Brockton man to compete in World Water Ski Show Tournament

·2 min read

WALKERTON – The 2022 World Water Ski Show Tournament in Winter Haven, Florida, will have a familiar face among the competitors – Baxter Legace.

The graduate of Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton is studying math and physics at Nipissing University, with the goal of becoming a teacher. He’s the son of Bob and Deb Legace.

He started water skiing as a four-year-old, and has never looked back.

He travels to Florida on Oct. 12 for the Oct. 22 competition.

Bob and Deb Legace said Winter Haven is considered the home of water skiing. Competitors will be coming from around the world to participate in the world’s championship, in this, the year of the 100th anniversary of water skiing.

Huntsville hosted the 2018 championship. The 2020 event was to be held in Australia, but COVID-19 caused its cancellation.

The Legaces explained that during COVID, the decision was made to start a development team and their son submitted a video to Show Ski Canada.

“He was asked to join the national team for a practice,” they said, and has been practising all summer.

“He’s had a great summer,” they said, perfecting such things as the “barefoot bomber” and “pyramid.” He does the latter as part of the base of the pyramid.

The Legaces said Baxter is looking for sponsorships to assist with the expense of travel and competition – contact skideepbay@wightman.ca for additional information.

About Winter Haven

The 2022 IWWF World Water Ski Show Tournament features teams and individuals from around the world. According to the tournament website, Winter Haven is “where Dick Pope Sr. elevated show skiing to a worldwide phenomenon.”

Baseball has Fenway Park – or, if you’re Canadian, Beachville. For water skiers, it has to be Lake Eloise, the home of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven.

Water skiing is said to have been invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson on Lake Pepin, Minnesota, but Dick Pope Sr.’s Cypress Gardens transformed it into a global sport and entertainment phenomenon.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times