Published: April 15, 2012
In photos: Crowds flock to international water ski event in Burnham

Some of Europe's leading water skiers were welcomed to Burnham-On-Sea on Sunday when the town hosted an international water skiing competition.

Dozens of skiers competed in three hours of racing that may lead to a round of the European Water Skiing Championships being held in Burnham next year.

Sunday's racing was watched by large crowds along the seafront, and Barry Frame, Chairman of British Water Ski Racing, described the event as a "great success."

"It's been a marvellous day of racing and I have high hopes that we will come back with a bigger event next year," he told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

Co-organiser Steve Bird told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We had several overseas water skiers taking part in what was a very successful day. The weather conditions were perfect and we were delighted with the numbers of spectators."

"We have our fingers crossed that we can get the European championships next year - it would be a real coup for Burnham and would really put us on the map for the sport."

There was local success at Sunday's event with Rooksbridge speedboat driver Rod Jenkins crewing the winning team in the main race. Skier James Bartlett from East Huntspill was third in the formula two race, while race co-organiser Steve Bird, from Burnham, was the observer on the winning formula three boat.

In the one incident of the day, Jack Lynch, a skier from Norfolk, suffered whiplash injuries when he took a fall. He was taken to hospital as a precaution. Barry Frame, Chairman of British Water Ski Racing, later said he was fine and recovering well.

Burnham's Mayor, Michael Clarke, who visited the event, said: "It was great to see large crowds out watching the action on the seafront and I pass on my congratulations to the organisers."

A full speaker system was set up along the seafront so that those watching would be able to hear a live commentary while watching the action. The event was part-sponsored by Burnham's Sunspot Amusements.

Previously, two rounds of the UK's national water skiing championships have been held in Burnham in 2007 and 2011.

Water skiers sped across Bridgwater Bay during Sunday's racing

Crowds of spectators watched along the Burnham's seafront

Around 30 boats and their crews took part in Sunday's rcaing

The awards ceremony was held outside Burnham hovercraft station

An impressive array of silverware and medals was presented to the winners

Skiers of all ages took part in the series of races held on Sunday

Smiles abounded for the winners, proudly holding their trophies

Steve Bird with Barry Frame and Phil Gibbs from sponsors Sunspot Amusements

Local water skier Toby Duggan and Steve Cox from Middlemoor Water Park near Burnham were still smiling despite their boat suffering a mechanical failure



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