XIt is with utmost disappointment that the Backwater Gamblers announce that we will not be able to perform ski shows for our amazing fans at this time. The health and safety of our team members and fans are our primary concern. Due to the current Reopen Illinois phase which mandates social distancing of 6 feet and no large gatherings, it is impossible to perform all the acts you love like our pyramids, doubles, ballet lines, around the boat, and most of our show safely and within these guidelines. As soon as we are able to perform safely again within the guidelines of the state of Illinois, we will absolutely do so and will update our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and let you know.

As we are a 501(c)3 non-profit and rely solely on donations from our fans and sponsors, if you would like to help support us so we can continue to provide family-friendly, free water ski shows to the Quad Cities in the future, you can donate via PayPal ([email protected]), Venmo (@Backwater-Gamblers), or by mailing a check to Backwater Gamblers, 5000 44th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201. We hope to ski you soon!

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In 2004, the BWG celebrated it’s 25th anniversary! Our membership grew to 92. Flooding at the ski site caused the first 5 shows of the ski season to be cancelled. Despite not being able to ski for almost the entire month of June, we won the Kelly Allender Tournament in Waterloo, IA. We also won every special award including best boat driving, dock & equipment, pick-up boat, sound presentation, barefoot act, ballet line, pyramid and jump Act. For the second consecutive year, the team hosted and won the Central Regional Tournament, once again winning most of the special awards. Also, for the second year in a row, we placed 3rd at the Division I Show Ski Nationals! Our theme was “Rocking Country Ski Camp” and was co-directed by Scott Allender and Dennis Heggen.

On 7/25/04, we successfully performed the largest pyramid ever by the ski club, 3 4-tier pyramids built behind one boat. Two boats driven by Gene Hast and Brint Burrill provided a “tandem pull” to get the 36 skiers off the dock, then one boat finished the act. We successfully built this same pyramid at the National Tournament.

The Backwater Gamblers received a very special honor - being selected as the 2004 Regional Team of the Year. We won for our entire geographic region for all types of water skiing organizations -3 event, show, kneeboard, etc.. We were beat out as the overall Club of the Year for the entire country by only one other team.