Waterski Queensland’s Peter Darby holds tight.
Waterski Queensland’s Peter Darby holds tight.

Skiiers learn from the best

ONE way to aim for the top in your chosen sport is to learn from the best.

This week at Clermont's Theresa Creek Dam Central Queensland water skiers have been doing just that, with a week-long masterclass from Nick Purcell (Maryborough) and Austin Abel (USA) - currently ranked 88th and 16th in the world.

The ski school, which was run in partnership with Waterski Queensland, focused on improving skiers in slalom and trick events.

Waterski Queensland state president Peter Darby knows the region's waterways better than most at his level, having held central region positions in the organisation before the move to his current posting.

He said the school was a cornerstone of what the organisation hoped to develop for local skiers in the coming years.

"We want to set up long-term sustainability for the region… as well as capitalising on what is already happening," he said.

Part of the process is to identify where existing assets could be better utilised and how the introduction of new ones could benefit the sport in a particular area.

"The slalom course in Emerald, for instance - there are a lot of people who don't use it, so we've got to look at where it may be more beneficial," Darby said.

Another sticking point has been the lack of ski jump facilities in the central region.

The good news is a jump is on the way in the not-too-distant future, with Rockhampton tabled as the likely location for the new installation.

But such a drawcard doesn't come cheap.

The price would be a budget-busting $20,000 to build from scratch, according to Darby.

And once it's in place, don't expect the ramp to be moving any time soon.

With the pontoon measuring 4.4m by 7m across and weighing close to two tonnes, it's unlikely the jump would be relocated.

"It would be too expensive to shift it," Darby said.

"They are not the sorts of things we'll be moving around much."

Darby said the jump did come with a 30 to 40-year lifespan, ensuring the asset would be in place long enough for a few generations of skiers to enjoy.


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