Ski racing snapshot

INSET: John Baumgurtel
INSET: John Baumgurtel

Ski Racing as the title implies is a race between skiers who are towed by various types of boats.

There are several classes involved depicted by boat type and engine with men’s, women’s and age divisions.

Boat types vary with inboard classes from small capacities of under 5.2lt to the unlimited or super class boats with capacities of up to 9.42lt, and horsepower ratings in the vicinity of 1350hp or more.

Outboard classes start from 200hp with some boats running twin rigs (two engines), with over 300hp for each.

Men’s and women’s age divisions are from under 10’s to veteran’s, disabled and anything in between.

World titles are held in different countries biannually, with Australia’s recent form earning them the title of best in the world.

Races in Australia are held in ocean, lake and river environments and cater for all the aforementioned classes and divisions.

Ocean races are typically held in open bay waters and are used as a training ground for contenders to be selected for world titles.

Each state conducts point score events mainly on lakes as well as state titles.

These are for all classes and divisions and take the form of circuit racing.

Boats take off in waves of up to 10 boats at a time, making for an amazing spectacle, with the racing an incredible test for skiers.

The two most prominent state titles are held in Victoria and New South Wales, where all states are represented.

Australian Titles are held annually in January.

The best attended races are the River Classics, held in Grafton on the Clarence, Sydney on the Hawksberry and on the mighty Murray at Echuca, Robinvale, Mildura and Berri.

These River Classics once again cater for all classes and divisions and see the super class teas reaching speeds of up to 200 kmph.

The classics have some great claims to fame with the Southern 80 at Echuca labelled the “world’s largest ski race” and the Mildura 100, the “world’s fastest ski race”.

The River Classics attract thousands of competitors and spectators, which sees millions of dollars injected into the host towns.

Ski race teams consist of a driver, observer and one or two skiers (depending on the race); with each member of the crew playing a vital role in the skiers performance.

Most involved in the sport are close friends or family.

It’s incredibly rewarding to see people from all walks of life, of all ages, competing in and enjoying the sport.

Watching kids from as young as under 10 move through the ranks to super men and women is a great thing to see.

Anyone wishing to become involved should talk to their local ski club or the State or National bodies listed below.

Ski Racing Victoria

Ski Racing South Australia

Ski Racing New South Wales

Ski Racing Queensland

Ski Racing Australia