Despite giving birth to her second child just seven weeks before the New Zealand water ski racing season started, Rotorua's Jordan Dodwell has been simply unstoppable.

In her first race back, at the start of the season, she finished second but has since won everything she entered.

Racing in both the Formula 2 and Modified Open Cockpit classes she finished with 26 wins and one second place finish. She was also first overall in the Blue Lake 50 Miler.

Her efforts were recognised during the weekend as she won one of the Supreme Awards at the New Zealand Water Ski Racing Association's annual prize giving.


Dodwell, her observer and step-dad Mike Dunstall and her driver Jeff Weake were named Water Team of the Year, the first time in the award's history that it has been given to a female skier.

"It was pretty cool, a lot of the supreme awards are a bit harder to win if you're female. If a male and female have both done the same then it looks like the male has done better but with most of our races we don't race each other so it's hard to see who's actually skiing better.

"I was really happy and relieved. I've been racing for almost 20 years and had a few good seasons but this one has been really good and also a lot harder, having two children."

Rotorua water ski racer Jordan Dodwell racked up more than 20 wins this season. Photo / Supplied
Rotorua water ski racer Jordan Dodwell racked up more than 20 wins this season. Photo / Supplied

Her preparation for the 2018/19 season was a short one, she gave birth to her daughter Ruby in August and the season started in September.

"I was due about a month before the first race (of the national series) so my goal was to be back for the second race, a month later. Ruby came two weeks early and the birth went as well as it could so just before that first race I was feeling quite good.

"We decided to go out and see if I could still ski and it all felt right. I did that race and came second, from then on I won every race."

Most water ski races are held on a circuit and communication between the skier, observer and driver are key. Dodwell said she had signals for when she was feeling good and wanted the driver to speed up and vice versa.

"Most races are between 20 minutes and half an hour. After the first lap it starts to get rough, the boats can go between 80-90mph (128-144km/h) so after a few laps people get tired and slow down.


"We have hand signals for during the race and after each race we have a sort of informal debrief. I've been skiing with the same team for probably about 10 years so the communication is good, they know what I like and don't like.

"They really tried to look after me. Some races, before kids, you could do all the preparation you needed but this season there were nights before a race that I'd have very little sleep because both of them were up all night. On those days my driver and observer would know that and be more cautious. The times I felt really good and everything was going well they knew we could push a bit harder."

Jordan Dodwell's 2018/19 water ski racing season at a glance
Open Women's National Champion
Open Women's North Island Champion
Open Women's Series Champion

Women's F2 National Champion
Women's F2 North Island Champion
Women's F2 Series Champion

Women's MOC National Champion
Women's MOC North Island Champion
Women's MOC Series Champion
Blue Lake 50 Miler Champion

(The series championships comprised nine races for each class)