HOW many sports can you think of where the stadium is not shut down in the week leading up to the event to allow the players to train?
The Southern 80 doesn’t.
And no-one is really going to suggest we shut down our beautiful Murray just so teams can train non-stop.
Well, I’m not going to suggest we do it ALL of the time.
But would it be the worst idea to have a few hours where it is?
Sunday, January 21, I was called to go to a boat accident.
I arrived to find Nailed under water.
The owner, the skiers and a number of well wishers from 80 other local teams were there having a chat on the beach while they waited for the boat to be pulled out of the water.
When it was, all these people, some of whom represented opponents, worked together to bail the boat out of the water.
Hopefully, Nailed will still ride.
The reason this happened was multiple boats on the water, with one on the wrong side forcing Nailed to swerve.
Anthony Jones, who was driving the boat, was taken to hospital with spinal injuries and a concussion.
He won’t be racing, even if Nailed does.
I’m not going to propose we shut the whole river down for two weeks so people can practice.
That would be utterly ridiculous.
What wouldn’t be ridiculous is having set times and set areas of the river that can be devoted to 80 boats.
I’ll pitch it to you this way.
Once during the week, once on the weekend, we shut that course down and only allow 80 boats to use that stretch.
Across two weeks, that’s a total of eight hours where people are affected.
Just to make it easier on people, we do it early in the morning, maybe from 7am until 9am.
Now I know, that’s a bit of an inconvenience to people.
But this race has the potential to get out of control.
Imagine coming down this river with equipment that powerful, having never before skied the course.
A small change to like this means every boat will have had the chance to practice the full course beforehand, with only other competitors to manage.