Juniors from throughout the North Island are honing their skills at a training camp at Lake Wiritoa in Whanganui ahead of the water skiing tournament season beginnig in December.

The Wanganui Water Ski Club is hosting the New Zealand Tournament Water Ski Association Central Region Ski School with three top coaches sharing duties throughout the week.

Wanganui club president Ron Bakker said John Gibbons from Wellington, Jerome Tindle and Brent Meade, both Whanganui, all had international experience including spells in the United States.

Meade was a late inclusion in the New Zealand team for the under-21 World Water Ski Championships in Dnipro, Ukraine, last year, while Gibbons made a national record in trick in the Senior Men's 2 grade at the Central Region Championships at Lake Wiritoa last season. Tindle is a top level skier.


The juniors, fromWellington, Taihape, Paeroa, Napier, Hamilton and Whanganui, have been training since Monday and leave Friday.

Starting early in the morning, each junior gets three or four runs up and down the lake behind the boat from where the coach assesses their techinique.

At the end of each run the coach provides tips on how to improve their techniques. The daily sessions wind up late afternoon each day.

"The school is a pre-season training camp so they can prepare for the upcoming tournament rounds that start early December," Bakker said.

Whanganui will host five events this season beginning with NZTWSA coaching session on January 14-18, followed immediately by the Wanganui Gold Star event on January 19-20, then the New Zealand Masters Games (slalom) on February 7-10, the Central Regionals March 16-17 and the Wanganui Club Championships April 6-7.

Bakker said while membership was steady at the Wanganui club, newcomers are welcomed, especially those willing to help out at the various events hosted at Lake Wiritoa.