ABOUT SKI RACING

Water ski racing is a sport which can provide an incredible buzz and a very enjoyable, inclusive, social family scene to be part of.

So what's it all about? And how do you get into Ski Racing?

SKI RACING DETAILS

A ski race team consists of a boat driver, an observer and either 1 or 2 skiers, depending on the race participated in. The driver will tow the skier/s, varying the speed as different water conditions are encountered, according to the driver's knowledge of the skier/s, the observer's ability to read the skier/s and the signals which the skier/s give to the driver via the observer.

Most ski racers nowadays use the "wrapped" position, this wrapped position involves the skier using two handles which go around each side of the body, to be held together with one hand at the top of the backside.
You should "sit into" this harness and reach forward with the other hand, to hold a third handle, positioned at arm's length away. This technique transfers the strain from the arms and lower back, to the upper legs, essentially using the centre of gravity as a shock absorber on waves.

Water ski races can take place over a set distance or a period of time in the SRNSW series and Grand Prix races. Again, times vary dependant on category, but can range from 10 minutes and upwards. Skiers generally start in a race at the same time, in grids if necessary and race around a set course. Basically it's an out and out race just like Grand Prix Car racing. Success in ski racing results from a "team" effort, racing to the conditions presented.

The skier has to be physically fit enough to compete successfully in his or her category. It is a sport that rewards training with results. Junior development days/ camps are held during the season to help improve knowledge, technique, nutrition, stretching, etc.. in a safe and friendly environment.

Observers need total concentration. They will relay signals spontaneously from the skier to the driver, "read" the skier in order to optimise his/her performance and keep the driver informed of other boats and skiers which may be approaching or close by.

The driver will take the team around the course, listening to the observer and using his own judgement on speed, pole position and line of direction. Drivers can mean the difference between winning and coming 2nd or 3rd in a race.

Around Australia, there are also a series of major river races held. These are a great way to enter the sport as the water surface is generally a lot flatter and there are constant river corners to negotiate, increasing not only the skier's & driver's skills, but the communication lines between the driver, observer and skiers. These major races are held in different States in Australia throughout the season, including NSW and offer competitors the chance to travel to different locations to enjoy not only the racing, but the social side of this great family sport.

 

NEW TO WATER SKI RACING ?

 

BOAT - 

  • Any boat is suitable in fibreglass or wooden construction.  It must not exceed 6.5m in overall length. 
    The boat must have sufficient buoyancy to keep afloat in any conditions.

  • The boat must pass a safety scrutineering on land prior to entering an event.  Post race technical crutineering may also occur to ensure that the boat & engine meets technical requirements.

  • All boats must be registered by the controlling State Maritime Authority and also must be registered with the controlling body of Water Ski Racing in Australia (this includes a Public Liability Cover)

  • The engine can be inboard or outboard.  If racing in an engine class it must conform to requirements of that class.

  • Engine Classes include:

    • 60mph and 70mph class

    • Inboard

      • Unlimited (total displacement should not exceed 8.2 litres)

      • Under 8 Litre

      • Under 6 Litre

      • Stock 6 Litre

      • 6 Cylinder under 5.2

      • Outboard

      • Unlimited - Twin Rigs Modified or Super Sports (total displacement should not exceed 8.2 litres)

      • MOC - Modified Outboard Motor , Open Cockpit Boat

      • SMOC - Standard Production Outboard with Stock Production Motor - mono open Cockpit

      • Formula 2

      • 200HP Standard Production Outboard

 

SKIER -

  • Skiers can be of any age.   There are skier divisions according to age and skiers can also ski in boat speed limited and boat engine size restricted classes too.

  • Skiers must wear a helmet which shall be fluorescent orange.

  • Skiers must wear a buoyancy vest (though the majority wear buoyant wetsuits) which is predominantly one or more of the following colours - canary, wattle, golden yellow, international orange, scarlet or bright fluorescent colours.   Ski Vests must have two straps completely encircling the body and Leg Straps to prevent the Jacket rising above the shoulders..

  • Skiers must be licensed but are not required to sit a licence test.

  • Skiers must hold a current first aid awareness course.

 

DRIVER - 

  • All drivers must have a current drivers licence by the controlling body of water ski racing.  They must have sat a licence test which looks at the rules of water ski racing.

  • Drivers must also have a state waterways licence to compete.

  • Drivers must hold a current medical certificate and first aid awareness course.

  • Drivers must be over the age of 18 years.

  • Drivers must wear a helmet.

  • Drivers must wear a waist-coat type unaltered life jacket with leg straps.  Life jackets must be equipped with collars and / or must have flotation material high on the chest to hold an unconscious person's face out of the water.  The jacket is to be predominantly one or more of the following colours - canary, wattle, golden yellow, international orange, scarlet or bright fluorescent colour.

  • All drivers must wear a fire retardant race suit that covers from neck to ankle with long sleeves. Suits are to be of "Clubman" standard.

 

OBSERVER - 

  • An observer must be at least 16 years of age.

  • All observers must have a current observers licence by the controlling body of water ski racing. They must have sat a licence test which looks at the rules of water ski racing.

  • Observers must hold a current medical certificate and first aid awareness course.

  • Observers must wear a helmet.

  • Observers must wear a waist-coat type unaltered life jacket with leg straps.  Life jackets must be equipped with collars and / or must have flotation material high on the chest to hold an unconscious person's face out of the water.  The jacket is to be predominantly one or more of the following colours - canary, wattle, golden yellow, international orange, scarlet or bright fluorescent colour.

  • All observers must wear a fire retardant race suit that covers from neck to ankle with long sleeves. Suits are to be of "Clubman" standard.

 

SKI - 

  • A coloured fluorescent orange paint or adhesive tape at least 15cm in length must be placed on the upper and lower front tip of all skiers.

  • Either one or two skis can be used.

  • Skis should be no more than 3 metres in length.

  • Social class skis shall be slalom type skis - no square backed racing skis permitted.

 

ROPES - 

  • The skier shall provide the tow lines, preferably of polythene or polypropylene.  No harness is to be used.

  • Minimum length of a tow line is 21 metres, including handles and skiers bridle.

  • Maximum length is unlimited providing safety limitation is maintained.

  • Novices who have not progressed onto a mono ski, can race on a pair, although it is far easier to compete on a single ski, once learned.

  • A "race ski" is normally between 7 and 8ft in length with 2 full boot bindings. These bindings wrap over the front of each foot and clip in, enabling a more secure option to hold the feet in.

 

RULES - 

  • The rules of water ski racing are controlled by the Australian controlling body, 'Ski Racing Australia'. 

  • All competitors should be familiar with all rules before competing.

 

All information provided above is available in the SRA Rule Book downloadable from Ski Racing Australia. SRA is the peak body of Water Ski Racing in Australia and the main functions include the governing of national memberships, insurance, competition rules, Government grants, risk management, safety, and promotion of the sport. Under SRA comes the State Divisions that conduct the events in accordance with SRA.

 

* This is only a summary of some of the rules. Please visit the SRA website for the full rule book and required forms.   

If you have any questions, please contact us!
Email: nswskiracing@gmail.com