MORE than 80 skiers braved the cool conditions last weekend with the Big River Ski Club hosting round one of the 2010-11 East Coast Ski Racing Series.
Big River Ski Club president Michael Gane said the weather held off for a terrific weekend of racing.
“Things looked ominous on Saturday morning but the weather cleared just in time,” Gane said.
“We had great support from our competitors and volunteers to make sure we got through every event. The club strives to entice as many visitors to Grafton as possible to showcase our city and the Clarence River. The event attracted in excess of 200 people to Grafton for the weekend which provides a great boost to the local economy.”
Sunday’s racing culminated with The President’s Cup being won by Sunshine Coast boat Speedmaster, towing Peter Harmer and Dale Jamison. Fellow Queenslanders Rebel Yell and F2 Wild filled the minor placings. Choppy conditions tested the skill and endurance of all competitors with less than three minutes separating the top five boats after 80km of racing.
Local crews also performed well over the weekend with a number of podium finishes. In the 70mph event, Ironic towed Fraser Robinson to a win with Shannon Gane finishing third behind The Mover. Mark Stephenson skied behind his boat Ironic in the Driver’s Race for a second placing while Steve Asher performed observing duties in Ballina boat Havoc to finish third in the 60MPH class.
Ryan Gorton competed in his first race on the Clarence River, finishing third in Sub Juniors behind Getting Hectic with Andrew Lemin and Brandon Disson also putting in commendable efforts.
The Next Generation class featured Sophie Lemin in third place behind The Mover.
For many competitors, the weekend was their final opportunity for time on the water before racing returns to Grafton on the June long weekend when Queensland conducts its state titles at Corcoran Park.