Waterskiing with soul 

Charlotte McGuire practices for the New Zealand Barefoot Championships at Lake Karāpiro starting on March 24. Photo: Georgia Groen.

Barefoot water skiing is not for the faint hearted or soft headed.

It is one of the trickiest and most skilful sports and is set to return to Lake Karāpiro at the Piarere Ski Club for the national championships from March 24-26.

Some would call skiers brave; others would say we are simply crazy.

Think of someone walking on water but travelling 70 km/h while doing insane tricks. It is truly mesmerising.

World champion and New Zealand open women’s defending titleholder Georgia Groen is a member of the Waikato club, which is hosting the championships, as is open men’s champion William Leigh.

The rest of the Waikato team competing are Mathew Slow, Brent Wright, Tom Mathis, Jack Mathis, James McGuire, Ashlyn Fisher and me – Charlotte McGuire.

Judging for barefoot skiing is in three categories: slalom, tricks and jump.

At the end of the champs, a national squad will be named to compete in the Oceania competition later this year and the world champs in February next year.

  • Charlotte McGuire, 17, lives south of Te Awamutu, works in Tirau and attended St Peter’s School, Cambridge. Her brother James, 15 and Jack Mathis attend St Peter’s School, Cambridge.

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