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Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Southern 80 2009


Today was the Southern 80 ski race on the Murray River in Victoria. Keen water skiers and fast boats come here from all over Australia to test their skill on the 80 kilometre course with over 126 bends.

I came to watch a very special 14 year old girl from Sydney score a second place in her age race.



Yesterday there was a terrible accident, the steering cable of an experienced boat and driver broke and they crashed into a houseboat, leaving two people badly injured who were later airlifted by helicopter to a Melbourne hospital. Last year a man died on Dead Man's Corner.


This year the event was cut short by the bush fires raging all over Victoria. The organisers decided to withdraw all emergency services personnel from the race venue and send them to help fight the fires and without them, the races couldn't continue.





So the biggest, most expensive boats and the celebrity skiers who came from far and wide didn't get to run. With over 30 deaths from the bush fires so far, and hundreds of homes burnt to the ground, who could argue with their decision.