The champions have been crowned after an exhilarating finish to the 22nd World Water Ski Racing Championships on the Brisbane Water at Gosford.
Reigning Junior Water Ski Racing World Champions, Carter Robertson of Australia and the Hawkesbury’s own Nellie McMillan, converted those championships into Senior World Titles at the final day of the championships on November 18.
Robertson had been a dominant force with Team 50 F1 since race day one when he took victory after his brother was eliminated in an early race crash, fracturing a vertebra.
After leading the final day in the early stages, he was chased down by Lachlan Nix behind Sapphire, who charged through from the second row to take a dominant outright victory.
Robertson finished second in the race, but had done enough with his two race victories to become World Champion.
At 21, he is the youngest ever Men’s Open World Water Ski Racing Champion.
Daniel Graziano and Superman were able to carve a hard-fought Silver Medal.
After not finishing race three, Graziano had sustained a leg injury, but soldiered on in the final one-hour race to earn second in the world, while Australian Wildcard Jack Coldrake and Coldys F1 ended their campaign with a podium and third place in the world.
McMillan’s charge to the Women’s Open Championship wasn’t as straightforward.
After finishing second in the first two races behind Victorian Maddison Boyer, Strike F1 charged to the race three win and then, in the World Championship race, she needed a 19 second victory.
With her father David behind the steering wheel, McMillan was as far as 15 seconds behind Boyer and Showdown with 10 minutes to go – and then they staged their championship run.
Not only did the trio catch up with Boyer’s boat, but swung by it with five minutes to go, opening the lead to 17 seconds and when receiving the last lap blue flag were a staggering 39 seconds in front.
The Hawkesbury based squad brought the bright yellow boat home to now make the 19-year-old a Senior World Champion, with Boyer second and Rachael Stapleton completing the podium.
Not so clear cut was Men’s Formula 2.
Championship leader Aiden Cuff fell away from Revenge midway through the race.
Coming home to take the race was youngster Jake Clancy, who got the win behind Agent 86 over Speed Lab’s Sam McKenzie and Brendan Tidswell with The Dragon.
This earned Clancy a podium finish in the overall world championship results.
Despite having a DNF midway through the event, on the best three races count championship point score, Tidswell did enough to claim the world title by just three points.
Molly Palser behind Speed Lab completed her Women’s Formula 2 campaign with a hard-fought race win.
It was enough to secure the podium in the world championship after a solid campaign that saw her in the top three all the way through.
By finishing second, Emma Barnes did enough to secure the world title after a campaign that saw her on top of the division for most of the time.
The Belgian team celebrated a terrific end to their World Water Ski Racing Championships with a podium for Black Jack and Demi Fobelets.
Completing an outstanding world championship and race day four for Speed Lab, Kohdi Cartledge took a dominant win in Junior Boys wrapping up that championship, while his sister, Leilani, put the icing on the cake after wrapping up the Junior Girls on Wednesday by taking out the Junior Girls race behind Gro Up.
Race day two winner in boys, Zak Armstrong took Epic to second place with local, Jaali Walsh finishing third, earning himself a place on the world championship podium.
Leilani was followed home in the girls by Jaali’s twin Kianna, who secured second in the championship, and Cosmos’s Tijana Lalor.
Australia dominated the world championship wrapping up each title and therefore the teams championship and accepting the Federation Teams Trophy over the USA and New Zealand.
The 22nd Champions of The World were crowned at Drifters Wharf adjacent the start line for the four races of fury throughout the 10-day event.