USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, the American Water Ski Association (AWSA) and the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches announced today that the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches will not serve as the host of the 78th GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 4-8, at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fla., due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Florida. It is important to note that the Nationals event has NOT been cancelled at this time. The AWSA board of directors is actively seeking an alternate site – and alternative dates if necessary – to conduct the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament in 2020.
The South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach have been Florida’s hardest hit areas with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter addressed to the board of directors of AWSA, the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches said: “We agonized over our decision and this certainly was not the outcome we wanted. However, the health and safety of our competitors, officials, volunteers, and staff in these troubled times amidst the Covid-19 virus had to be our priority. We realize that the event is not until Aug. 4, but there is simply no way to tell what the accessibility status of Palm Beach County will be with this health crisis at that time. Many factors went into our decision.”
USA Water Ski & Wake Sports suspended sanctioned events due to COVID-19 on March 18. USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is planning to begin sanctioning events again starting on May 18 and is currently finalizing Return to Play Guidelines for its more than 600 affiliated water ski clubs, nine sport discipline organizations and 14,000 members. Information on all sanctioned events, including the status of AWSA regional championships, will be available at www.usawaterski.org