Dear Big Dawg Competitor,
Our team has the upmost respect for each of you. Your continued support of waterskiing through participation in the Big Dawg World Tour has increased the level of performance each year.
As I stated in the banquet, it is Nautique’s desire to continue the progression of the Big Dawg World Tour as a showcase of the world’s best 34 mph waterskiers and this past evening’s event represented everything that is great about our sport. Unfortunately, it was also impacted by an unfortunate turn of events in the Final Four.
Following the judging team’s decision to grant Jeff Rodgers a re-ride in the Final Four and the resulting change of outcome, Nautique was approached by many of you to intervene and reverse the judging decision. As a sponsor and promoter of the event, the Nautique team firmly believes that our intervention to reverse the judges’ decision would have had negative long term ramifications on the sport and Big Dawg World Tour. We made a conscious effort to hear all parties involved including the competitors on the shore, the competitors in the pairing and the judging team. However, the judges made this call within the rules of the event and therefore we supported their decision.
Despite the circumstances, I would like to thank the Final Four for the sportsmanship that was displayed at the awards ceremony. Even in controversy, we have great athletes and a great event.
As the promoter of the Big Dawg World Tour, Nautique needs assistance from you, the competitors. The unique head to head format combined with artificial lighting presents challenges not only to the athletes but also to the officials. Our goal is to prevent unfortunate controversies like this from occurring at future events. At the Masters Water Ski Tournament, Nautique utilizes an advisory committee of officials and athletes to provide insight for developing key criteria and with your help we would like to implement a similar advisory committee for the Big Dawg World Tour. In the days ahead our Nautique team and Greg Davis will be working to form this committee. We would very much appreciate any input you have related to this committee and suggestions related to who should serve on it.
Thanks again for your participation and understanding. The Big Dawg has been an amazing series for many years and we believe the best is still to come!
Vice President of Marketing and Product Development