USA Water Ski honored members of Team Nautique this past weekend during their annual awards banquet held at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall in Haines City, FL. This banquet celebrated the 2013 water ski season and marked the organization’s 75th year.
Team Nautique skier and World Record holder Nate Smith was awarded USA Water Ski’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, and was also recognized for his world record of 2.5@ 43-off set in September of this year. Smith also won the 2013 Water Ski World Championships as a member of the U.S Elite Water Ski Team. Joining Nate on the U.S. Elite Team were fellow Nautique skiers Scot Ellis and Erika Lang with performances that contributed to an overall team victory for the U.S. at the event.
“It’s an honor to receive this award. It has taken a lot of time and dedication to get to where I am today. It is not easy to fight your way to the top through all of the tough competition out there. I am thankful for all of my sponsors especially Nautique for standing behind me since the beginning and providing me with everything necessary to accomplish what I have over the last couple of years.” – Nate Smith
Nautique athlete Erika Lang was recognized by the American Water Ski Association (AWSA) as Trick Skier of the Year and for her recent World Trick Ski record of 10,180 points set in October. Erika has taken the water ski world by storm this year with standout performances including her win at the 2013 Water Ski World Championships.
“Being awarded the American Waterski Association Trick skier of the year is such an honor! 2013 was such an amazing year for me and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of it without the help from Nautique, D3, my coaches, and my parents! I had very high standards for myself this year and I was able to achieve every single one of my goals! Without everyone’s support I wouldn’t be where I am today in the sport of waterskiing!” – Erika Lang
Nautique athlete Raimi Merritt was awarded USA Wakeboard’s Female Athlete of the Year. Raimi competes in events all over the globe and in 2013 won her eighth consecutive IWWF World Cup title in five years.
“I am so happy to be named 2013 USA Wakeboard Female Athlete of the Year. I worked very hard this past year and to see it pay off and win this award is amazing! I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for me.” – Raimi Merritt
For more information on our elite team of athletes please visit www.nautique.com/team/home/.