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Has Skied More Than 40 Nationals
Born on July 26, 1957 in Birmingham, Alabama, "Lucky" since birth might have been listed on official records if the doctor who delivered him had not insisted that his parents give him a more formal name. C.W. and Carole Lowe gave in and registered their son "Carlton Wayne" after their respective fathers. Still, except for official papers, that's as far as it went.
Lucky Lowe began water skiing at the age of 6 and competed in his first tournament the following year. He did more fishing than water skiing, but did well enough to qualify for the 1970 Nationals. His first year in Boys in 1973 he began to get more into what he wanted to accomplish, which was to win the Boys overall title. His goal was accomplished in 1974 when he won jumping with a distance of 125 feet as well as the overall title.
At the 1977 U.S. Water Ski Team Trials, he established himself as a contender for the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team with a jump of 170 feet making the team as an alternate and one week later jumped 177 feet to finish fourth overall at the Nationals. "I began to realize for the first time that I might be good enough to make the team, but my tricks and slalom left much to be desired," Lowe recalls.
Under the supervision of Jim McCormick he increased his trick run 6000 points. A lot of hard work paid off. He was a U.S. Elite Water Ski Team member from 1979 through 1985. In 1979 he placed fifth in slalom at the Water Ski World Championships in Toronto, Canada, and was a silver medalist in men's jumping at the 1985 Water Ski World Championships in Tolouse, France, coming up just inches short of the gold medal.
Many thrills had been witnessed at the Water Ski World Championships, but arguably none equaled the slalom battle between Canada’s Andy Mapple, Sweden’s Michael Kjellander and Lowe at the 1991 Worlds in Villach, Austria. After an unprecedented three-way tie, Lowe – being last out by draw – knew what he had to do; with experience and expertise under his belt he would become the oldest to win his first gold medal.
He returned to the 1993 Water Ski World Championships in Singapore as an independent in slalom and earned the bronze medal.
In 1978 Lowe was invited to ski in the Masters and won the jumping event with a leap of 178 feet, just two feet shy of the long existing world record. He competed in 14 Masters and held the course record of 191 feet in men's jumping from 1985 through 1989.
Yet despite all of the success he experienced at the world championships and on the Professional Water Ski Tour, Lowe, USA Water Ski’s 1991 Male Athlete of the Year, always held the Water Ski National Championships closest to his heart. He became a member of the American Water Ski Association at the age of 6, and a life member of the organization at age 22. “I have skied in more than 40 Nationals and can truly say that skiing in the Nationals was always more rewarding to me than any Pro Tour event that I competed in,” Lowe said.
At the time of his induction Lowe was competing in Masters Men slalom, and was the defending Masters Men national slalom champion with a score of 2 buoys at 41 feet off. He also was operating the ski school he opened more than 20 years prior in Lake Alfred, Fla., where he resides with his wife, Jennifer, and son, Chance.