Attitude is a state of mind that can make a sizeable difference on how things pan out in life, never mind just accomplishments in sport.

For water ski boat owner Ron Fritz, of Napier, excellence is always there for the taking if Attitude, all 300 horsepower of it, is anything to go by.

That sort of belief comes on the heels of Attitude powering Dave Hanks, a driver from Hamilton, Tracey Sainsbury, an observer also of Hamilton, and skiers Bevan Scott , and Ben Mayne, both of Auckland, to not only a victory in the field of eight but also a record at the nationals a fortnight ago.

The team clocked 38:21 minutes to clinch the F2 class of the annual Yamaha Rollo Marine Bridge to Bridge Waterski Classic starting from Cambridge, through to Taupiri and then back to Hamilton City in the 82km long-course race.


"We finished ahead of the modified open-cockpit classes [moc]," says a delighted Fritz after Attitude crossed the finish line as fourth outright boat home overall after time trials were held on Saturday, November 11.

"It is the nationals of water ski racing and there were boats and competitors from South Island there," he says.

Team Attitude eclipsed the record, established in 2013, of 38:51 by 30 seconds.
Fritz also had entered another boat, Big Bird, in the F5 class. The boat packs a grunt of 200XS in its engine.

Big Bird started off first in its time trial but its crew had to settle for fourth place in a time of 47:28.

Chris Carter, of Wellington, was at the steering wheel, Kris Sainsbury (Tracey's husband) was the observer and Fritz's 30-year-old son Logan, of Napier, and Columbia Cox, of Wellington, were the skiers on Big Bird.

On the Sunday, organisers staged a boat-only race where Attitude stamped its supremacy for a victory and Big Bird finished second in their respective classes in a ritual where sponsors are taken out for a ride.

"Basically it's a team thing with good skiers and drivers," says the senior Fritz, thanking his sponsors, Turfrey, a plumbing/roofing business operating from Hawke's Bay and Hamilton.

It took the Napier owner 18 years to win the maiden crown last year when Attitude clocked 38:58 so it was satisfying to emulate that feat with a better time for back-to-back victories.

His younger son, Jaaron, now 25, is a former junior boys' world champion skier (2007), and daughter Anneliese, 33, also embraced the code.

"I picked it up after the children started," says the father who was watching the children train one day when an enthusiast talked him into entering the masters category.

"Jaaron broke his leg playing rugby [flanker for the Taradale premier club side] two years ago and had only just got the rod taken out," says Fritz.