Oppressive heat and competition with other events resulted in a disappointing attendance but it’s almost certain there will be another ski boat rally in York in 2009.

Spokesperson for the organizers, Mark Duperouzel, said that while only about 400 people turned out for the rally on November 24 and 25, exhibitors and sponsors were keen to support another rally in two years.

One major sponsor had listed the York event on its international website and others had already put up their hands in support. Commercial exhibitors were also keen to attend, he said.

In addition to the heat, this year’s rally had to contend with the federal election, two other major functions and harvest in full swing, but it still managed to break even, Mark said.

The rally started with a muster of about 40 vehicles towing ski boats at Forrest oval followed by a parade along Avon Terrace on the way to York race course where the weekend activities were held.

There were numerous displays by retailers supplying anything from boats to ski and camping accessories. The wading pools and demonstrations of wake boarding were popular attractions. A number of local voluntary organizations combined to provide food and drink for those who attended.

Mark said that during the event, tribute was paid to several local enthusiasts including Terry Prunster and Graham Hunt who had fostered the interest of a younger generation of water skiers including himself.

“The sound of the big V8 engine in Graham’s boat really inspired me! “Terry and Graham showed us what a family oriented sport skiing was,” he said.

The 2009 rally will be in March in an effort to avoid the clashes that had occurred this year.

Lindsay McNeill

Photograph captions

Top: There were demonstrations of wake boarding and stunts on a trampoline. Middle: Commercial exhibitors arrived in force. Ian Lewis and Brad Errington from Avon ARB in Northam manned their display. Bottom: the kids enjoyed cooling off in the wading pool