Rockford, Ill. (WIFR) For what seems like most of the summer, the Rock River hasn't seen much action, but that's all about to change. The 2017 Show Ski Nationals are coming to town, bringing the tournament back to the region once again.
The 43rd Indmar Ski Championship kicked off Friday at Shorewood Park. This is the 9th time the Ski Broncs have hosted the tournament, which brings 14 teams from across the country to compete in group and individual water ski events. Now that the river is back open, the Broncs can breathe easy knowing their hard work has paid off and the competition will continue, raking in more than $200,000 of economic impact.
"Hosting a tournament like this is super exciting, super stressful anytime, and this year because of the rains we've had, the river has been going up and down like a roller coaster, and I tell people my blood pressure goes up with the river levels," said Steve Kling, President of the Rockford Ski Broncs. "Though it turned out just fine, and we're excited to host this for our community."
With athletes as young as 8, even up to 58, the Broncs are proud to say they're a family sport, and that they're able to celebrate their 50th anniversary season with a major tournament like this one.
"It's a great feeling, it's a great group of kids, we've seen families come and go but it's fun to see kids of people that I skied with when they were kids," said Shane Theiss, Show Director of the Ski Broncs. "If you've never been to a show, it's theater on water really. There's acting, there's music, there's excitement, there's danger... there's a little bit of everything, so it's the best free entertainment you're going to get."
The Show Ski Nationals run through Sunday, August 13th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free to the public.