25 years later: The water skiing legend on Kalamalka Lake

The Spirit of the Okanagan pulls 15 water skiers across Kalamalka Lake

It has been 25 years since 15 water-skiers were pulled behind a plane on Kalamalka Lake.

Back in 1995, Trevor Hart was the pilot of The Spirit of the Okanagan. He was contacted by a group of adrenaline junkies who asked if it would be possible to water-ski behind his plane during the Malibu Boat’s Year-End Beach Bash at Owl’s Nest Resort.

The resort was well known for its many water-themed events.

According to one of the skiers Paul Lemoine, the idea came from Rob Luchka a well-known thrill seeker who once jumped barefoot off a 200-foot cliff on Kalamalka Lake.

“We reached out to Trevor, the pilot, and he said of course but had to reach out to Transport Canada and the RCMP to make sure they were cool with it,” explained Lemoine.

He said the idea was for 22 skiers to be pulled by the plane, but only 15 got up out of the water and 11 successfully managed to hang on.

“We wanted to do it because it had never been done before,” laughed Lemoine.

About 100 boats followed the plane up the lake, which started pulling the water-skiers from near Turtle Bay in Lake Country.

At the time, the event was even covered by the Kelowna Capital News.

The front page of the Kelowna Capital News from 1995.

The plane was never allowed to take off and was closely monitored by the RCMP. Pilot Hart, went on to use his plane as a water bomber during wildfire season and the skiers, they had a story that will last well beyond 25 years.

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@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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