Marine sponsored the Southern 80 ski race again this year, and as
usual it was an absolutely fabulous weekend. The weather was kind,
the crowds were up on previous years and, most importantly, the on-water
action was spectacular.
I did get a bit of a shock, though, when I was unexpectedly and
most pleasantly surprised to be presented with a very attractive
silver tray in recognition of Club Marine’s nine-year association and
sponsorship of the Southern 80 Ski Race. The occasion was the sponsors
and owners cocktail party on the Friday night of the big weekend.
Receiving the award made me think back to ten years
ago when a good friend of mine said to me, “Mate, you’ve got to come
up to Echuca and see the Southern 80 water ski race!” I went,
and the rest is history. Club Marine has sponsored the event ever
But the biggest surprise to me was the passage of time.
Where have those ten years gone? You’ve heard it all before and probably
said it yourself, but boy doesn’t the passing of time seem to
accelerate in direct proportion to the degree of complexity of
New editor, Chris Beattie, came to the Southern 80
this year, and as he is a complete ski racing neophyte, I enjoyed
watching him get blown away by the spectacle that is this great race.
He was even able to capture a few half decent photographs!!
But it is an extraordinary event deserving of much
greater and broader recognition than it currently receives.
See the report beginning on page 34 for a detailed account of
all the action and who won what.
From my side of the desk, the summer just past has
been kind to boat owners, with a slightly lower than usual claims
rate. In fact, had it not been for the storms that struck the east
coast and Tasmania in February, Club Marine would’ve experienced a record low result
for losses over the peak boating months.
I guess some would say that the rather mild summer
experienced has had a lot to do with this outcome. Alternatively,
there wouldn’t be a region in Australia that hasn’t appreciated
the rainfall that seemed to be wide spread in areas sorely in need
of a good soaking.
Something else that became apparent this summer was
the obvious market acceptance of imported boats. The sale of larger
moored imported craft has long been accepted in Australia, but in
the last few years we have started to see an ever-increasing number
of imported trailerable boats, not only in the various show rooms,
but also in large numbers down at the boat ramp.
Australian manufacturers who have struggled to keep
up with orders are finding that some of their long-term retail distributors
are being forced to go direct to overseas manufacturers, usually in
the USA, to source product that can be landed sooner and at a price,
in some cases, well below that of the locally manufactured boats.
I’ve had the opportunity to have a close look at some of these
boats and I must say I’ve been impressed. The standard of fit-out
and finish is very high, and the safety features are impressive.
The litigious USA market has obviously forced a higher emphasis on
safety that is reflected in their boats and we, as a secondary market,
are benefiting greatly as
In my opinion, these imports are here to stay, so local
manufacturers will have to step-up and meet the demands of a more
knowledgeable consumer or face oblivion.
Anyway, enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety
is our top priority.