Our ski race’s golden history

1958 — The idea for a local ski race was floated by several enthusiastic water skiers after frustration over the wharf becoming too congested with ski boats as the sport grew in popularity.

1959 — An official meeting was called to discuss the idea, with Syd Mills appointed the first president of the Mildura District Ski Club.

1960 — The ski club got under ways with members spending many hours cleaning and levelling the site. A road was graded in from Benetook Avenue and when the river levels dropped, a concrete ramp was put in.

1966 — Enough money was raised for the club to build a toilet block and storage shed, with a pump also installed by the river.

1972 — The Mildura District Ski Club held their first ever race, ‘the Sunraysia 50’. The event was held on Australia Day, with skiers racing from Nangiloc sandbar to Mildura over a distance of 79kms. The race was a success despite it not being able to attract the top boats and losing point score status due to the race clashing with the National Titles.

1974 and 1975 — The Sunraysia 50 was cancelled due to unreliable river conditions ie high water levels.

In 1975 the race club was given a grant from the Ministry of Youth Sport and Recreation, and with cooperation from local council were able to start building the ski club rooms.

1976 — As river conditions improved, the club was confident the event could go ahead. The same year the ski club lodged a submission for a 100 ski race to be held at Easter, replacing the January 26 event.

1977 — The first Pacific Golden Breed 100 Ski Trial was held on Easter Sunday, attracting around 40 entries for the inaugural race.

1978 — After the success of the previous year’s event, the Golden Breed 100 gained wide spread recognition and fast established itself as a major event on the ski trial calendar. In its second year, a three way competition between Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales was introduced.

1979 — Wickett’s Point was established as a turn-around spot, with present systems of race organisation established.

1980 to 1990 — Over this period, as the event gained further momentum, competitor numbers increased from around 60 entrants in 1980, to 190 competitors in 1986 and 249 in 1990.

1993 — Another popular element was added to the race day, taking the entertainment off the water with the first Show and Shine. By this stage the race was attracting over 200 of the country’s top boats and skiers.

The same year, the Dash for Cash was introduced, with 15 of the top contenders racing 156kms from Psyche Pumps to the Ski Club.

1994 — By this time the club had around 200 members, the majority from the local region.

1997 — The race saw a major change in 1997, with the Mildura 100 conducted over two full days. Social Class was held on Saturday and Expert Class on Easter Sunday. The change was introduced after requests were made by competitors to be able to compete in both classes.

2001 and 2002 — Skiing, along with other sports all over the country faced their biggest challenge, when obtaining insurance for major events was made near impossible with a huge increase in levies. Despite this, the Mildura 100 went ahead thanks to the banding together of the race committee, sponsors, Mildura Rural City Council, the community and local businesses.

2011 — Victorian ski races were thrown into havoc when floods forced the cancellation of the Robinvale 80, and caused the Southern 80 to be re-scheduled. Fortunately, the Mildura 100 ran on Easter weekend as scheduled.

2012 — The Mildura District Race Club celebrated a huge 40 years of racing in Mildura.

2014 — A change in format is scheduled, with the Expert Class starting two at a time from the Mildura Ski Club site and Wicketts turn around point. Two Superclass teams will start every two minutes. This year 450 entries and 230 boats are expected across 43 classes.