By Helen Martin
From Friday 27 January to Sunday 5 February, the New Zealand Waterski Association hosted the Asian and Oceania IWWF Waterski Championship, a first for this country. It was also the first time the five disciplines of the sport were brought together in one event. With over 200 skiers, the wakeboard and ski racing divisions were held at Lake Karapiro, while the slalom, trick and jump events and the Barefoot Division were held in the idyllic setting of Lake Kereta on Wilson Road, South Head. The event, which was open to the public, included an impressive performance from the Australian Show Ski Team at both venues.
Helensville benefited financially from the influx of overseas visitors from Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and South Korea, and from New Zealand residents from around the country, many of whom were hosted locally.
The venue is a credit to co-owners, Ed and Nicola Donald, as Lake Kereta has been restored from near-death through many years’ hard work and dedication. Ed, who chaired the organising committee, has been involved in water skiing all is life, Nicola has a long involvement with the sport and their four children have all been New Zealand representatives. Ed is currently Vice President of the governing body for world water skiing. He was pleased with the success of the championship, particularly in that it brought together all disciplines and aspects of the sport, explaining, “It’s all about showing off, doing what you can’t do.”