Dimboola gears for global contest
Dimboola will enter the international stage of barefoot water skiing early next year when the world’s best compete in the Wimmera River town.
Superstars of the sport, who will be in Australia for world championships in NSW, will use a burgeoning Dimboola competition to prepare for the titles.
Dimboola Boat and Water Ski Club has scheduled its Peter Taylor Memorial Night Jump and Tournament for March 27 and 28, two weeks before the world titles.
The move has provided an ideal opportunity for international competitors from around the globe to sharpen their skills and opened the door for the Wimmera to host the highest level of competition possible.
Excited Dimboola club president Darren Bone said if fans were impressed with last November’s Peter Taylor Memorial event, they would be ‘blown away’ in 2020.
“You don’t get any better than this,” he said.
“It’s going to be live-streamed around the world and little old Dimboola will be the focus of the sport on the other side of the planet. How big is that for Dimboola?
“We anticipate what happens in March will be up to four times bigger than what we saw at Dimboola in November when we had 800 to 1000 people gather on the river bank.
“We could even have the American barefoot water ski team training beforehand at Dimboola and if they don’t take up the opportunity it will be the Australian team.
“There will be Canadians, Austrians, French and English keen to get in some quality practice. It will be a case of a small town rubbing shoulders with the rest of the world. It will be massive.”
Mr Bone said Barefoot Australia was backing the championships and former world champion Peter O’neill would bring his ski show team to the event.
“It’s going to be massive and a grand finale for the weekend will again feature a big fireworks display. To say we’re looking forward to it would an understatement,” he said.
Mr Bone said a key reason behind Dimboola having such a strong attraction from national and international water-ski enthusiasts was because of river conditions.
“The river setting is superb and all the user groups tapping into this wonderful resource are making sure we all look after it,” he said.
Dimboola user-group efforts to protect the river for both recreation and environmental values led to the town clinching a national Keep Australia Beautiful award.
Judges announced during national presentations in Tasmania last month that Dimboola had won the awards’ ‘Environmental Sustainability – Water’ section.
The award was for leadership and innovation in water conservation and management.
The win, following Victorian success last year, was based on a plan put together by Dimboola Boat and Water Ski Club, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, the Hindmarsh council and Dimboola Weir Pool users group.
Mr Bone said all Dimboola water users played a key part in the award and should be proud of the accolade.
“Judges found this section of waterway was the best looked after in Australia,” he said.
“It just goes to show our processes in looking after the river, which are of course in our own best interests, are second to none. There is no doubt Dimboola’s greatest asset is the Wimmera River.”