A new purpose built watersports park, Backpaddock Lakes, complete with a slalom course, has opened in Central Hawke's Bay.
About 100 people came through the sports park at the weekend as part of its official opening. Primarily used for waterskiing and wakeboarding, the 730-m long, 250m wide lake is capable of holding international water sports events. The closest equivalent is near Rotorua or Taupo.
The sports park was a locally driven project, said Central Hawke's Bay Wakeboard and Waterski Club secretary Michael Harding.
Local lawyers, surveyors, and construction companies all helped out, some working at discounted rates, or for free.
"Basically, you've got a world class facility in Central Hawke's Bay and let me tell you, you would have to go a long way to find something better," Mr Harding said.
Digging out the area took around three months, and required plenty of heavy machinery, he said.
"It was just a matter of digging a big hole, but we shifted a lot of material. We consulted with other private lake owners to make sure we got it right. If you're going to run competitions you have got to make sure things are right."
The lake received the consents required, and water levels would remain steady as it was sourced from the water table below. A wetlands area was also designed to accommodate wildlife.
"Anybody can join the club," Mr Harding said. "People can rock up there and perhaps with permission bring their boats down."
The lake was situated on the land of its creator, Trev Rowlands.
With a lot of local support he had spent the last four years working on it, Mr Harding said.
"For the last four years, those guys have put their whole life into it. They have made a big sacrifice."