AUSTRALIAN Masters Water Ski Championships officials are expecting a smaller than usual field of competitors for this year's event in Bridgewater to be high on quality.
Held over three days from January 23 to 25, the event will see more than 50 skiers travel from all over Australia for the premier event, which is hosted by the Bridgewater Water Ski Club.
Club secretary Craig Stephen said spectators could expect to see strength, skill and ability on show during the weekend, resulting in lots of water spray and action.
"Obviously COVID-19 has had an influence on the running of the event and therefore reduced the numbers attending, but we are hoping that with smarter programming we will have two world champions here for the event," he said.
Participants will range from under-11 through to the over 65s and disabled divisions, with competitors among the country's best performers in water skiing, slalom, trick and jump.
Prize money and event medals will be on offer along with the prestigious Glenn Thurlow Trophy for most outstanding skier.
The long-standing event has been run by the Bridgewater Water Ski Club since 2004 and has proven a popular mainstay of the region's sporting calendar.
"It's an attraction that the patrons of the Bridgewater Public Caravan Park come back for year after year and we are aiming to make it a bigger event through the 2020s," Stephen said.
"The Australian Masters Water Ski Championships has been going for more than 50 years.
"It started in Deniliquin as a junior development program and a last chance qualifier to enter the Moomba Masters."
The world-ranked competition is also a major lead-up event for the selection for the Junior World Waterski Championships.
The slalom and jump events are held on the length of river in front of the Bridgewater Public Caravan Park, while the tricks competition is run upstream opposite the boat ramp.
Formed in 1960, the Bridgewater is one of the oldest water ski clubs in Australia.
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