While the British Car Show is one of the QC's hidden treasures, I would say the biggest thing we have that not enough people know about is the Backwater Gamblers waterski team. I grew up going over to their shows every year, but I had missed the last 2 or 3 years' shows. Fortunately I was able to make it over to see last night's show. They were great as always. This team took 5th in the Show Ski nationals, yet there were locals in the crowd that had only recently heard about them. There is still time to make it over there this season, as they have 7 shows left. They are every Wednesday and Sunday night at 6:30 PM. Their website has directions to their area on the Rock River in Rock Island. Best of all, admission is free, although they do pass the bucket for donations during intermission. I could easily see paying $10 per person to see this show and feeling it was well worth it. Here are some images from last night's show:
Towboats 1 and 2 bringing a bunch of skiers directly towards the beach.
It was tough to get good shots of the high speed jumps off of the ramp in the fading light, but here's one of a skier going underneath 2 jumpers.
Four 3-tier pyramids get pulled off the dock already on each others shoulders.
A large line of skiers gets pulled off the dock, leaving only one behind. This takes a lot of boat power, which is why they have two 225 horsepower outboards on each of the main boats.
The show always finishes with their most impressive pyramid. In this case, a triple-wide 4-tier pyramid that required 2 boats to pull everyone off the dock.