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Southern Spars - North Technology

Lake home owners disturb ski racing fun

by Mark Rothfield on 26 Oct 2012
Noise may annoy, but waterski racing is a sight to behold for thousands of spectators Mark Rothfield
When does an editorial become an idiot-orial? When you wake on the Monday morning after a sensational waterski event to see a headline in the local rag: 'Lake racers disturb Sunday peace'.

For those among you who think water-ski race boats are too loud, let me suggest you leave now for www.basketweaving.com because I’m about to be a little disparaging.

To set the scene, Ski Racing NSW held a grand prix event on Lake Macquarie NSW – not to be confused with Port Macquarie, where even more retirees live. The circuit was in the vicinity of some silver-spooned waterfront suburbs that are otherwise comatose on the average Sunday.

Roads and Maritime Services approved an aquatic licence for the area from 8.30am to noon but promptly forgot to promote it, as did the organisers.

Ski Racing NSW spokesman Ken Cheetham said the boats were within a noise limit of 95 decibels by law, but very soon those princesses in their waterfront castles began whining about disturbance of the peace.

A city councillor in one of those castles bemoaned the fact they raced in an amphitheatre 'straight underneath 10,000 to 20,000 people’s homes’’.

A letter writer to the paper wrote: 'I could hear the awful noise from further down the lake but didn't know what it was. Later, however, I saw some of these testosterone fueled morons returning home on the freeway. This isn't the type of activity we need in or on Lake.'

Here’s what I think … If people in waterfront homes don’t like noises emanating from the waterfront, Move to the country! Better still, another country.

Organisers say the event brought tourism dollars and entertainment to the lake. With 21 boats each bringing a minimum of six people to the area, they’re right.

Certainly it was the first powerboat event to be held on the waterway for an eternity, with the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto’s attempt at powerboats sports having long been extinguished.

As Ken Cheetham pointed out: ‘‘Many people were looking from the shore at the spectacle of the brilliant boats. It is an extreme sport and it’s something people want to watch.’’

That’s true.

Mr. Cheetham said his organisation was planning to hold more events on the lake, possibly at Toronto. As a member of the silent and less-privileged majority I would welcome them with open arms.

With some advance warning I’ll organise a brass band as well.
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