THE Davison family haven’t been in ski racing long — but they are already hooked.
Less than two years on from taking up the sport, the family is planning to take on the 2017 Southern 80 with outboard boat Streak’N.
Wesley is the driver while his wife, Carlie, observes and their children Kody, 13, and Charlette, 9, both ski.
Streak’N made the 5 mile start line of the 2016 Southern 80 after entering into the 60mph social class, however it never made it any further.
They later found out one of the earlier boats had rolled and the main race was called off.
Kody was skiing in the race for the first time with another junior skier and was two boats away from the start before the team received the red flag.
This season Kody hoped to finish the race in the sub junior boys expert class skiing alongside Cooper McAuley, while is sister Charlette will also be racing behind Streak’N in the under 10 girls class.
Carlie admitted like most Echuca-Moama locals the Southern 80 was a weekend they previously avoided.
‘‘My husband (Wes) used to ski socially when he was younger, although it was something our own family was never really interested in,’’ she said.
‘‘We used to avoid the race given the amount of tourists around town but when we actually went and watched it the kids decided they wanted to give it a go.’’
Not long after they took their social boat to Echuca East boat ramp where Kody got up on single skis for the first time.
Within six months he had completed his first race and it quickly became a passion for the entire family.
‘‘It came quite naturally to them,’’ Carlie said about Kody and Charlette’s skiing.
‘‘Wes built our first social boat five years ago and the kids started kneeboarding and wakeboarding behind it, but they weren’t really interested in skiing until recently.
‘‘We came back from the Australian titles (in January 2017) late Saturday afternoon and then we were back out on the river the next morning at 6.30 to do the social course before we headed to Lake Charm for a practice race,’’ she said.
‘‘At the end of the day there’s no money in ski racing, but the general pleasure and excitement you get out of the sport is enough for us.’’
Carlie said she was surprised at how family orientated the sport was until she became involved herself.
They recently purchased Elm Street (renamed Streak’N On Elm) as an inboard to be used as their rough water boat.
It will not be used in this season’s Southern 80 as they are still testing out how it runs and haven’t had the time to properly train with it.
Carlie said her role as observer is about making sure her children are kept safe and it was her responsibility to weigh up the risks of each race and determine which boats Kody and Charlette are able to ski behind.
‘‘As much as it’s great to win, you have to be sensible about racing,’’ she said.
‘‘Kody is quite competitive, but when I’m in the boat it’s my goal to look after him.
‘‘I have full control over the driver and the speeds we go.
‘‘They’re still only kids and it’s not worth possibly causing an injury which could’ve been avoided for one race.’’