Radical assault on Coraki ski race
And veteran Ballina skier Rod Glenn will be behind a pearler, since teaming up with Phil and Bruce Munro for the weekend’s event on the Richmond River.
“Our boat, flat-out with two skiers up, will be doing about 85 miles per hour (135km/h),” Glenn said.
It is a 19-foot Cyclone called Too Radical, with a 2.5L factory-built base engine that puts out about 300 horsepower.
The purpose-built craft belongs to the Munros, and Glenn joined the team for the Coraki leg of the East Coast Ski Race series after his regular team-mate, Col Shepherd, of Coraki, had to withdraw with an ankle injury.
Glenn will observe Bruce in Saturday’s racing, and join him out the back on a 40-metre ski-rope for unlimited category, an 80km race from Coraki to Woodburn and back twice, on Sunday.
“When you know what you’re doing it’s just adrenaline,” Glenn said.
“Once you’ve done it once, you have to do it again to get the same sensation. You’re pumped the whole way around.
“It’s all for fun. There are some guys out there whose budget is over $1 million a year and it’s all for fun.
“For a trophy at the end of the year ... there’s no money in it. It’s all for prestige and the adrenaline and the fun of it.”
Glenn, a marine mechanic who has been skiing since he was eight and holds two Australian bare-foot skiing records, said there was nothing like the thrill of a close race.
“When you’re running side by side with another boat down the river, you get pretty pumped,” he said. “You’re both flat-out and you can almost reach out and touch the other skiers. And the boats are almost touching each other.”
The Too Radical crew will be among 60 entries with 120 skiers racing, including Suzie Cartwright, of Ballina and Brian Shepherd, of Coraki, from 1pm today.
Tweed River Water Ski Club president and event organiser Peter Monger said the entry numbers made the Coraki event the second biggest in the region.
“It’s probably the most popular race in the series,” Monger said.
“The geographics of the river throw everything at you.
“It’s got some good long straights for high speeds, rough water to test the skiers and it has some nice tight cornering for the boat driver.