LATROBE Valley Water Ski Club had a weekend to remember, after they hosted the PSC Griffiths Goodall Australia Junior Masters in Yallourn North from January 20 to 21.

Forty water skiers from six states and territories gathered at Halls Bay for the event, representing five different age groups.

Water skiers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory were separated into age groups consisting of Under 10s, U12s, U14s, U17s and U21s.

The three events for each division were slalom, tricks and jump.

Event Director, Craig Stephen was thrilled with the outcome.

“It was a very successful weekend,” he said.

“Entries were up 30 per cent on last year which was great, and I think that was attributed to the fact that it is a ‘Worlds’ year. People were trying to get some decent scores on the board.”

Due to heavy rainfall in the weeks leading up to the event, the water levels threatened the consistency and flow, but thankfully for the club, everything appeared to run smoothly.

“The weather was kind to us throughout the weekend, so that made a big difference, and the competition was quite fierce,” Stephen continued.

“Everything held up well and we finished when we expected to finish, and everybody got away to go back home.”

Highlighting the local club was Milla Bennett, competing in the U21 women’s category.

“She pretty much blitzed the Under 21 women’s event,” Stephen said.

“She took out everything, she was gold, gold, gold, gold and gold.”

Bennett claimed gold in every category, earning herself a spot in the Australian team that will travel to New Zealand next month.

Australia will take on New Zealand from February 15 to 18 in New Zealand, where Bennett will be able to display her talents on an international stage.

Following the successful event, Stephen was proud of the fact that the club could facilitate the event, and was able to host such fierce competition.

“I think it just highlights that our sport is unique, and there’s not many sites in Australia that can put on such an event with the water conditions that we’ve provided,” he said.

“The result was some very good scores, Australia-wide, so there was a lot of personal best scores in all three events across all divisions.”

With hopes to continue hosting events and become the Junior Masters home, Stephen and the Latrobe Valley Ski Club have already begun those talks with the governing body Waterski and Wakeboard Australia.

“I think how we’ve gone about it this weekend just gone, it’s a very positive outcome that we’ll be holding it again over the next couple of years at least,” he said.

“It looks like we’ll be getting it there again next year.”



U10 Boys: Mitchell Fletcher, NSW (1355.53)

U12 Girls: Ellouise Fletcher, NSW (2387.33)

U14 Girls: Selina Appleton, QLD (2275.5)

U14 Boys: Taj Reeves, QLD (2179.16)

U17 Girls: Kristy Appleton, QLD (2002.22)

U17 Boys: Fletcher Green, WA (1563.68)

U21 Girls: Milla Bennett, VIC (1187.86)

U21 Boys: Lucas Cornale, QLD (1728.98)