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International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation

Chris Howarth –  IWWF Asia Secretary General (1948 – 2023)

We are very saddened to learn that Chris Howarth, IWWF Asia’s Secretary General, passed away suddenly on the morning of Tuesday 29th August while visiting his family in the United Kingdom.

Chris Howarth originated from Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  He moved from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong in the early 1970’s and was a senior auditor for Price Waterhouse, and then moved on to Outboard Marine Asia as its Finance Director until 2001.  Chris began his involvement in water skiing in Hong Kong and then the Asian region ever since his arrival in Hong Kong.   

He was the main copywriter and editor of Fragrant Harbour, Hong Kong’s premier boating magazine, that served all of the recreational boating crowd including sailing, cruising, small boats, all divisions of competitive sailing in all classes of boats both local and regional including windsurfing in Hong Kong and the region.  

Chris served as the Treasurer of the IWWF for 14 years, from 2003 to 2017.  In addition to being IWWF Asia’s Secretary General and Asia’s representative on the IWWF Bureau, Chris was the Chairman of the IWWF World Cup Committee and a member of IWWF’s Media & Communications committee.  

Chris traveled extensively to promote and develop towed water sports and made the journey to far-away places like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and recently to India.  He was involved in lobbying for regional multi-sport games such as the Asian Beach Games and helped to secure hosts for IWWF Asian Championships featuring waterski, wakeboard boat, and wakesurfing.

He was very instrumental in creating IWWF’s partnership with the FISE / Hurricane Group to organise the 1stIWWF 2-Tower Cable Wakeboard World Cup in Aarhus, Denmark in 2022.

On the home front, Chris has been the Hong Kong China Waterski Association’s (HKCWA) Honorary Treasurer for 41 years.  During Chris’ tenure with HKCWA, he was instrumental in HKCWA becoming a recognized sport association resulting in government funding.   With this support, HKCWA was able to establish its own office, hire administrative staff, acquire its first inboard ski boat, and also gain recognition by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.  Chris was also much involved with the development and promotion of water skiing in mainland China.  He had built good relationship with the Chinese Federation and supported the hosting of regional and international waterski and wakesports events in various major locations in China, such as the IWWF Asian Wakefest Series.

In addition to his passion for towed water sports, Chris was also very active in rugby as the treasurer of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, helping to organize the Rugby Sevens, which was more or less born in Hong Kong. 

His gentle and soft-spoken manner, and dedication made him very much respected by the people around him, never taking credit for all he did throughout the years.  We thank Chris for his valuable contribution and he will be missed.


Photos – courtesy of Nigel Talamo

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