Some of the world’s best ski racers are preparing for the first event of a new, more intense and action-packed championship, part of the Celebrate Redcliffe festival this weekend.
Based at Pelican Park, Round 1 of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship promises closer, more spectacular ski racing than ever seen before.
More than 40 boats and skiers will compete at speeds of up to 200km/h in six races on a short, three-kilometre circuit – the $25,000 prizemoney for the winner making the Nautilus Marine series the richest water ski racing championship anywhere in the world.
The racing is guaranteed to be of an exceptional standard, with Australia currently possessing 12 out of 16 world champions. In fact, Australians recently took four of the top five places in the prestigious Catalina Ski Race in the United States.
Among the stars in action will be Grant Turner and Mark Weaver (NGR), Peter Procter (Hellrazor), Wayne Mawer (99 Psycho Clowns), Daniel Graziano (Superman), and Brisbane’s own Mick Kelly (The Patriot).
Peter Procter, fresh from winning in Catalina (his second win in California in the last three years), says the new championship will be unlike anything in the sport.
“It is similar to the World Championships, in that it is a circuit-style format and we race side-by-side,” said Procter.
“However, it is a much shorter course, and the races will last only 20 minutes or so – rather than the usual hour.
“With so many boats on course, it’s going to be pretty crazy – hopefully me and the Hellrazor guys can qualify well, get a good start and stay out of all the messy stuff behind us.”
The weekend will see a Race Final on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with two qualifying races each morning to set the starting grid.
In addition to the racing, spectators could win a $10,000 island holiday thanks to XXXX Gold. Fans can enter by simply visiting the XXXX Retreat II, which will be located in Pelican Park.
Cam Sinclair, X Games gold, silver and bronze medallist, and the first Australian ever to land a double backflip, will be doing motocross demonstrations in Pelican Park with Matt Schubring.
During breaks in the racing , world junior wakeboard champion Cory Teunissen and brother Brad will perform wakeboard demonstrations with the Jet Pilot Wake Boarding Team.
The second and third rounds of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship will follow Redcliffe at Corio Bay, VIC (24-25 Nov), and Newcastle Harbour, NSW (26-27 Jan).
Racing will begin from 9am on Saturday, 15th September – fans can get up close and personal with the amazing boats, skiers and drivers in the pit area at Pelican Park across the weekend.