University of Wisconsin–Madison

Water-skiing star — and UW–Madison senior — nabs a world first in international competition

Gabbie Taschwer doesn’t quite walk on water, but she’s almost that good.

The UW–Madison senior and two fellow members of the 2018 USA Water Ski Show Team just became the first female trio ever to perform a triple helicopter spin in competition.

The record-setting feat occurred Sept. 8 at the Show Ski World Championships in Ontario, Canada. The three sailed off a ski jump, spun 360 degrees in the air, and stuck the landing.

The jump had never been attempted or accomplished by three female skiers in any tournament in the world, according to Gerry Luiting, chairman of the Show Ski Council of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation.

“The crowd gave them a huge standing ovation, and that doesn’t happen at the world championships unless it’s pretty amazing,” he says. “It’s analogous to a standing ovation at the Olympics.”

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