Monday, 29 March 2010

114 people Waterskiing behind the boat - world record beaten!!

THEY have finally done it, but in doing so have ignited a world-record rivalry.

After seven failed attempts and a lot of frustration, 114 waterskiers yesterday took to the waters off Strahan and successfully broke the world record for most skiers towed behind a boat.

The latest Tasmanian attempt to break the waterskiing record fell tantalisingly short during test runs on Saturday.

But spokesman and official photographer Mark Seaton said yesterday the waterskiers remained undaunted, making another attempt at first light yesterday morning.

The Horsehead Waterski Club, based at Lake Barrington, has been trying to break the record since February 2008 but the previous three attempts all fell short.

The record for most skiers towed behind a single boat was 100, set in Trinity Inlet, Cairns, in 1986.

And with the success yesterday came a warning from the Cairns and District Powerboat and Water Ski Club that it would be trying to win back the record it has held for 24 years.

Cairns club president Simon Greenwood said talk was afoot about trying to steal the title back.

"Anything is possible and really we weren't going to make any plans until they broke the record," Mr Greenwood said.

"We started to get worried and there was talk around the club about what we would do when the guys down there came close with 99 skiers and now that they've done it, it's time for us to get serious again.

"But I have to say, from everyone here in Cairns, congratulations and I will be giving the club a call in the next few days to pass on our thoughts."

Mr Greenwood said the Cairns club still held the record for the largest number of single-ski skiers towed behind a boat, which was also 100 people.

In the previous Tasmanian attempt in January, the boat crossed the line with 99 skiers standing, only one short of equalling the record.

And Saturday's attempt finished with 97 skiers standing, the swell knocking too many down.

To break the record, at least 101 skiers had to remain upright for one nautical mile.

Pulled behind the World Heritage Cruise's $5 million catamaran Eagle, 114 skiers broke the record in near-perfect conditions.

"The sheer determination on the faces of the skiers as they were being pulled behind the boat was just astounding," Mr Seaton said.

"You could see they were really hurting, they were in pain but those skiers right at the front are some of Tasmania's best waterskiers and they held on for grim death and would not let go."

Mr Seaton, who has been involved in the project as a sponsor since its inception two years ago, said it was not a matter of if but when the club would be successful.

"The club has been putting a lot of time and effort into its technique and testing equipment and ensuring this time everything was right," he said.

"There were a few little waves behind the wake of the boat which had us worried there for a few minutes but they hung on. This is just such an immense moment and to be here and be part of it is just phenomenal."

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