History Committee - John M. Cornish II Ed. D. Chairman, Pan Am

John first skied at the age of 6 and learned to barefoot in 1965 by stepping off behind a wooden boat with a Mercury outboard on Youghiogheny Lake in Pennsylvania, USA.  He spent years reading the Water Skier, trying to follow in the footsteps of his idol Garry Barton of Australia and learning new tricks on his own.  He started a ski club and traveled throughout the region doing ski shows.  Barefooting and flying the flat kite were his favorite acts till a delta kite crash ended the kite flying.  His focus turned to barefooting and gained the assistance of the West Shore Water Ski Club to expand his knowledge and abilities. 

He and his club began to host barefoot endurance tournaments as well as the first (4 event) Eastern Regional Barefoot Tournament.  This new form of competition in the sport of barefooting was developing and created a new interest.  John began to work towards becoming a driver and a judge as well as a competitor winning the first Men’s II National Championship in 1978.  This led to him being an alternate on the first US World Barefoot Team and one of two appointed judges at the Worlds in Canberra Australia.  Over the next 30 years John would win several national titles, serve as a world judge, serve on the World Barefoot Council and committees and become an ABC senior judge and driver and a regular homologator.  John also served as regional representative and held several offices including ABC President for 5 years.  He was also a promo boat owner and sponsored skier.

Job advancements and finalizing his own education required John to withdraw from the competitions and administration but not the sport.  He continued to ski regularly and compete on rare occasion. 

John was one of the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation 2019 Hall of Fame Class as an Award of Distinction Honoree.

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