Munson Marine sponsored the club with a few pair of skis and Dr. Pepper sponsored programs for which ads were sold. Aquanuts entered tournaments for the first time and placed eleventh at State and eighth at Nationals. Aquanuts were the first team to utilize background musical soundtracks, which was an innovation quickly copied by other teams. The Aquanuts’ own Gary Borowski was the first amateur skier to perform the "flying dock barefoot start" in a competition.
Munson Marine increased sponsorship by furnishing entire team with skis. Under show director Ed Kaelber II, we placed 1st at State and 2nd at Nationals. Greg Borowski, Kent Yunker and Jeff Slovick are praised as the best clowns in show skiing for their original and entertaining performances.
Mercury Outboards became the club's sponsor in 1979 and supplied accessories for all team boats. More seating was added to the show site by terracing the area with railroad ties. We continued our innovative tradition as we introduced the first choreographed dance/ski act “Greased Lightning” at the State tournament. We retained first at State, the Ballet Line was again awarded Best in Competition and we placed third overall at Nationals.
Improvement at the show site continued in 1981 by installing a paved walkway and the addition of more bleachers. A new clown flivver boat was purchased. Tournament results included placing second at State and third at Nationals. Ken Borowski and Kent Yunker, otherwise known as "Bub and Bobo", were awarded the title #1 Clowns at the National Show Tournament.
Aquanuts won the highly coveted Triple Crown of Show Skiing in 1983! Garrett Adams was the Show Director with the “Saga of Rock Ridge” western theme and performances were spectacular at every tournament entered. The show opened with a live Country and Western band playing while live chickens and hay bales decorated the new floating stage as props. Colorful screen backdrops depicted the town of Rock Ridge. The choreographed Western Dance Intro and Swivel/Ballet Line outscored all other teams in their respective categories at all three tournaments.
Brian Schaufel and Brian Sisk co-direct the show and guide the team into three 2nd place finishes. Special Awards Category at Nationals included: Willa Cook Award for Best Female Skier, Chris Little; #1 Boat Driver Brian Schaufel, #1Swiverl Ballet Line, #1 Barefoot Act.
Fifteen men skied barefoot through the show course simultaneously to comprise the Aquanaut's biggest barefoot line yet! New for the team was an all-girl barefoot line. Chris Little won the Best Female Skier Willa Cook Award for the second time. The Best Boat Driving Team at Nationals was awarded to Brian Schaufel, Mike O'Toole, and Todd Forsgren. Once again the Jump Team successfully captured another national award.
Gotham City, led by Show Director George Mantoan, was the scene for the new show featuring the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin. The caped crusaders were such a favorite with the youngsters that the skiers often had to stay an extra half-hour after the performances just to sign autographs. At the show's end the Bat Dance was so popular that even parents and advisors joined in on the fun. Tournament results were fourth place at Lamb's, third at State, and fourth at Nationals.
Changes for this year included the installation of a new jump and a brand new sign at the entrance to Lance Park. Peter Renn Jr., as Show Director, orchestrated this “Top Gun” season. A first for the Aquanuts was executing a 4-high pyramid at Lamb's Farm. At State, the team skied in the fog and the crowd excitedly cheered as they emerged from the mist with yet another 4-high pyramid. The glow of light reflecting off the neon costumes added to the scene. Tournament results for the year were a fifth place at Lamb's Farm, third place at State and fifth place finish at Nationals.
The Aquanuts got a new look! Major improvements included landscaping, new staging area, painting and carpet inside the Scout House, new equipment and new costumes! A brand new jump surface just like the one used by the pro tour added a new dimension to the Jump Act. With Carrie Michael as the Show Director, they finished a solid third place at all three tournaments with the "Ultimate Game Show" as the theme. At Lamb's Farm the Barefoot Line won the award for the highest scoring barefoot act. Kevin Michael became the first Aquanut to win the "Skip Gilkerson Award" for Outstanding Male Skier at Nationals.
Nostalgia and old time Rock-n-Roll permeated the atmosphere as the Aquanuts took "A Trip Down Memory Lane" and revisited the era of the golden oldies. The story rotated around life at the "Aquanut Diner" complete with a soda fountain, car hops, and a visit from Johnny B. and the boys. Bruce Brenner directed the show to a third place finish at Lamb's Farm, third place at State, & fifth place finish at Nationals. The pyramid team took "High" honors when they were awarded The Highest Scoring Act at The Lamb's Farm Tournament. Again at Nationals, the pyramid made a strong showing with a new record for the 4-high pyramid comprised of 28 people! The pyramid was the only "mega 4-high" to perform without any major falls! CONGRATULATIONS!!
Aquanuts began to celebrate their 25th Anniversary with an all-star alumni show only to have mother nature intervene with severe weather forcing postponement of the show until the following year. The first ever Triple Rigged Hydrodyne in amateur competition made its debut in the Aquanut's show with none other than 1977 Show Director Brian Schaufel at the helm. Powered by triple V6 Evinrude Intruders, this machine turned more than a few heads when it took to the water.
The Junior Team, under the direction of Brenda Genengles, grew to over 45 members. The Senior Team, having lost several members to the pro ranks, went on to perform shows themed Aquanut Fever placing well in the State and National tournaments.
Aquanuts took a trip back to the past using a show theme that won the triple crown in 1984, The Roaring Twenties. After placing third at State, the team advanced to Nationals, where they placed eighth. Most notably, the repeated show theme won the Sea World’s Award "Best Presentation of a Show Theme".
The show theme took Aquanuts to the Army, where Chris Kadera led a not-so-disciplined group of soldiers in preparation for an inspection by the infamous Major Tweed. In June, they competed in the Mercury Invitational, placing third. In July, they were very successful raising money for the MACC fund through a benefit show in memory of Cheri Amore. The team competed in the Wisconsin State Show Tournament, placing fourth and the National Tournament in Loves Park placing ninth.
Paul Weiler, who brought Aquanut spirit as Show Director, ventured back to the 70's at P Dubs Car Wash. This show led the team to the best tournament finishes in 20 years. The team placed second overall at State, and won individual awards for #1 Ballet Line, #1 Jump Act, #1 Trick Skier and #1 Rope and Dock. They placed second overall at Nationals and won individual awards for #1 Ballet Line and #1 Jump Act.
Veteran show director and skier Ken Meyer resurrected an Aquanut classic, "Charlie Tuna," with the sequel, "Charlie's Revenge."
Bringing back another Aquanut favorite theme, "Aquanut Laboratories", Show Director Andy Amore carried the team through it's “growing year”!
The year 2011 marked the first time in several years the Aquanuts skied in three tournaments during the season. With Show Director Mike Pierce and his themed Aquanuts Roller-disco, the Aquanuts made a strong finish at the Mercury Open and set the stage for a great State Tournament and a fifth place finish. At the National Tournament, the team placed eighth overall. Once again, the ladies retained their title of Best Ballet Line at State and Nationals. Individual highlights were Kaila Coffey and Kendall Krieger in the Wisconsin State Tournament and Nationals. Fourteen year-old Jarad Meyer won the Best Trick Skier Award at State.
A spectacular year for the Nuts was definitely 2013. The Aquanut Rock Show, led by Show Director Dave Thornton, rocked into second place at the Mercury Invitational, fifth place at Wisconsin State and third place at Nationals in Loves Park, IL. The 30-girl Ballet Line was again National Champion and highest scoring act at Nationals while the 26-girl Ballet Line was State Champion. The Aquanuts performed the State Tournament’s Most Creative/Original Act with a “Barefoot Pyramid Plunge”, performed by 6 team members: Dave Thornton, Aaron Nelson, Brandon Kirchens, Collin Barber, Kailey and Ariana Koehler. Kailey Koehler was named the Jennifer Dibble/Michelle Cook Most Valuable Female Skier. Aaron Nelson was the Mark Black Memorial Outstanding Trick Skier. Swivel Ladies Kendall Krieger, Kaila Coffey and Olivia Shulda placed second, third and ninth at state, respectively. The entire team worked together to build three, four-high pyramids as the show-stopper at Nationals using the new barge. Cody Coffey Wake Boarding and Kailey and Ariana Koehler’s Barefoot Act were the highest scoring acts at the Mercury Open along with the 25-girl Ballet Line. The Rope and Dock Team directed by Lynn Renn and consisting of Anthony and Emily Renn, Ethan Shulda, Zach Brumm, Asa Neal, Mason Hedrick Pat and Lisa Kirchens, tied for first place. Also at Nationals, star swivel lady, Kendall Krieger, placed third, which was an Aquanut first! Lastly, Aquanut sisters Ariana and Kailey Koehler were named to the 2014 USA Waterski Show Team.
The year 2015 was spectacular for the Aquanuts as they were awarded the title D1 National Champion Show Ski Team! The team’s trip to the national tournament in Janesville, WI was a dream come true by executing a near flawless performance, and achieving a first place finish. The show’s theme, created by Show Director Ken Meyer and Justin Mushel, was centered around the 1978 comedy movie Animal House and the comedic exchanges between the administration and students of the campus “frat house”. To start the tournament season, the Aquanuts competed in June at the Mercury Invitational in Janesville, WI placing third overall. In July, they competed at the 49th annual Wisconsin Water Ski Show Championships in Wisconsin Rapids on Lake Wazeecha and placed third. An award was presented to swivel skier Kaila Coffey who placed second in the Individual Swivel Competition. The Back Barefoot Circle Act, performed by Kailey Koehler, (ranked #1 in USA, #3 World-ranked bare-footer), her sister Ariana Koehler (ranked #3 in USA) and Collin Barber, was the highest scoring barefoot act at the weekend competition. In addition, Kailey Koehler was named the 2015 Jennifer Dibble-Woods/Michelle Cook Award winner for the most outstanding female skier of the competition. An Aquanut member has held this award for four years in a row. The season’s highlight was winning the National Team Title in August at the 4first Indmar Marine Engines Division 1 Show Ski Nationals, a feat that last occurred 31 years ago in 1984. The Aquanuts won Best Ballet Line for the fifth year running. The 31-person ballet line consisted of 9 ladies swiveling, followed by a “thread-the-needle quick pick up” of the remaining 22 ladies. Kailey Koehler and her difficult backward barefoot circles won the Best Barefoot Act of the tournament. Kailey barefooted backwards four times around the show course and ended in a well-deserved standing ovation. The Aquanuts also won the award for Best Swivel Act. With 2014 National Champion Kendall Krieger and nationally ranked skier Kaila Coffey (ranked #3 in USA) as anchors, they were followed by a 360° swivel line and 180° swivel line of ladies. Together this is the largest swivel act in the nation with 14 women strong. The team completed two grand pyramids. The show started with a double top, four-high pyramid and closed with three, four-high pyramids comprised of 36 team members. The Men’s Variety Act, which had wowed the opening of every show all season long, was also a high-scoring act. It included members Ethan Shulda, David Thornton, Jarad Meyer, Brandon Kirchens, and Collin Barber. In December, the Aquanuts were officially named by USA Water Ski - National Show Ski Team of the Year. Three of our talented ladies are again named to the USA Show Skiing Team: Kendall Krieger, Ariana Koehler, and Kailey Koehler. What an incredible year!
The reigning National Champions skied with extra passion during the 2016 season, under the direction of show director Justin Mushel and Holly Heeter. The show’s theme was “Ski or Sink.” The Aquanuts had many highlights during 2016. The Aquanuts placed third, at the season opener, Mercury Open Invite in Janesville, WI. The Aquanut trip to State, in Wisconsin Rapids, delivered a third place finish, with only 200 points separating the top three teams. Aquanut star swiveler, Kaila Coffey, placed third in the individual competition. Ethan Shulda was named the Mark Black Best Trick Skier, adding to the long list of Aquanuts that hold that title. (Jordan Shulda, Jarad Meyer, Danny Amir, and Aaron Nelson) The team placed 4th at Nationals. Aquanut High Light for this season was the development of a 5 High Pyramid, an Aquanut first. Members of the pyramid team, and winners of the “Pyramid Team Work” Award, are: Greta Rzonca, Joy Heeter, Brynn Cahill, Caroline Lenz, Amber Kirchens, Colleen Amore, Maddie Lenz, Kendall Krieger, Holly Heeter, Jenna Meyer, Lynn Renn, Katie Hanely, Eric Fauth, Austin Hedrick, Alex Kieler, Kevin Fleischman, Tim Heeter, Brandon Kirchens, Matt Brumm, Zach Brumm, Aaron Nelson, Dylan Gronset, and Brent Buntrock. Kailey Koehler won Best Barefoot Act at Nationals with her “Barefoot Tornadoes”, which consisted of 4 circles around the show course. Aquanut swivel star, Kaila Coffey, placed 4th in the individual swivel contest. The ladies ballet line skied 29 girls strong for Nationals. Three of our talented ladies again represented the USA at 2016 worlds: Kailey Koehler, Ariana Kohler and Kendall Krieger.