SPORT - 2010 Club Marine Southern 80

Planning is well underway

The 2010 Club Marine Southern 80 preparations are well underway for the event from February 12 to 14.

The event attracts about 500 race entries from Australia and international competitors from New Zealand and the USA, as well as attracting around 100,000 spectators, with 90 per cent from outside the Echuca/Moama area.

Organisers said the 2008 and 2009 Southern 80 events resulted in a financial loss for the Moama Water Sports Club. These losses, they said, could not be absorbed long term and led the Club to appeal to local businesses/organisations for assistance in the running of this year’s race.

More than 100 local businesses have risen to the challenge to support the 2010 Southern 80, by either taking out local supporter’s packages or class sponsorships, and ski racing competitors are being encouraged to support them in kind. A list of the local businesses can be found on the Southern 80 website at

The Southern 80 is organised by a volunteer committee of 15 people, by a non-profit organisation, and the benefit to the local economy has been estimated to be worth $23 million, with the average visitor to Echuca/Moama on this weekend expected to spend around $400 per person on accommodation, food, fuel and other goods.

Organisers added that around 500 competitors have holiday homes in the local area or camp in the Echuca/Moama region over the holiday periods, and for many of them, they call Echuca their second home, contributing to the local economy all year round.

Planning for this event starts straight after the previous year’s event. De-briefings are held with concerned parties to plan for the following year. Discussions are held with local emergency services personal, Parks Victoria, Forests NSW, NSW Maritime, the shires of Campaspe and Murray, all with the view of providing a better event for all concerned.

Here are some of the tasks that do need to be done to ensure the success of the event:
* Local volunteers groups (football clubs, Apex, Lions, Y’s Men, Lockington Action Group) have all been approached to provide services such as tractor drivers, flag waivers, rubbish pick-up, gate attendants, parking attendants, just to name a few.
* Contractors have been sought to provide food and beverages, site sheds, tents, chairs and tables, power, toilets etc for use at the start and finish areas.
* Rubbish bins have been arranged for Victoria Park, 2, 3 & 5 Mile reserves.
* Security has been arranged for Victoria Park and the Night Rider (to get revellers out of the town area) have been organised.
* Accommodation has been booked for the judges and support personnel who help to get the race on the water.
* Permits have been sought for road closures, traffic plans, aquatic licences, use of public land licences, and the formulation of management and emergency plans also has to be completed.
* Planning for houseboat placement along the river (especially around the scenic drive area), a new task this year has taken place in conjunction with the NSW Maritime and houseboat operators.
*Consultations with interested parties are taking place to ensure a smooth running event for all.

Entries closed on December 31 and once all the entries have been received, the draw or seeding of the event takes place. It is then hoped to have the printed program available in stores by the January 26.

All of these activities are put in place to create the biggest waterski race in the world, which showcases the towns of Echuca/Moama to the rest of Australia and internationally.

For further information, phone the Moama Water Sports Club on (03) 5480 6754 or visit


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