Big crowds at Echuca's Victoria Park for the Southern 80 made for a great atmosphere over the weekend.By Trent Horneman
Moama Water Sports Club president Steve Robson said water ski fans turned out in force at Victoria Park on Saturday.
While numbers were down at the Victoria Park finish line on Sunday, Mr Robson said a bumper crowd made for an excellent atmosphere on Saturday.
‘‘There was a massive crowd on the Saturday. It would be easily the biggest we have had for quite a few years,’’ he said.
Mr Robson said despite a one-hour break in the competition yesterday, there were plenty of family activities to keep the family entertained during the delay.
‘‘There was freestyle motocross in action during the break, as well as the Apsen playpark for children with a jumping castle and other entertainment,’’ he said.
Mr Robson acknowledged accidents marred the weekend, particularly yesterday after several incidents in a short space of time.
‘‘It is a high-risk sport and while we want to make racing as safe as possible, competitors are aware that accidents like this can happen,’’ he said.
Mr Robson said crowds were mostly well behaved, although a social boat with skiers on the river held up the start of racing on Saturday.
‘‘We had to move a boat out on the water after the river was closed
‘‘Overall the crews were telling me that people on the banks of the river were well behaved and not creeping out in the water too much.’’
Mr Robson praised the efforts of Moama Water Sports Club’s 15 directors and hordes of volunteers who helped to run the event.
‘‘We have an army of volunteers who work hard to make the event. Overall I would say we easily had a couple of hundred community members give up their time to make sure the event runs well,’’ he said.
Mr Robson said the lead-up to the event was a success, highlighted by Breakfast with the Stars at Moama’s Kerrabee Soundshell on Friday morning, as well as a static display in Hare St, Echuca, on Saturday morning.
‘‘We had a massive turn-out for the brekky at Moama. It was great. We encouraged the teams to sign autographs for kids as we handed out Southern 80 posters. People could also get up close and have a look at the machines,’’ he said.
‘‘I was at the finish line on Saturday morning, but I was told that the display in Hare St was a huge success.’’
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