Jindabyne on the edge of NSW’s Snowy Mountains might seem like a funny place to begin a bid for a world water ski racing title but that’s exactly what Australia’s best water skiers will do this week.
The first of seven selection trials for the Australian team for the World Championships will take place on Lake Jindabyne – almost 17,000 kilometres from Vichy in France, the venue for the world titles in September.
That is a very long way away – and a long way from glory – but this week’s trials, that will be run in conjunction with the Australian speed and marathon titles, will provide skiers, observers and drivers the opportunity to set their year up for success.
Tuesday will see the trials for the women’s and men’s open and F2 events, along with the junior boy’s and girl’s races and some of the world’s very best will be on show.
The World Championships are held every two years and in 2017 were held in Tacoma, Washington, just south of Seattle, and they were dominated by Australians.
Ben Gulley (men’s open), Cameron Osborne (men’s F2), Chelsea Blight (women’s open), Ellen Jones (women’s F2), Luke Harrison (junior boy’s) and Milana Long (junior women’s) ensured an incredible Aussie clean sweep.
Gulley will begin his title defence on Lake Jindabyne behind Strike Force, with Gerard Gulley driving and Justin Pick observing, while Osborne has stepped up to the open class and will join veteran Daniel Cotton as Gulley’s main rivals for the first selection points.
In the women’s events, Blight is not competing this week but Jones has moved up to the open division, where she will take on Shantelle King, the bronze medallist in that event at the last world titles.
Karen White, second behind Jones in the F2 at the 2017 world’s will return as the favourite to kick start her year in style in that class, while Nellie McMillan and Grace Jones, who claimed silver and bronze respectively in Tacoma are back in the junior girl’s event.
Brock McMillan, who was runner-up at the last world titles in the junior boy’s will aim for another Australian blazer, this time contesting the F2 class.
For the entry list for the first world championship selection trial, CLICK HERE.
Aside from the selection events there will be 46 categories contested in 20 races across the four days – Tuesday to Friday – with teams bidding for Australian speed and marathon titles.
With hundreds of competitors across the many speed championship events, the women’s open (15 entrants) and men’s 18-u25 speed championships (14 entrants) races were the most popular.
Racing is expected to start at 9am AEDT each day. For the full program, CLICK HERE.
For the entry list for the speed and marathon championships, CLICK HERE.
2019 World Championship Selection Race Schedule
Race 1 – Tuesday 8 January, 2019 – Lake Jindabyne
Race 2 & 3 – Saturday 23 February – Sunday 24 February – Robe, SA
Race 4 & 5 – Saturday 30 March – Sunday 31 March – Botany Bay, NSW
Race 6 & 7 – Saturday 4 May & Sunday 5 May – Lake Mulwala, VIC
World Championships in Vichy, France – September 7-14, 2019
PIC: World Water Ski Racing Championships Facebook Page