READY FOR ACTION: Liam Press, 15, is ready to compete in an event at Calliope River for the first time, two years after beginning barefoot waterskiing.
READY FOR ACTION: Liam Press, 15, is ready to compete in an event at Calliope River for the first time, two years after beginning barefoot waterskiing.

Calliope River hosts state's best waterskiers

BAREFOOT waterskiing is back in Gladstone after a decade, and brothers Liam and Ben Press are ready to demonstrate why they're the best in Queensland.

After two years of travelling all over the state to compete, their father Graham decided it was time to build some local interest in the sport.

"This is our first event. Back in 2004 they held the Australian Titles here but nothing since," Press said.

"It is to try and get more people aware of the sport.

"There are already a few people who have seen we are having an event and they are competing for the first time."

Not expecting a huge number of competitors for the first tournament he has arranged at the Calliope River, Press knows the quality of athletes will be the big draw card.

With entries already locked in from Emerald, Biloela, Mackay and some interest from Brisbane, Press is keen to let Gladstone appreciate the skills on show.

He is urging people to head out for a look, and said when Liam, 15, and Ben, 12, get up and start practising tricks in training, people can't help but stop and watch.

"It is amazing how many people watch it from the side of the river," he said.

While the athletes make a very difficult sport look easy, spectators have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the tournament weekend .

"There will be a canteen out here on the weekend. The Ski Club is coming on board to do that with us," Press said.

Attracting some of Australia's best barefoot skiers, the technical sport will be on show for two days.

It will run on November 15-16.



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