A Southland water skier is heading to Hamilton this week to take part in the most prestigious water skiing race in New Zealand.
Chris McKenzie from Winton is pairing with Kris Horsnell from Cromwell to compete in the Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on Saturday and Sunday. The event brings together competitors from around the country to take part in a 50km time trial along the Waikato River from Cambridge to Taupiri on the first day, before returning via a 28km course on the second day.
Both Mr McKenzie and Mr Horsnell competed last year where they finished third in the F5 category for boats with 200 horsepower, and their observer Hayden Sayer said both are hoping to go better in 2019.
He said they had been training hard for the event and were confident of taking out the win this year.
“We’ve trained up to twice a week for the last eight weeks on the river at Alexandra. It’s more of the fitness, you train for fitness to be able to ski for that fast for that long.”
Mr Sayer said his role in the boat was to ensure both Mr Horsnell and Mr McKenzie were in control of their skiing and were safe throughout the race. The boat will be driven by Jamie Chittock.
He said Mr McKenzie had been skiing for three years and Mr Horsnell for more than 10 and said the sport was a drawcard due to the high speed and exciting spectacle it brought.
This article was originally written for The Advocate. You can read the published version here