Judy McClintock-Messer’s

Judy McClintock-Messer’s numbers speak for themselves. She won world titles 10 years apart (1985 in tricks and 1995 in overall and tricks), broke Canadian records 48 times and still holds the tricks mark today, was on the national team for 19 years (1978-1996) and competed at every world championships during those years-.an international record. She also won 30 national crowns and claimed four Masters titles. Incredibly, when she retired in 1996 she was only 33-years-old.

‘’Water skiing was a big activity in our family spearheaded by my parents,’’ recalled McClintock-Messer, the youngest of five children and the only girl. Three of her brothers were on the national team as well. ‘’We were lucky enough to have competitive water skiers living close by, so we got involved in that. By the time I was nine I won my first national title. I was geared towards competition right from the start.’’

Of course with such a record, you would think McClintock-Messer ate, slept and drank water skiing. However she married Perry John Messer at age 22 in 1985 and they launched successful fitness business in Northampton, Massachusetts and started a family. That didn’t slow McClintock-Messer at all. She kept winning in water skiing, the business thrived and they had three children.

McClintock-Messer and her brother Joel McClintock were the first siblings to win world titles and they also helped end the American’s 40-year-reign in the team event at the 1991 worlds. Today McClintock-Messer is an avid runner who participates in many events such as the Boston Marathon.

Career Summary

  • Started waterskiing at age 3
  • Started competitive waterskiing at age 8
  • First National Championships age 10 – won gold medal Jr. Girls Tricks
  • First International competition – 1977 World Championships in Milan, Italy (Alternate)
  • First World Championships – Toronto, Canada 1979
  • 19-year member (1978 to 1996) of Canada’s National Team
  • Participated in every World Championship 1979-1995
  • Contributed to Team score in every Worlds she skied in
  • Won more than 30 National titles
  • Is a 48-time National record holder, still retaining the Canadian Open trick record to this day
  • 1980s won prestigious U.S. Masters Overall and three U.S. Masters Trick titles
  • 1985 – Married Perry John Messer, started business, Nautilus Fitness Centre
  • 1985 – Women’s World Trick Champion, Toulouse, France
  • 1987 – Inducted in to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
  • 1985-90 – Continued to compete and accumulate International honors
  • 1991-93 – Prominent player in history, helping Canada the first to defeat the U.S. for the World Team title after 40 years of competition. Defended World Title in 1993 for back to back wins.
  • September 17, 1995 – Crowned Women’s World Overall Champion. Also received bronze medal in tricks
  • 1996 – Retired from competitive waterskiing in 1996 at age 33

The Judy McClintock-Messer Story

Judy McClintock Messer’s athletic career as a waterskier is pure fairytale material. Born to Doctor J.P. McClintock (D.D.S.) and Joyce McClintock, Judy is the youngest of five children and the only girl.

Judy grew up in a very competitive environment with four brothers, three of whom are also avid waterskiers. With an early start to waterskiing at age 3 and a competitive career starting at age 8, Judy showed promise to being one of Canada’s elite athletes.

By age 10, Judy, known affectionately as Buff because of her resemblance to Buffy in t.v.’s Family Affair, was competing and winning at the national level. There was no turning back. Judy rapidly progressed through all levels of competition and consistently came out on top, even in fields of competitors much her senior in age and experience.

Judy was showing signs of her world champion potential. In 1979 McClintock represented Canada at the World Championships. She would continue this responsibility for the next 16 years, skiing in more World Championships than any other athlete in the sport. By the mid ’80s, Judy was strongly established as an International force, having won the prestigious U.S. Masters overall title and trick title in 1981 as well as many other Pan American and World medals.

In 1985, Judy proved herself the best in the world by winning the gold medal in women’s tricks at the World Championships in Toulouse, France. Having reached that pinnacle that few athletes ever achieved Judy could have easily rationalized retirement. By then she had married, supported her husband’s efforts to start their own fitness business in Northampton, Massachusetts and was looking forward to starting a family. She did all of the above except retire!

From 1985 onward, Judy had her hands full. She would now be a part time athlete while being a full time businesswoman and mother. And as would be expected Judy excelled at all three. With new priorities in life, Judy the mature athlete wisely focused on select goals.

There were only two things left for Judy McClintock Messer in the sport of waterskiing. The prestigious World Overall Title and the seemingly impossible World Team Title. To date the U.S. had dominated as a team, having never in 40 years of competition, been defeated in the World Championships. In 1991 history was made and Judy reduced her goals by one when Team Canada won the World Team Title in Austria.

Again, to the waterski world, Judy had done it all and this would be the opportune time for this busy and worldly women to bow out. But Judy Messer, like few other athletes, recognizes the inner need beyond the desire to win. Judy is and always has been a contributor. And now a critical part of the World Champion Team this was not the time for Judy to quit. Judy went on to be a prominent member of the 1993 Canadian Team which defended its world title. By 1995, at age 31, many thought Judy had accomplished everything and contributed generously and would surely change her priorities and not show up to perform at the 1995 World Championships.

What these people hadn’t considered was that Judy’s priorities had changed many years before and that in fact it was her peace of mind combined with unparallel discipline and focus that made it possible to continue to compete among the best in the world even as a part time athlete. 1995 was a year of unprecedented focus for Judy. From early in the season you could see in her eyes that deep inside she had the burning desire and more importantly truly believed that she had the ability to win the coveted world overall title that was the only fragment of prestige and honor that had eluded this champion.

Judy is the epitome of modesty. Never has she or would she talk about this being her year, but somehow, through an air of confidence that Judy exuded throughout the season we knew that she knew that it was her year. And so it was.

Judy pre-empted the World’s by using the Canadian Nationals as a stepping-stone at which she managed a clean sweep with gold medals in each of the three events to defend her national overall title. Judy flew to France with the Canadian Team for a week of training to acclimatize and fine tune for the big event. Training went flawlessly. Judy was on track. She went into competition with a level of confidence that even this seasoned athlete had never enjoyed.

From her first event on the water things went great and just kept getting better. Messer was the only female athlete to qualify for the finals in all three disciplines. On Sunday, September 17, 1995, Judy Messer reached yet another pinnacle in the sport of waterskiing as she was crowned World Overall Champion.

Having achieved this honor Judy also established some firsts. Judy is the first Canadian woman to win the World Overall Title. Judy and her brother / teammate / coach Joel McClintock are the first sister and brother to have both won World Titles. Judy Messer retired prior to the 1997 World Championships. She went out in fitting glory after an unprecedented waterskiing career.

National/International Results

Competition

Year

Event

Placing/Record

Canadian Championships

1980

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1980

Jump

Gold

The Masters Water Ski Tournament

1981

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1981

Jump

Bronze

Canadian Championships

1982

Slalom

Gold

The Masters Water Ski Tournament

1983

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1983

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1983

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1983

Overall

Gold

Canadian Championships

1985

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1985

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1985

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1985

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1985

Tricks

Gold

World Championships

1985

Overall

Silver

Canadian Championships

1986

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1986

Jump

Gold

The Masters Water Ski Tournament

1987

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1987

Tricks

Gold

World Championships

1987

Overall

bronze

Canadian Championships

1987

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1987

Overall

Gold

Canadian Championships

1988

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1988

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1988

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1988

Overall

Gold

Canadian Championships

1989

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1989

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1989

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1989

Overall

Gold

Canadian Championships

1990

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1991

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1991

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1991

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1991

Team

Gold

World Championships

1991

Overall

Bronze

Canadian Championships

1992

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1992

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1993

Team

Gold

World Championships

1993

Overall

Bronze

Canadian Championships

1995

Slalom

Gold

Canadian Championships

1995

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1995

Jump

Gold

Canadian Championships

1995

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1995

Overall

Gold

World Championships

1995

Tricks

Bronze

Canadian Championships

1995

Tricks

Gold

Canadian Championships

1995

Overall

Gold

 

Records

Open Women SLALOM

Date & Tournament Record 
1981 KP British Masters 1 1/2 @ 12.0 m (43.5 buoys) 
1983 Eastern Championship 2 @ 12.0 m (44 buoys) 
1981 KP British Masters 1 1/2 @ 12.0 m (43.5 buoys) 
1983 Eastern Championship 2 @ 12.0 m (44 buoys) 
1984 French Masters 5 @ 12.0 m (47 buoys)

TRICKS

Date & Tournament Record 
1980 Eastern Championship 5300 points 
1981 Supreme Record Capability 6480 points 
1984 Lakeland 3 Round Trick 6760 points 
1984 Masters 6770 points 
1984 Group I Championship 6790 points 
1985 McCormick’s Spring Open 7170 points

JUMP

Date & Tournament Record 
1981 K.P. British Masters 38.5 m (126’4″) 
1982 Peter Stuyvesant Intl. 39.9 m (130’11”) 
1987 Tournament of Champions 40.9 m (134′) 
1988 Pan American Championship 43.1 m (141′)

Juvenile Girls

SLALOM

Date & Tournament Record 
1975 National Championship 4 @ 18.25 m (34 buoys) 
1977 Eastern Championship 1 @ 14.25 m (43 buoys) 
1977 National Championship 2 1/2 @ 14.25 m (44.5 buoys)

TRICKS

Date & Tournament Record 
1976 Eastern Championship 2840 points 
1977 Eastern Championship 3660 points

Girls III

SLALOM

Date & Tournament Record 
1979 National Championship 3 @ 13.0 m (39 buoys)(Co-holder) 
1981 K.P. British Masters 1 1/2 @ 12.0 m (43.5 buoys)

TRICKS

Date & Tournament Record 
1978 Team Selection Tournament 3830 points 
1978 National Championship 3880 points 
1979 Lakeland Open 4360 points 
1980 Eastern Championship 5300 points 
1981 Supreme Record Capability 6480 points

JUMP

Date & Tournament Record 
1978 Team Selection Tournament 30.5 m (100′) 
1978 Group I Championship 32.0 m (105′) 
1979 World Championship 32.7 m (107′) 
1981 K.P. British Masters 38.5 m (126’4″)

Women I

SLALOM

Date & Tournament Record 
1981 KP British Masters 1 1/2 @ 12.0 m (43.5 buoys) 
1983 Eastern Championship 2 @ 12.0 m (44 buoys)

TRICKS

Date & Tournament Record 
1979 Lakeland Open 4360 points 
1980 Eastern Championship 5300 points 
1981 Supreme Record Capability 6480 points 
1984 Lakeland 3 Round Trick 6760 points 
1984 Masters 6770 points 
1984 Group I Championship 6790 points 
1985 McCormick’s Spring Open 7170 points

JUMP

Date & Tournament Record 
1981 K.P. British Masters 38.5 m (126’4″) 
1982 Peter Stuyvesant Intl. 39.9 m (130’11”) 
1987 Tournament of Champions 40.9 m (134′)

Women II

SLALOM

Date & Tournament Record 
1989 National Championship 4 @ 12.0 m (46 buoys)

TRICKS

Date & Tournament Record 
1989 National Championship 6920 points

JUMP

Date & Tournament Record 
1989 National Championship 35.2 m (106’6″) 
1993 Ontario Championship 41.0 m (134’5″)

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