Paul Boel passed away this morning. He was 98. He had a tremendous passion for water skiing and a great influence on Michigan water skiing. I ski at one of the sites he built and our club (which was his club) continues to benefit from his dedication to the sport.
Below is from the writeup for his 2016 Award of Distinction from the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation:
Involved in water skiing since 1956, Paul Boel was a pioneer in our sport. As one of the original organizers of the Michigan Water Ski Association, Paul developed the private Tivoli Gardens Lake site in the early 1960s and has been hosting major water ski events there for more than 50 years. Besides local, collegiate, state and professional tournaments, Paul hosted the 1976 Midwest Regionals and the 1978 Nationals, which saw more than 28,000 spectators. It was the largest number of spectators to ever attend a National Championship. Paul was the Men 6 National jumping champion in 1991 and Men 10 National jumping champion in 2006. He also was the first Senior Men competitor to jump 100 feet. Paul was inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Association's Hall of Fame in 1987 and was an active long-time financial supporter and board of trustee for the USA Water Ski Foundation.
The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.