‘Irv the Swerve’ takes to the water for his 80th birthday
- Credit: The Hunts Post
A Hampstead man celebrated his 80th birthday by heading out onto the lake for his weekly water skiing session.
Solicitor Irving Stone glided across the lake at DM Watersports Ltd, in Little Paxton, on Friday, cheered on by friends.
“I was a bit nervous,” he said. “I do this every week, come rain or come shine, but usually I do it on my own.
“Having people watching me, I felt quite nervous, but once I got going it was wonderful and I love it.
“I started water skiing in 1962, someone gave me a lesson in France and I was very fortunate because some people go on holiday and they get three goes and they come in and then never do it again.
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“But this guy actually picked me out of the water, when I was only 22 years old and I just fell in love with it.”
Irving is believed to be the oldest water skier in the country - and certainly the oldest practising the sport to a high standard.
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In 2002 he was struck down with macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that causes loss of vision. He was told he should not water ski again for fear of falling and damaging his sight further. He took the advice for a few months before “nearly going mad” and deciding his health and wellbeing was more at risk from not skiing. He has also had a detached retina, a torn bicep and Achilles tendon damage.
DAMS Watersports director, and Irving’s coach, Damien Ackerer said: “Irving Stone rightfully earned the nickname ‘Irv the Swerve’ because of his beautiful style on the water.
“He’s a passionate and dedicated skier - not only skiing on warm and sunny days, but braving the cold and grey - like a true British water skier.
“Irving is a genuine and much respected man, with a lot of knowledge about the sport. We count ourselves lucky to have his support and dedication to this exciting discipline.
“He always brings a smile to the club and is a much valued member of DAMS Watersports.
“Irving can run rings around most 21 year olds. It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to coach and drive Mr Irving Stone - a true legend on the water.”