 15), the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts will be hosting the Kentucky State Championships at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah.  All you state skiers – this is a great opportunity to win a championship without leaving your home state!  We’ll be having one round of all three events on Saturday, followed by a second round on Sunday identical to the first day.  Our state banquet will be held Saturday evening at the ski lake, followed by the summer meeting of KWSF, and presentation of state superlatives awards.
  • The state championships will be preceded by our annual one-day juniors clinic on Friday.  This has been a tradition for decades.  It’s free to all state junior skiers, so you juniors plan on getting here early for the state competition and get some excellent instruction from top instructors!
  • The following weekend (July 21st), Eric Kelley will be hosting the 2nd Annual Patriot Lake 3-Event, a 2-round record capability competition.  It’s a great ski site, and last year’s tournament stamped Patriot Lake as a premiere ski site in Kentucky.
  • The Southern Regionals Championships will be hosted by the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts at Twin Oaks Lakes July 26 – 28 (Thursday thru Saturday).  This will be the first 3-day regionals in a long, long time, but we have a schedule that we think will make for a smoothly run tournament, finishing no later than 4 to 5 PM each day (assuming cooperative weather).  Lots of other activities associated with the Regionals, so come and ski, or come and just join in the fun!
  • On the Sunday (July 29th) following Regionals, the Ski Nuts will host a 3-round record capability slalom event – the Carly Marquess Memorial.  If you’re already here skiing at the Regionals, it will be convenient to stay one extra day and have three shots at a top slalom performance in a record capability tournament.

That should be enough to keep us all busy for the rest of this month.  There will be more to come as we get into August and September.

Good skiing –

Joe Burkhead
President, KWSF

Correction to State Tournament Information Published in Regional Guide

All Kentucky Skiers:

Please be aware that there is a mistake in the Regional Guide information on the Kentucky State Championships.  EACH EVENT/DIVISION WILL BE TWO ROUNDS ONLY.  First round will be run on Saturday, second round on Sunday.

Those of you who have paid for more than two rounds of any event, you will be fully reimbursed for any overpayment.

2018 Patriot Lake Open

The 2018 Patriot Lake Open has been changed from “slalom only” to a 3-event competition, per notification from Eric Kelley earlier this week.  The tournament will once again be sanctioned Class C&L.  Tournament will be held July 21st on the site near Bowling Green (KY).

Patriot Lake proved to be an excellent skiing venue in 2017, with several season PB’s and all-time PB’s by skiers.  The protected cove used for the competition offers excellent slalom and jump conditions, and top-end performances by skiers can once again be expected.

2017 Kentucky Lake Open
June 16-17, 2018

With a terrific weekend of near-perfect water conditions at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah, KY, some outstanding skiing performances were recorded at the 44th Kentucky Lake Open.  This KLO was run as a Class “C & L,” with several skiers skiing in the record capability category.  A total of 24 skiers competed.

At the risk of omitting one or two noteworthy performances, some of the more outstanding scores were:
  • Leon Leonard set a new state record in Men 8 Slalom, scoring 3 buoys at 35 off (32 mph) to break his own record set a few weeks earlier.
  • Garnett Fowler jumped into the Century Club after a few years of knocking on that door, scoring a leap of 103 feet.  He also skied into 35 off in slalom.
  • Troy and Robert Fowler both had PB’s in slalom and jump.
  •  Austin Collins scored at Level 8 in Boys 3 Overall with strong performances in all three events.
  • Eric Kelley skied into 38 off in two of three rounds of slalom, with a best of 2 ½ at 38 off.
  • Pat Coomes had strong performances in all three events in the first round, scoring a PB on Overall with 1,125 points.
  • Errol Bryant had strong Level 8 performances in both slalom and tricks, with a top slalom performance of 4 @ 28 off (30mph).
  • Tennessee’s Allie Nicholson had the strongest slalom performance of the tournament, scoring an even 100 buoys with a run of 4 @ 38 off (34 mph) in her final round.

The KLO was preceded by the annual 3-day Advanced Juniors Clinic, held for the 12th consecutive year and hosted by the Ski Nuts. 

Stillwater Lake Ski Club held its 18th annual "Summer's Here 3-Round Slalom" on June 9th.  The entry list was small, only 9 skiers, so a leisurely start time of 10:00 AM was observed. 

Performances were not exceptional despite excellent conditions.  Almost all the skiers skied up their average.  Kyle Jones ran 1@39 but was hampered by having to ski on a broken ski, having no proven backup.  Lake Jones was unable to go very far at 35 off despite having been running the pass a few times in practice recently.  Joe Duff began his season at this tournament, continuing his comeback from a voluntary layoff of almost 3 years.  Dave Keller chose to go off the dock at 32 off for his second and third rounds and successfully completed those passes despite very limited practice time this spring.  He commented that he and his ski partner, Dale Coffey, had not even used a whole tank of gas during practice thus far. 

Sam and Cheryl Schmitt brought their new MasterCraft ProStar for its tournament debut.  Thanks go out to them, as promo boats are getting harder to come by for tournaments not just locally but nationwide.  All in all it was a successful tournament that we ran in a laid back manner, again due to small numbers.  It's great to have a big turn out, but an intimate small tournament run leisurely can be a lot of fun.  We at Stillwater have
considered just giving up on tournaments, but to those who want to ski a tournament, it's just as important to them whether there are 9 or 30 in attendance. 



Greetings, skiers!  Hope your water is warm and your skiing is HOT!

The Ski Nuts will once again be hosting the 3-day Advanced Juniors Clinic at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah this coming week.  The clinic, Wednesday thru Friday (June 13-15), is being held in conjunction with the 44th Kentucky Lake Open, which is scheduled for June 16-17.  All Kentucky resident junior skiers are invited to attend this intense 3-day session of training in slalom, tricks, and jumping.  There is no cost to the skier other than sharing in the cost of gas for the boats.  You MUST be able to show identification as a state resident, and also be a current member of the Kentucky Water Ski Federation and USAWSWS.

Please contact Joe Burkhead at  if you plan to attend or have any questions.  We look forward to having you.

Joe Burkhead
President, KWSF


2018 Summer's Here

Well, skiers, summer’s almost here, and the “2018 Summer’s Here” slalom tournament in Eminence is almost here!  This first in-state competition of 2018 will be held at Stillwater Lake on June 9th.  The slalom-only tournament is a three-round event.  Please refer to the Southern Region Guide for all information on running order, entry fees, etc.

Good luck, Stillwater, and we hope you have some great weather and great competition, as is virtually always the case.

Joe Burkhead, KWSF President
​​​ 05/04/18
Notes from November/2017 Federation Meeting
The Fall Meeting of the Kentucky Water Ski Federation was held on November 11, 2017 in Elizabethtown.  Meeting was well attended, and somewhat lengthy, but a lot was accomplished.  For the complete minutes from this meeting, please open the tab under “Minutes” on the website home page.
Notes from this meeting are as follows:​
  • The Ski Nuts will be hosting both the 2018 Southern Regionals (July/August) and the 2018 Disabled Nationals (September), plus four additional “record capability” tournaments.
  • Stillwater and Patriot Lake will host tournaments in 2018.
  • The KWSF By-Laws have been updated, rewritten, and posted to the website.  Three additional amendments were passed, and will be added to the By-Laws as published.
  • Key By-Laws changes include:
    • The Vice President will handle all matters concerning membership.
    • Skiers may be considered part of a family membership up to the age of 21.
    • Any KWSF member may nominate for Skier Superlative awards, and all KWSF members may now vote for the Superlative awards.  This expands the voting base for these awards.
    • Hall of Fame election has been changed somewhat (requirements made a bit more restrictive) as compared to previous.
    • Age division for consideration of Junior Skier Superlative award has been quantified at “under 21.”
    • Please refer to the revised By-Laws (amendments section) for exact wording on the previous four bullets.
  • Officers for the coming year were elected, as follows:
    • President – Joe Burkhead
    • Vice President – Joy Coomes
    • Secretary – Cathy Burkhead
    • Treasurer – Leon Leonard
    • Junior Development Coordinator – Bob Harris
    • Council Members – Bob Harris, Pat Coomes, Eric Kelley
  • Refer to the Tournament Schedule for tournament dates in the state, which were set at the November meeting,
Gooding skiing, all!
Joe Burkhead
President, KWSF

New for 2018 – Safe Sport Compliance Requirements


As you have been reading in earlier notes the Safe Sports program is being rolled out.  Please start by reading the second attachment above (Safe Sport Compliance) on who is required to take the program and who is recommended to take it.  I would strongly encourage everyone to consider reviewing the material and taking the program.  This is not just a training program – It also teaches AWARENESS which all parents should be aware of.  This will be going out to Safety Personnel in a separate letter but will involve a larger group than my email will allow (FYI).  Please also include our other 3-Event families in NCWSA and WSDA as many of our sites include these sports disciplines in their tournaments.
Right now this is for anyone involved in International Teams – Coaches, Managers, Medical and Support Staff. It also includes all Certified Coaches and Instructors.  Critical to us is also the Junior Development Coaches and any Leadership on Region and State levels. 
Please review the material and make every attempt to go through this program.  If you have any questions, please contact USAWS Headquarters or Yours Truly!
Joe Burkhead
Kentucky Water Ski Federation

 Click table to enlarge


The 2017 ski season in Kentucky was busy and eventful, but only a warm-up for what will be coming in 2018.  Six tournaments were hosted in the state, including two RC’s; two skier’s clinics were held; and a new site hosted its first tournament.
  • The six tournaments were held at three different sites – Twin Oaks Lakes (Ski Nuts), Stillwater, and Patriot Lake.  One additional scheduled tournament at Cruises Creek was cancelled due to flooding.
  • Patriot Lake, developed by Eric Kelley at an already-existing body of water near Bowling Green, is our newest tournament ski site in the state.  Beautiful location, and excellent water!  The Patriot Lake site cranked out some outstanding performances in this first tournament, which was sanctioned and run as a 3-event Class “L.”
  • Two water ski clinics for juniors were held.  A one-day clinic was held ahead of the state tournament at Stillwater.  The 12th Annual “Kentucky 3-Day Advanced Juniors Clinic” was again held at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah, with Zane Nicholson as the featured instructor. Fifteen skiers attended this second and larger instructional session.

Federation officers elected for 2018 are:
            President – Joe Burkhead                                          Council Representatives:
            Vice President – Joy Coomes                                     Bob Harris (3-yr term)
            Secretary – Cathy Burkhead                                     Pat Coomes (2-yr term)
            Treasurer – Leon Leonard                                         Eric Kelley (1-yr term)
            Jr Development Coordinator – Bob Harris

Significant other notes:
  • Ten sanctioned tournaments are on schedule for the state in 2018, hosted by four different sites.  This will be a record number of tournaments in Kentucky.  Six of these are planned as record capability tournaments, also a record for a single season in Kentucky.
  • The Southern Region Championships will return to Kentucky this season, with the Ski Nuts hosting the two-lake, three-day event July 26th thru 28th at Twin Oaks Lakes.
  • The Disabled Nationals will be hosted in Kentucky for the first time ever.  This event, the second ever National championships of any discipline in Kentucky (2005 Collegiate Nationals was the first), will be hosted by the Ski Nuts September 5th thru 8th at Twin Oaks Lakes.
  • “Carp Wars” at Twin Oaks Lakes (Ski Nuts) in Paducah was completely successful, with 100% elimination of the massive numbers of Asian carp which had invaded the lakes.  Unfortunately, we were not able to save as many game fish as we’d have liked (especially larger bass), but we have a good restock of bass, crappie, brim, and catfish restarted.
  • The Ski Nuts (Bob Harris) hosted five virtual judges and scorers clinics in 2017.  There were 163 total attendees representing all five Regions, and 37 states.Our Federation has picked up several younger skiers over the past three years, including three recent college grads (plus a newborn   )  .
  • Kentucky is very actively supporting water skiing and is POSITIVE ON THE SPORT!!

Submitted by:
Joe Burkhead
President, Kentucky Water Ski Federation

State Officers for 2018

Kentucky Water Ski Federation officers for the 2018 calendar year were elected at the Annual Meeting on November 11, 2017.  Joe Burkhead has agreed to lead the organization as President for a third term. Other officers are as follows:
                Joe Burkhead – President
                Joy Coomes – Vice President
                Cathy Burkhead – Secretary
                Leon Leonard – Treasurer

Councilmen representing Kentucky on the Southern Region Council are:
                Pat Coomes
                Eric Kelley
                Bob Harris

State Junior Development Coordinator will again be Bob Harris.

At large members serving on the Board of Directors by virtue of being presidents or designees of USAWS affiliated clubs not otherwise represented on the board are:
                Tom Bolger – Cruises Creek
                Hartley Davidson – Taylorsville
                Kyle Jones – Laurel Lake

Thanks to all these state skiers and involved persons for agreeing to serve as officers, councilmen, and board members.


2018 Disabled National Championships

USA Water Skiing has announced that the 2018 Disabled National Championships will be hosted by the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah.  This event will be held Wednesday thru Saturday, September 5-8, with the Awards Banquet at the conclusion of the tournament on Saturday evening. 
This will be the first-ever Disabled Nationals to be held in the state of Kentucky.  Congratulations to the Ski Nuts for being awarded this very special and prestigious event!