Moree Water Ski Club set to host Malibu Boats NSW/ACT State Titles this weekend, ahead of big nationals event

Tayla Simmonds competing in the trick event at the 2019 Mastercraft Australian Junior Masters, held at Moree Water Park in January.
Tayla Simmonds competing in the trick event at the 2019 Mastercraft Australian Junior Masters, held at Moree Water Park in January.

The state's best water skiers will converge on Moree this weekend for the Malibu Boats NSW/ACT State Titles, ahead of the national championships next week.

About 85 of the best skiers from NSW and the ACT will compete in the state titles, to be held at Moree Water Park on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14.

This weekend's state titles serve as a prelude to the 2019 Nautilus Marine Insurance Australian Water Ski Championships, which will also be held at Moree Water Park from Thursday, April 18 until Monday, April 22.

"Because NSW is hosting the nationals this year, it makes sense for them to have the state finals here as well, so they can get used to the water before nationals," Moree Water Ski Club president James von Drehnen said.

Just under 200 of the best skiers in Australia will compete in the national championships next week, with the state and national events expected to bring more than 1,000 people to Moree over the next 10 to 13 days.

"We are delighted to have competitors from every state represented at these championships, along with a large contingent of officials, family and friends who will travel from across the country to attend this premier event," Tournament Water Ski Australia chairman Stafford Scott said.

Mr Scott said Moree Water Park is well on its way to becoming one of the best sites in Australia, which will make for some top skiing over the week.

"This newly-formed world-class facility should produce some outstanding results from the large field of competitors, with the potential for new Australian records being set," he said.

Moree Water Ski Club has worked tirelessly over the past months to ensure the Water Park is ready for these major events and is in-line with tournament-level standards.

The club built a jump ramp, which has been "working really well", and managed to get another shelter up in time for the Junior Masters in January.

This week they've been busy modifying the docks to provide disabled access for some skiers competing in the state and national tournaments. They've also put up marquees around the site to provide shade for the hundreds of competitors and spectactors expected.

Unfortunately, the lack of rain has brought many challenges for the club, particularly in trying to keep enough water in the lakes to ensure they're operational ahead of this week.

The championships will be held on the two tournament lakes, as the big circuit lake is "bone dry".

"We've managed to keep the two tournament lakes going," Mr von Drehnen said.

Amongst the national championships, Moree Water Ski Club is also hosting a Pro Night Ski event under lights from 6pm to 10pm on Easter Sunday.

Australia's best water skiers will go head-to-head under the lights in the shoot-out event, which promises to be a cracking night of entertainment for the whole family.

"This is a way to hopefully get more people in town interested in water skiing," Mr von Drehnen said.

Fireworks will cap off the night, which will also include a barbecue and full bar. Entry is $5 or $20 for a family.

The Moree community is also encouraged to head out to the Water Park to watch some of the country's most skilled and talented water skiers compete in the state and national events across the week.

Entry is free, with a canteen running and facilities available.

Mr von Drehnen said it promises to be a fantastic 10 days at the Water Park.

Moree mayor Katrina Humphries said Moree is delighted to be able to host the state and national titles, which will bring so many visitors to town who are set to provide a significant, and much-needed boost to the local economy during the drought.

"The best thing people can do to help small rural communities in these times are visit and spend," she said.

"Our Water Park is something that we knew was right for our community and given the option of evaporation ponds or a water park, there really was no dilemma, and here we are the centre of attention for all to come and see."