Some of the world’s best ski racers will be in Newcastle this Australia Day weekend, battling it out at speeds of up to 200 km/h on Newcastle Harbour as part of the National Maritime Festival.
The event is the third and final round of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship, the world’s richest ski racing championship with a prize pool of $60,000.
Locations in the exciting new championship were selected for their ability to offer spectators and broadcasters the best vantage points, as well as providing exciting racing conditions. Newcastle Harbour ticks all of those boxes, and was selected as the ideal choice for drawing the inaugural Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship to a close.
Two-time World Champion Wayne Mawer has one hand on the championship, leading by 23 points, going into the final round in Newcastle.
Two-time World Champ Wayne Mawer and his 99 Psycho Clowns team are on track to claim the inaugural Nautilus Marine series.
Mawer and his 99 Psycho Clowns team have won three of the four race finals held in Queensland and Victoria, and only need to finish one of the races in Newcastle to claim the championship.
Queenslander Mark Weaver (Burnin), and New South Welshmen Daniel Graziano (Superman) and Peter Procter (Tru Blue) are currently in an intense battle for the minor placings, with just five points separating second through fifth.
As the only skier aside from Mawer to win a race this season, Team Hell’s Peter Procter, has suffered with mechanical problems throughout the series and, after tasting victory in Geelong, is likely to put pressure on those in front of him.
The challengers will be buoyed by the fact that at both previous rounds, 99 Psycho Clowns has suffered two separate mechanical issues. Unfortunately for them, on both occasions the championship frontrunner has responded with unrelenting speed.
Outside of the overall championship challengers, another five classes will be decided at Newcastle, with F2 Men, F2 Women, Boys and Girls titles still very much up for grabs. Only F1 Women has been decided ahead of the final round, with Trudi Stout from New South Wales having won all four races behind Twenty Four.
Grant Turner (Blazen) sits in sixth place ahead of Newcastle.
Rick Love, technical director for Ski Racing Australia, says the Newcastle public are sure to see some spectacular racing.
“The whole purpose for this new championship was to create a spectacle – something that looks good at the venue and on television,” said Mr Love.
“As soon as the concept for this championship was drawn up, we immediately thought of Newcastle Harbour as the perfect location.
“It’s fast, it’s tricky, but most of all the spectators on the foreshore are right on top of the action. It’s going to be intense.
“After the first two rounds, I can tell you, this racing is not for the faint of heart – it’s fast, it’s close… On every single day of the championship to date there has been racing moments that have just been exhilarating.
“There’ll be even more of them at Newcastle – and the spectators will see them all.”
Aside from the skiing action, spectators will also see Freestyle Motocross, Freestyle Wakeboarding demonstrations between races, Maxx G aerobatics displays, HARS Catalina demonstrations and a RAAF Hornets flyover.
Round 3 (Races 5 and 6) of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship will run on Newcastle Harbour on 26-27 January and action kicks off from about 9am on each day.
Championship Standings after Race 4 of 6:
1) Wayne Mawer, 99 Psycho Clowns, 97 points
2) Mark Weaver, Burnin, 74 points
3) Daniel Graziano, Superman, 71 points
4) Peter Procter, Tru Blue, 69 points
5) Codie Rigg, RCM Racing, 62 points