Royal Sets New Men's V1 Tricks Record
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
U.S. adaptive water ski athlete Mike Royal (Magnolia, Texas) set a new Men’s V1 national tricks record at the AWSA’s South Central Regional Championships in Martindale, Texas, on July 25, 2021.
Royal’s new record of 820 bested his previous national record by 120 points. Records aren’t anything new to Royal. In addition to being a six-time USA Adaptive Water Ski Team member, Royal has set six world records and seven national records.
Although Royal is totally blind, he competed in able-bodied tournaments this ski season and has qualified along with four other adaptive athletes - Elisha Nelson (W3), Craig Timm (M4), Gregg Stokes (M6) and Mark Turner (M3) - to compete in the 79th GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 8-14, in Wilmington, Ill. Royal will compete in Men 4 tricks and is believed to be the first blind tricks skier to compete at the Nationals.
He set his record at the Regionals in the Men 4 division (45-54 years old) against sighted athletes. To ensure his performance would qualify for an adaptive record, he had the Pan Am Judge verify that he was wearing blackout goggles prior to skiing.
Royal also will be competing at the 2022 U.S. Adaptive Water Ski Nationals and Team Trials, Sept. 14-17, 2022, in Paducah, Ky., vying to earn a coveted spot on the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team. Team USA, reigning world champions, will compete at the 2023 IWWF World Disabled Water Ski Championships in March 2023 at the Bridgewater Ski Club in Victoria, Australia.
For more information on adaptive water skiing, visit usaadaptivewaterski.org.