South West Water Ski Racing News

25 November 2016

Steve Bird

The South West Association of Ski Clubs (SWASC) is an organisation set up many years ago to co-ordinate regional and national racing within the South West, which historically has been a strong waterskiing region.

With a few years of dormancy, it was revived and has grown again recently into a thriving regional group where clubs thoughout the south west are encouraged to come together and put on regional and national racing at local venues.

This year has seen three national races, Weymouth, Weston Super Mare and West Bay. We have never raced at West Bay before which doubled up with the OCR boats and proved to be a huge hit with the competitors and spectators. We saw a return to Weymouth after nearly 20 years of absence, with competitors saying it was arguably the best national championship venue they have raced at this year.

In recent years, the regional racing has taken the format of fun first and racing second. This has proved to be a winning ethos with the South West introducing more new skiers into racing recently than all the other regions put together. Torquay, on the May bank holiday weekend, saw a great turnout to a social event on the Saturday afternoon on the water with a rally from Torquay, Babbacombe, Shaldon, Brixham and back again to Torquay for dinner in the evening. Sunday saw three fun packed races in perfect racing conditions while the sun shone.

Plymouth in early October, was a combined event with Offshore Circuit Racing. Again, in superb racing conditions, we saw three fast exciting races in Plymouth Hoe, which quite obviously showed that a lot of the regional racers had been practicing since Torquay. I was quite taken back by the standard of the new skiers – Perry Williams, Ian Miller, Paige Teyhan, Sam Hopkins, Tom Tooze and Elliot Underwood. Well done to you all.

The overall finishing results for the year were:
Race One
1st Hannah Bird
2nd Daryl Tyndall
3rd Lewis Warboys and Nick Butler joint

Race Two
1st Lauren Bird
2nd Pam Evans
3rd Nick Butler

Kids Fun Race
1st Sam Hopkins
2nd Tom Tooze
3rd Paige Teyhan
Amelia Tooze, Joe Veater also competed.

Next year, we will hopefully see a full calendar of events with regional racing being our primary focus with the possibility of a large series incorporating Torquay, Weymouth, West Bay, Combwich, Weston Super Mare and Brixham.

Racing at this level can be a predominantly family participation sport and is one of the few that we see today that whole family groups can compete together in the same team. We are always looking to encourage anybody keen to have a go at racing, even if you are skiing hands out in front, on a pair or mono, or a crew. If you fancy taking part in our racing or social events, we would love to hear from you. Some of our events will be doubled up again with OCR, which has proved over the past couple of seasons to be a recipe for success.