Bryce Jones is one of six local skiing enthusiasts who will make the trek to Echuca this weekend for the Southern 80.
Bryce Jones is one of six local skiing enthusiasts who will make the trek to Echuca this weekend for the Southern 80.

Local skiers primed for Southern 80

By Tony White

Six local water-ski enthusiasts will trek to Echuca in Victoria this weekend for a series of races featuring the Southern 80.

The Southern 80 is an 80km event with skiers having to contend with 120 'bends' over the course.

Bryce, Kylee and Lex Jones, Mark Stephenson, Paul Lynch and Simon Mitchell will compete in various divisions of the prestigious event.

Bryce Jones, 14, will ski with American teenager Brody Hoggins.

Hoggins, from San Diego, is making his second visit to Australia after skiing with Bryce in the Sydney Bridge to Bridge last year. Unfortunately, their boat broke down and failed to finish.

During Hoggins' last visit to Australia, he was accompanied by his trainer, well known American skier Lori Dunsmore, from Los Vegas.

Dunsmore has again made the trip with Hoggins and she will ski alongside Sydney beauty Lauryn Eagle, recently crowned Miss Teen International in Costa Rica.

Eagle is also an adroit skier, winning the Under-16 NSW championships.

Tomorrow in Echuca, Bryce Jones and Hoggins will be towed behind local boat Labido, owned by Ben Trevena of Grafton Marine.

On Sunday, the pair will find themselves behind Tuff-En-Uff, owned by Sydney's Danny Knappick.

Bryce's father, Lex, will act as observer in both boats.

Kylee Jones, 19, will ski with a Canberra competitor in a Wagga-owned boat.

Both Jones siblings recently placed in the Australian championships held on Lake Jindabyne in January. Bryce was fourth in the Under-16 division and Kylee third in the women's section.

Unfortunately, Kylee was later disqualified after strapping was used on her ski foot holds.

Stephenson, secretary of the Grafton Water Ski Association, will partner Lynch behind a Ballinaowned boat and Mitchell will ski behind a Sydneyowned boat. Stephenson competed in last year's event.



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