The Barry Carne Interstate Challenge has made a highly successful return to Wagga after two years of cancellations brought on by low water levels at Lake Albert and then COVID-19 restrictions.
Competitors took to the lake on Saturday and Sunday for the series of water skiing races, including divisions for young children, teenagers, open age and people with a disability.
Jacinta Evans, one of the event organisers, said both days had been "absolutely fabulous" with the weather showing up strong for both days.
"There were people all around the lake, not just at the boat club, watching the races," she said.
"We had a really, really great turnout."
The outright winner of the Barry Carne was The Mistress with skier Lachlan Op De Coul, Zac Walsh driving and Kris Knights observing.
"Lachlan Nix was the favourite to win, but unfortunately, he had boat dramas on the 10th lap," Ms Evans said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"But all round, it was a great day for us ski racers who have not been out on the water for 15 to 18 months.
"It also gave a boost to the Wagga economy. We have brought 30 boats to Wagga, and that's six to 10 people in a crew plus their sidekicks that are booking in for the weekend."
Ms Evans said they couldn't have hoped for a better weekend.
A total crowd of nearly 200 spectators, officials, race team support crew members and competitors set up camp in and around the Wagga Boat Club over the two days.
Competitor Cameron Nicholls, from Hastings in Melbourne, said he would "100 per cent" return to Wagga for another event.
"We haven't been to the Barry Carne for about five years, but we definitely would have come back earlier if the events weren't cancelled," he said.
"There's been perfect weather so far with a good turnout and some good skiers taking part."
Mr Nicholls was part of the Elm St racing team and family group from Echuca, who sent about 10 people to Wagga for the event.
After Saturday's schedule, cub director and one of the event's organisers, Ricky Evans, said it had been a great start to the first Barry Carne event since 2019.
"You couldn't ask for a better day, weather-wise," he said.
"There has been plenty of good racing so far. We just had the 85mph Men's race out there with 20 boats so she got fairly rough and fairly messy.
"It's a really good turnout with people from Queensland, NSW and Victoria."
Mr Evans said it was good to have water skiing back at Lake Albert.
"We had the outboard challenge here about a month ago, and that had a really good turnout," he said.
"For a lot of people, this is the first time they have raced in over a year."
Solid rainfall earlier in the year allowed waterskiing to return to Lake Albert after years of difficulty with low water levels and blue green algae.
Currently, Wagga City Council is seeking external grant funding for a pipeline to top up the lake with water from the Murrumbidgee River after having struck a deal with NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: