Are You Ready for the 2018 Southern 80?16 February 2018 16 February 2018
The Murray River is the lifeblood of the Echuca-Moama region. Attracting campers, water skiers, house boating holidaymakers, canoeists, boat enthusiasts, nature lovers, and the list goes on…
One thing’s for sure; water-lovers gravitate to the region all year round. However, despite year-round popularity, it’s The Southern 80 Water Ski Race that truly showcases and celebrates the essence of the Murray River.
The Early Days of The Southern 80 Water Ski Race
Way back in 1964, Echuca hosted its first water ski marathon event. In its heyday, the marathon was an exhausting long distance race, but in 1965 it was split into two races; the Murray Ski Marathon, and the shorter 100-mile race.
However, the Moama Water Sports Club wasn’t formed until 1974, so the race didn’t officially become the Southern 80 Ski Trial until 1975. In the event’s first ‘official’ year of competition, 47 teams entered to compete in the annual event.
As time went on, the race got more competitive. In 1981, 103 teams took part in the race, and the finishing times started to get harder and harder to beat.
The Race Today
The race is held each year on the Murray River between Torrumbarry and Echuca on the second weekend in February. Attracting up to 400 boating enthusiasts from across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US. The event also brings in roughly 100,000 spectators who marvel not only at the beautiful, natural surrounds, but also the skill and endurance that’s showcased in the world’s most popular water ski race.
Growing from a simple race into a world-class festival/sporting event, the race has really helped put Echuca on the map.
This year’s event will be held on February 9, 10 and 11, with gates opening at 11.30am. You can learn more about the event here!
Want to get involved in the event or have a go at hitting the water yourself during the busy summer period? Grab your water ski gear from Mac’s Waterski World today!
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