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Dedicated to Water Skiing
If you've ever been to a stop on the Water Ski Pro Tour, you've probably seen C.W. Lowe. He was the man in the tour cap and shirt, standing patiently on the dock with a walkie-talkie. And, when the tempers are flaring, he is the one calmly intervening.
After serving five years in Korea as army Sergeant, C.W. returned to civilian life and began a profession as a roller rink owner and teacher in the family business.
C.W. started out as a roller skater. He was so accomplished that he would have competed, but as a roller rink owner and teacher he was barred from professional skating. It was in the skating rink that he met Carole Woods in 1955. The couple was married in June 1956.
During the summer after they married, C.W. and Carole vacationed at her father's cabin on the Elk River in Northern Alabama. There, they tried water skiing for the first time. With his background in skating, C.W. got up on his first try behind the outboard-powered Barbour runabout. It didn't take this natural athlete long to pick up slalom and tricks and start competing.
When he and Carole joined the Alabama Warriors Ski Club in 1959, C.W.'s leadership skills were apparent. He used his knowledge of roller skating shows to help the club improve, introducing background music and costumes to their acts.
In 1959, C.W. and Carole both began to assist in officiating. They soon became familiar figures at AWSA-sanctioned tournaments in the Southern Region. They attained their Senior Judge ratings in 1965 and soon expanded their officiating efforts nationally.
C.W. was named Chief Judge of the 1974 and 1976 National Water Ski Championships and at the 1977 World Water Ski Championships in Milan, Italy.
Hand in hand officiating, C.W. began to become involved in the politics of the sport. He was an AWSA director for 18 years, serving as a member of several major committees. In 1983, C.W. was elected president of the Association. In appreciation of his outstanding efforts, C.W. was honored with AWSA's prestigious Award of Merit in 1994.
C.W. has also been an instrumental part of the International Water Ski Pro Tour, serving as tournament chairman since its inception in 1984 until 1996. While producing a tournament in Jamaica, MasterCraft's Rob Shirley requested C.W. to be the Chief Judge of the new Tour. Anxious to perpetuate professional skiing, he accepted. However, due to the conflict of interest rule (his son, Lucky, was competing in the Tour tournaments) C.W. shifted Tournament Director. Over the years, he has been director for a record of 118 Tours meets across the country.
In 1980, after moving to Florida from his home state of Alabama, C.W. took on another responsibility for the sport he loves. He became curator of the Water Ski Museum and Hall of Fame. Since then, he has helped develop hundreds of displays as well as maintain the Museum facility.
Wherever there is a need, C.W. Lowe stands ready and eager to lend his skill and enthusiasm. His dedication to water skiing has helped the sport grow in ways too numerous to mention.
Consistent with his love of roller skating, C.W. remains an active member of the Roller Skating Museum.