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Dusty Schulz

Dusty Schulz

Awarded in 

It is difficult to put into writing the contributions Dusty has made to the sport of water ski racing, both on and off the water. The National Water Ski Racing Association has no other individual responsible for so many different advancements in the sport.

Dusty has been an active member of the NWSRA for more than 40 years. He began as a competitive observer back in the early 1970s. Since then, Dusty has held many offices, positions, and chairmanships during his tenure in water ski racing. He has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy not only as a competitor but as a true ambassador of the sport.

Many of his accomplishments were achieved solely for the promotion, evolution, and pure love of our sport. Even now, he volunteers for tasks and tackles them with as much enthusiasm as someone doing something for the first time.

In 2017, Dusty stepped down as Chairman of the IWWF Racing Council. He is still a PanAm delegate to the council and is the last inaugural member elected in 1979. He was recently inducted into the IWWF Hall of Fame for his service and contribution to the sport of water skiing. As a promoter and innovator, you couldn’t ask for anyone better than Dusty. He truly has the best interest of ski racing at heart.

In the 1970s, Dusty and Terry Bennett from Australia created the “America’s Cup Challenge” between the United States and Australia. Then, Dusty and Ron Tesarski formulated a plan for a marathon series in the United States. The US National Marathon Series was born in 1980. This series provided the foundation for the United States to select US World Teams better. The event structure and world team selection processes are still in place today. With the creation of the US National Marathon Series, Dusty took it upon himself to have an original trophy designed. This exclusive trophy is treasured by anyone who receives it.

In 1984, Dusty, along with Tom Johnson, had the vision to run water ski races on the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona, a previously unheard-of feat. Dusty and Tom laid the groundwork, met with city and river officials, and headed the organizing committee to bring the first Parker Marathons to life in March 1985. These same marathons just celebrated their 32nd anniversary, having only missed the 1989 season.

In 2000, Dusty’s dream was to bring the Water Ski Racing World Championships to the United States for the first time. To make it a reality, he devised a logistical and fund-raising plan to allow the NWSRA to host the world championships without any financial impact on the association. Not only did Schulz bring his plan to fruition when the finances were settled, but the final numbers for the event also showed a profit.

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