World Barefoot Championships cancelled leaving locals disappointed

By Brayden May

THE outbreak of the coronavirus means district skiers Brett Sands and Fletcher Ball will not have the chance to test themselves on the world stage.

Last week, the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation announced the 2020 Barefoot World Championships had been postponed.

The news did not come as a shock to Sportstar hall-of-famer Sands, although he was disappointed Ball would not get to compete at his first international event.

“Everyone was looking forward to next month but you can understand why the decision was made,” Sands said.

“There is much bigger problems in the world right now then a skiing event being cancelled.

“The main thing for everyone is that we stay healthy and look out for each other.

“Organisers have said they're looking at announcing a new date soon but that could be difficult with all the new restrictions in place.

“The whole situation is a big unknown and you just don't know what might happen next.”

Despite the uncertainty, Sands is still eyeing off a place on the Australian team.

“Not having the event certainly drives you to earn selection again,” he said.

“But there are still a lot of questions to be answered. I'm not too sure if we will have to qualify again or they will take the same team.

“The clock is ticking along for me personally, so the timing of the next event could determine whether I do compete.”