Family enjoys life in fast lane

May 03, 2017

Kausin Trouble team (L-R) observer Cameron Greig, driver Jason Cartledge and skiers Kohdi and Noel Cartledge.

Kohdi, 9, (left) and Noel, 67, Cartledge.

THREE generations of Cartledge could be seen on the water on Saturday morning for the 2016 Barrie Beehag ski race.

It was the first time it occurred in the Cartledge family and certainly would not be the last.

Noel (one of the oldest skiers at 67-years-old) skied alongside his grandson Kohdi, 9, in the 60mph class while his son Jason, 40, was driving.

Noel and his wife Jeanette began skiing in 1980, Jason taking up the sport from the age of five, and 37 years down the track the tradition continues with their grand children Kohdi and Leilani, 10, both now racing competitively.

And while Noel and Jeanette live in Melbourne, skiing together is the perfect excuse for a family gathering.

‘‘We always like to do things a little differently,’’ Jason said.

‘‘We usually race the stock 6 litre class, but they didn’t have that class.

‘‘Dad wanted to race in the 60mph class and didn’t have a partner, that’s when Kohdi said ‘why don’t I race with Poppy (Noel)’ and we went from there.

‘‘I had raced with dad before and this was a good chance for Kohdi to race with his Poppy while he is still skiing.’’

But Jason assured Noel had no intentions of slowing down any time soon.

‘‘There is no other extreme sport like it,’’ Jason said.

‘‘One where even the oldest member of the family can race together with the youngest.

‘‘It was a pretty emotional race. My wife (Kim) even got a little teary watching on at the finish line.’’

Jason was recovering from a back injury he sustained while skiing in this year’s Southern 80, but hoped to be back on the water next season skiing with his son Kohdi.

For now he was happy in the driving seat towing his dad and son.

The 60mph class was the highest Kohdi could race outside of the junior (under 10s) class due to his age and Jason said the Beehag was a good starting point as the full 60km was broken into two parts.

‘‘Dad (Noel) is starting to slow down and Kohdi is getting faster now and they’re at a stage where they’re meeting in the middle,’’ Jason said.

‘‘They’ll both be skiing in the 6 litre one day which is what our boat (Kausin Trouble) is designed for.’’

Leilani also raced in the Beehag and skied above her age group to race in the junior expert class (under 16s) with Jaymi Clancy behind Neil Donald’s boat The Contractor.

Jason said his father inspired him to keep skiing — despite already reaching the international stage himself and skiing at the worlds.

Jason raced across America during the 2000s, previously skiing in San Francisco among other places, and had won the US national titles.

He said Kohdi also wanted to reach the international stage and go one better than Jason to win the world title.

‘‘Both my children have got it in them to go a long way in skiing,’’ Jason said.

Although the river classics were now completed for this season there was still more racing to be done.

Jason observes this weekend in the 2017 Trans Tasman Challenge at the Mulwala Waterski Club with Victoria hoping to overcome New Zealand for the Trans Tasman Cup.

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