I’m the first to admit that my knowledge of water ski racing is pretty limited. Thankfully my friends at Nordic Boats—the Lake Havasu, City, Ariz., boat builder behind the formidable Nordic Racing ski team—keeps me up to speed. In fact, just today, before leaving for the airport for his flight to Seattle, I caught up with Randy Davis, the owner Nordic and driver of several of the United States Water Ski Racing Team’s competitors in the upcoming world championships.

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Nordic Racing’s Randy Davis is going to pull Women F1-class competitor Katelin Wendt with the No. 192 Nordic 21 SR powered by a single Mercury Racing 1350 engine at the 20th World Water Ski Racing Championships in Washington. Photo courtesy Nordic Boats

Davis will be in Tacoma, Wash., this evening to participate in the 20th World Water Ski Racing Championships that kick off with inspections today and wrap up after four races between Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, August 6. Held in conjunction with the National Water Ski Racing Association, International Water Ski Federation and USA Waterski, the bi-annual event is returning to the U.S. for the first time since 2003 and making its first appearance ever in the Seattle area.

“Being that we’ve never raced in Seattle, I was hoping that it would be rough, but after practicing up there in some pretty smooth water last Friday and Saturday and looking ahead at the 10-day forecast, I don’t think that’s going to be the case,” Davis said. “Don’t get me wrong, it still gets tricky out there with the swells and wakes from the boat traffic, but we prefer it when it’s rough.

“Obviously I feel like Team USA has a great group of skiers and that I’ve got a chance to win with all three racers I’m pulling, but I’m just hoping that the U.S. can win the overall gold medal,” he continued. “That’s the most important thing to me. We expect the racing to be very competitive and I think the race venue should be great for spectators.”

Read more: Ski Racing On The Mind