The long-awaited Coolum OzSki Resort has been hailed among Australia’s best water-ski facilities and of international standard after a successful State Titles wrapped up on Sunday.
The launch of the 32ha resort was brought forward to allow the Qld State Titles to go ahead after the devastating Bundaberg Floods destroyed the event’s originally planned location.
“It was very sad when Bundaberg lost all their equipment and couldn’t host them and we were very grateful to try and host it for them,” said OzSki director Emma Sheers.
Saturday’s official launch amid the State Titles Tournament was the realisation of a dream over ten years in the making for Emma and her husband, Rick Habermann.
The pair has worked tirelessly to ensure the facility would be ready to host the weekend’s prestigious ski tournament and while they admit there is still much to be done, the over 100 State Title competitors embraced the new waterskiing site, particularly praising the provision of a purpose-built jump.
“It’s beautiful to ski in. The water’s so soft; it just hugs your ski,” said Over 35 Slalom skier Peter Cornale, who claimed a national record on the weekend.
The event’s oldest competitor, 69-years-old Maggie Storey skied her first National Titles event in the same year as Emma Sheers (1987), and also shared her praise for the Coolum site.
“She’s a great ambassador for the sport and I’m really excited to have this wonderful facility available to all Australians,” Mrs Storey said.
The weekend was a double triumph for OzSki Director Emma Sheers. She claimed the Women’s Open Slalom State Title win over Denni Purcell, boosting her current World Ranking to 12.
The former Slalom and Jumps World Champion took a break from the world circuit to concentrate on raising her young family and develop the world-class waterskiing facility.
She is back with a vengeance this year however, already collecting the Open Women Slalom National Championship title, held in NSW at the end of March, and placing runner-up in last month’s Moomba Masters in Victoria.
The Coolum OzSki Resort was officially opened by Petrie MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, the Hon. Yvette D’Ath, who thanked Emma and Rick for their passion, commitment and effort in bringing the project to fruition.
“Congratulations to Emma and Rick for putting on these titles at this wonderful new facility. All three levels of government are represented here today for good reason. They understand the importance of investing in tourism, but they also support what is being done here for the local area,” Ms D’Ath said on Saturday.
Speaker of the House and Maroochy MP Fiona Simpson, Division 2 Cr Tim Dwyer and Division 9 Cr Steve Robinson also attended the launch, along with the who’s who of Queensland waterskiing.
“I remember meeting with Rick and Emma as the newly elected local Councillor where they demonstrated the passion, the dream and the courage they had to make it happen,” Cr Steve Robinson recalled.
“So it is such a thrill to be here with the facility fully operational at the State Titles sharing in their vision.”
Speaking on behalf of Queensland Waterski, Brad Williams said Queensland had lacked a premier site until now.
“We have a few; but they’re only a one boat site. So this being a two boat site, where we can run two boats simultaneously, is perfect,” Mr Williams explained.
Emma was pleased with the number of spectators visiting OzSki over the weekend and highlighted her aim to involve the public in the site.
“Right from the beginning we’ve wanted people to be able to come out here and picnic and walk and just enjoy the facilities as well, so that’s been our aim all along that this is part of their vision as well,” she said.
“We’ve had some great feedback from people and hopefully they’ll come back and visit us; not just at State Titles but the rest of the year as well.”
OzSki Resort is located at the end of Junction Drive in Coolum’s Industrial Park. Visit www.ozskiresort.com for more information.