Moree Water Park will play host to a selection of the best young waterskiers in the country next week.
Thirty of the best water skiers aged 17 and under will be in Moree from this Saturday, January 12 until Friday, January 18 for the Australian Junior Waterski School, ahead of the 2019 Australian Junior Masters, set for January 19 and 20.
The waterski school is invitation only, with invitations sent out based on national rankings and scores.
“Only thirty skiers from around Australia get invited to attend, so these will be some of the best juniors in Australia,” Moree Water Ski Club events coordinator Angus Croft said.
Current Australian overall waterski champion Archie Davis and former under 21 world jump champion Josh Wallent will be coaching the waterski school.
During the week-long school, the young skiers will be put through their paces, learning skills and techniques to improve their performance ahead of the Junior Masters.
“The school is usually for skiers that do all three events – slalem, trick and jump,” Croft said.
“The skiers in the school are already pretty advanced so most of the training will be fine tuning and improving their technique. It is all on water skills and technique training.”
The waterski school is a lead-in to the Australian Junior Masters, which Moree has been given the opportunity to host for the next three years.
The Junior Masters will see about 60 young skiers compete on Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20.
Skiers from all over the country, including Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and possibly from as far as Western Australia and Tasmania will take to the water in slalem, trick and jump categories in under 21s, under 17s, under 14s, under 12s and under 10s age divisions.
Moree siblings, Lucy, Hamish and Max Christie, will be among the competitors in the Junior Masters.
Lucy is the current Australian under 21 female water ski champion, after winning gold at the Australian Waterskiing Championships, held in Goondiwindi last year.
Croft said the Australian Junior Masters is a major tournament on the Australian waterski calendar, and will bring the best of the best to Moree.
“They’re the best in Australia and potentially breaking Australian records,” he said.
The tournament is expected to bring hundreds of people to Moree, which Croft said is great for the local economy.
It’ll also be a good lead-up to the 2019 National Waterskiing Championships, which Moree is set to host over Easter in April.
Moree Water Ski Club have been working hard to get the water park ready to host the Junior Masters, which hasn’t been without its hurdles.
The dry conditions posed challenges in getting the lakes full and operational for the national competition, however a change in the management agreement and depth requirement with council has allowed the ski club to focus on filling the two smaller tournament lakes for the Junior Masters.
The Water Ski Club have also built a new jump ramp, and have managed to get another shelter up in time for the tournament.
“That’s all exciting,” Croft said.
“There’s been a lot of hours put in to get ready for this event.”
Spectators are welcome to head out to Moree Water Park to check out the action at the Australian Junior Masters on Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20. The tournament will be running from 7am until about 5pm both days.