Water skiers focus on keeping cool and staying hydrated during regional championships

DUNCANVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Despite the scorching hot temperature and humid conditions outside, hundreds of water skiers are in Tuscaloosa County competing in a popular event.

The event is the American Water Ski Association’s Southern Regional Championships. Nearly 200 people from all over the south are competing in the 4-day competition at Lymanland Lake in Duncanville.

Mark Coomes came from Kentucky to compete.

“It’s a blast to come here and compete against some of the best water skiers in the southern region,” Coomes said. “It is a tournament you have to qualify for. You have to train and ski with good people and good water skiers.”

Even though the water sport is fun, Coomes says the hot temperatures are no laughing matter. He and many others are making sure they stay hydrated.

”It is very important to stay hydrated out here. We try to stay in the shade as much as possible and try not to get too hot,” Coomes said. “I try to cool down before we go compete, and you don’t want to overdo it before that part.”

Since it’s so hot and humid, a medical team is stationed here every day to make sure everyone stays safe. Cristi Long is the safety officer.

“If you can, wear a hat and sun glasses because your eyes can sunburn too,” Long said. “Just because you feel cool in the water does not mean the sun is not reflecting off the water. Drink lots of water, 8 ounces every hour or two.”

The Southern Regional Championships conclude Saturday. The winner of this week’s competition will head to San Marcos, Texas in August for the US Nationals.

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