Waterskiing on Lochearn

Motorized water sports began on Loch Earn during the summer of 1955 with the discovery of an elderly Chris Craft which had been put up on blocks in 1939. It had acted as a rescue boat for John Cobb during his speed trials on Loch Ness. It was bought by Ewen Cameron and brought to Loch Earn. The first person towed behind it was Ann Cameron on the bonnet of a Morris Minor 1000 pulled by a tow rope. A member of the Cameron family came home from a summer holiday with a pair of skis and the knowledge of how to do it, so skiing was underway!!

By the spring of 1956 Ewen Cameron had formed a club with members paying a debenture of £50.00 – a lot of money then – and soon had enough members to enable them to buy two Albatrosses and go into business.

A young man Marc Cloutier, the reigning Canadian Champion, and Isla Henderson, from Dundee, came to the club from Ruislip – at this point the centre of water skiing in Britain – so the club was now well equipped to teach anyone who so wished to learn for the princely sum of 2/6p per lesson.

Back then, there were no wetsuits so woolly sweaters were often worn, and life jackets were bought from ships being broken up at Rosyth but these were rather heavy and cumbersome. In fact they were probably more dangerous that they were worth. People froze but persevered!!

The 100E’s were fine work horses but with larger men like Ewen Cameron and others of that ilk, the boats were “having the guts pulled out of them”, so the club invested in another Albatross, this time with a Coventry Climax engine with twin carburettors. Tommy MacGregor from Balquhidder was the club mechanic and went down to Norfolk to visit Ray Wright Engineering and Archie Peace who designed these boats.

In August of that year a privately owned modern Chris Craft arrived and it was a privilege to be offered a tow behind this monster. Everything was fun, and the members invented and learnt all sorts including parachutes, loaned by some of the members from Leuchars, being towed behind boats, kites to which one could be attached, discs on which to rotate, boards on which one would sit and a second would stand, jumping, slalom and other tricks.

By the end of that first summer, friends from the south had discovered the club and became interested in holding competitions on Loch Earn as this was the only stretch of water without restrictions at that time. Lochearnhead also had hotels, B&B, camping and Caravanning facilities on the loch side. The Club were talked into accepting to organise the Scottish Native Championship in 1957 to be followed by the British Water Ski Championship over the next two years. By this time, Clubs had been formed throughout Scotland and these included Fife, Slamannon, Urgle Gurgle (St Fillans), Aberdeen , Lochwinnoch and Loch Lomond .

In 1963, the Northern European Championships was held at Lochearnhead under the auspices of the World Water Ski Association. Competitors from eleven countries took part in this event which was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, Bells Whisky and many other local firms. Over 10,000 people came to spectate and every hotel, B&B, guest house from Callander to Comrie and Killin were occupied by officials and competitors. TV cameras were present and the event was recorded. All the fields at the Lochearnhead end became a tented village with sponsors and trade tents selling their wares.

Fancy Dress BBQ’s – rare in those days – ceilidhs in Lochearnhead and Grand Balls in London brought in funds to strengthen the Club. Champions were made and practiced on Loch Earn and these included Davey ”Mighty Mouse” Nicol, Dougal Campbell, Duncan Croall, Johnny Victory, Jackie Fulton and the Johnston family – all three of them!!!! Bill, David and Sheila made their mark in European and world circles and still have connections with village today and even ski on the loch. Many times World Champion, Mike Hazlewood, first learnt to ski on Loch Earn as did one time ladies World Champion, Phillipa Roberts.

In 1969 Italy was unable to take on the finals of the European Championships and the Lochearnhead Water Ski Club was asked to host the event. With a top class committee and members, the event happened and was a great success. The Club even had its own world class judges, Ewen and Ann Cameron, Lewis Drysdale and Bill Broggan.

Boating on Loch Earn in those early days was controlled by a “dictatorship” headed by an efficient retired banker from St Fillans. He patrolled the loch at weekends and any boat launching for a days “jolly” was charged 10/-. If the boat launched did not get a ticket first – these were sold in the village shops – no one would permit them to land until such time they paid up!!

Water skiing was given the royal seal of approval when Prince Philip heard what was happening and arrived by helicopter to see for himself what was going on.

Sailing nearly always was restricted to the east end of Loch Earn by St Fillans due to the fact that the winds were usually westerly’s and therefore windier and rougher at that end of the loch. At one stage there was a successful sailing school run by Major Campbell-Crawford. A sailing club still exists on the north shore of the loch just outside the village of St Fillans.

As time went on more and more people bought their own boats and ski club numbers diminished and eventually the Club ended. The old Club house is now the Lochearnhead Watersports Centre where tuition is still available and the facilities used by boat owners including launching and mooring.

Top competition came to an end when skiing became more money orientated and all skiers wanted to ski in waters of the same conditions as the previous skiers and this just could not be guaranteed on Loch Earn.

Skiing is still very much part of life on Loch Earn and enjoyed by hundreds every year, sadly though, no World Champions starting out on Loch Earn.

This is published with the kind permission of Angus Cameron, whose father featured so much in this article. Angus runs a SELF-CATERING* business in Lochearnhead.

 

I arrived in Edinburgh two days ago and Iv been blown away by the Beauty of Scotland. Although I did come here a few times as a wee boy on water ski holidays with my Parents and I of course have very fond memories of camping and waterskiing on Loch Tumel as kids and compete at Dunfurmline back in the 90s on the Slash 4 Cash tour, I did not have the opportunity to see the amazing sights of Scotland.

A huge Thank You to Amanda & Donald Rowan for escorting me around the Amazing sites of Glamis Castle the 650 year old home of the Queen Mother and the Bowes Lyon Family.

St Andrews Cathedral dating back to the 14th Century, St Andrews Golf Course and Anstruther where the best fish and chips in Scotland are served.

Today we visited Rob Roy McGregger grave from 1760, the Dochart Falls Inc killin and Lochearn in stirling where I got the Wakesurf with Charlie & Richard Leckie from Lochearn Watersports Center and Getting a chance to open water slalom set that lasted around 60 none stop turns over at least a mile stretch of pretty glassy water of nearly 400 feet deep Loch Earn

After 8 Amazing days of summer weather and great pack fully booked clinics at Rooye Plas in Handel and Paterswold Ski Club in Groningen working with amazing your talent from the Van Bergen and Korsten families who are heading to the Junior World Championship this week in Spain.

I am so looking forward to my 10th anniversary clinic in Amsterdam next summer! Who in?

Today I’m traveling to Edinburgh Scotland getting ready for three days of clinics at Loch Earn and Dunfirmlin Ski Clubs with Domanl Rowan and my Irish Buddy Jody Waterworth who is traveling over especially for this clinic.

 

See you all in bonny Scotland Skiers!

Max Jansson

So happy to see Max Jansson mature over the past two weeks massively as a solid slalom skier. Max worked very hard on changing some fundamental elements of his stance that brought huge stability, control, efficiency and consistency to his skiing and with a solid 12 meter (35off) pass under him belt today, I’m totaled confident that Max turned a corner in his skiing that will bring new PB’s and a huge amount of fun on the water this season. Awesome work Max and we’ll pick it up again at one of my stops in Europe on phase one of my Coaching World Tour 2018 brought to you by Thule and my Partner sponsors below.
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Philip from Holland

I want to introduce you to a very special person who has a miracle story to tell and has beaten the odds in life and now found water as a sport he’s fallen in love with.
Philip from Holland was born with a debilitating Rheumatoid joint disease that normally if born with it you would have it for life. This was so bad for Philip, it would often put him in a wheelchair and through numerous treats he most over one year of school.

This disease of course prevented Philip from a normal childhood of sports and fun activities for the first 14 years of his life.
Then six years ago one week before the start of secondary school, Philip cut his foot quite badly and it got infected, where the Doctor were worried he my get gangrene! So they decided to give Philip a blood

transfusion in order to clear out the infection in his body and following  that transfusion a Miracle appeared to take place! The debilitating Rheumatoid Joint pain started to clear up and he started to feel much better through him whole body. Moving on five years. Philip ‘a family and his Uncles family went on vacation to Greece and Philip tried waterskiing for the first time. He amazing got up on two skis and then on one ski and fell in love with this sport he could now do. Philips Uncle who lives in Germany contacted me telling me this story and said he wanted to send Philip to our ski school for 10 days as a Birthday Gift. We set it up and Philip arrived thinking he was a left foot forward mono skier and after we talk through how he was introduced to the sport on the beach in Greece and had not gone through the proper step of lifting a ski to really discover the correct foot that should go forward in his ski. I suggested that we would start on two skis and go through these step to at least confirm that his left foot was intact the correct foot to go in front. Low and behold it turned out that Philip was actually far more stable on his right leg and getting up was so much easier!
We then start in the half course and then into main slalom course program in order to learn and complete the course during his time with us. Philip not only learned the course, but with both sets of gates and started working on increasing the boat speed! What an amazing feat, after all he had been though in his young life! Now having the prospect of being a great waterskier and who know maybe representing Holland one day in international competition. Thank you to Philips Auntie& Uncle Judith & Andre Hiebeler Philip will now be

training at Rooya Plas with Freek School and Gerard Kolthof at Nautique Benelux and join me in Europe on my Coaching World Tour stops in

Holland and Germany.

Spring is HERE

2/12/2018

Welcome to the 2018 waterski season and our new Website Layout for
Jodi’s Ski Skool.com

It’s already mid February and the spring season is upon us, we are already rocking down here at our Orlando facility on Lake Gifford and plans are well underway to bring you our new 2018 World Coaching Tour Calendar by the end of this month where we are planning on working with over 400 skiers in 90+ days on 36+ locations in 15 countries on Four Continents around the World.
Keep an eye out for the full list of dates, venues and countries we will visit in 2018.

We are also launching a new initiative by the end of February called
Jodi’s Ski Team which is designed to support in this first year 12 young talented skiers from around the world who are not only passionate about the sport and their own skiing, but they are passionate to promote and spread the sport in their country. This initiative is a lead up program to our already 4 Years in place Spray It Forward Charity program set up to support all the College Waterski Team across the USA with donated equipment from Enthusiasts, Pro Skiers and the Manufactures within the industry.
With more than 409 skis collected and over 250 redistributed to schools across the States that now have the vital updated equipment needed to ensure safer training and competing for the athletes involved which ultimately develops the lifet long love for the sport and become ski parents who end up introducing their future children and family members to the sport!