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Skiers fly on return to river

THERE were thrills and spills on the Molonglo River on Saturday as the ACT Water Ski Association held its first competition there in three years, after a successful battle to regain access to the site.

Permission to use the site was granted to the association just last week, in time for the tournament and for multiple Australian champion Ryan Green to hold a clinic with up-and-coming juniors this week, of which the ACT has many.

''We've got five national champions out of seven kids in the club so far, we lost numbers because we didn't have water,'' association president Gary Gray said.

''We've got three kids in the junior worlds' squad … there's a squad of 10, and ACT have got three kids into that 10.''

To have use of Molonglo again has come as a great relief to the families, who have finally got a local place to train once more.

''We've been travelling away for two years, especially the last 12 months with these three,'' Gray said. ''It's cost us tens of thousands of dollars travelling to Port Macquarie and Victoria for training facilities.''


Gray's daughter, Jayme, as well as Archie Davis and Bianca Mulach are the three ACT skiiers in the junior world championships squad.

There was plenty of interest in the action on the river, with the association hoping more people will join to learn the sport, with the ACT being so successful.

''Out of these kids in the ACT team at the moment, I think all of them at nationals have won a medal, they do really well in their division. For such a small state, they're a real strong force,'' Green said as he watched from the river bank.

Next year's Australia v New Zealand waterski championships will be held on the Molonglo River from February 8-10.