Local barefoot water skiing champion Brett New will be inducted into the Water Ski and Wakeboard Australia Hall of Fame at a special ceremony at the Crown Palladium as part of the Melbourne Moomba Festival this weekend.
Growing up in Victoria Brett was first taught to barefoot by his father Gary at Lake Eildon at the age of 7 where they owned a houseboat. He continued his love of barefooting during family vacations and weekends at Moama where his father had an onsite caravan. Fortunately for Brett there he met another one of Australia’s best barefooting athletes Brett Sands.
Under the guidance of his father Gary and lots of pointers from Brett Sands and later John Pennay in the second half of his career Brett New had an incredible barefoot journey that saw him win over 30 National Championships, medal at multiple World Championships, break four World jump records and go down in history as one of the greatest invert barefoot jumpers the world has ever seen.
His mates describe him as one of the most driven professionals they have ever come up against, a man extremely passionate about his sport of barefoot water skiing and a man who loves giving back to a sport that has given him so much.
Fellow local barefoot professional and good friend Pete O’Neil describes Brett as someone he always looked up to.
“I remember he was the first guy I wanted to be,” Pete said.
“He was the big jumper on the circuit. If someone landed a big jump, Newy would soak up the pressure then come out and beat them.
“He was the only one who jumped one-handed, which no one does now.
“He is such a likable guy and a good mate. I wouldn’t be the skier today if it wasn’t for him.”
For Brett, who moved to Yarrawonga about eight years ago to start a family with wife Jodie the Hall of Fame induction means a lot.
Now 38 and recently retired from the sport Brett said he was honoured to just get the nomination. “It was a bit of a buzz really, it’s a real honour to receive this so soon,” Brett said.
If there was a highlight of his career Brett said it was holding the World record of over 26 metres in the jump for eight years and during that time breaking his own record four times.
Now working as a supervisor at Riches Homes Brett is busy raising his family with six year old Summer and three year old Campbell, who have also discovered the love of water skiing with the older of two already barefooting.
Brett New has not only been a champion barefooter but a coach, selector, mentor, mate, family man and a super star of his sport for over 30 years.