When the Big Dawgs take to the waters of downtown Melbourne to compete in the 2012 Moomba Masters, it’ll mark quite a milestone for the 35-years-old-and-up series. It’ll be the first time it’s touched down in Australia and tens of thousands of fans will be lining the shores of what is arguably considered the world’s biggest water ski tournament.
But the Dawgs can’t get too caught up in the moment; they’ll have to deal with the legendary and unpredictable conditions of the Yarra River.
We caught up with Dave Miller and Chad Scott, two of the four GOODE skiers slated to ski in the eight-man Moomba field, and asked them about the newest, biggest stop on the Big Dawg series.
What came across your mind when you first heard that Moomba was going to host a Big Dawg?
Dave M.: I was excited to hear that Moomba invited the Big Dawgs. It made me realize that our division is getting more popular all the time and I really wanted to try to make the trip.
Chad: My First thought was what a great opportunity to get a chance to ski at the Moomba Masters. It’s a very prestigious tournament that I have never had an opportunity to ski. I really enjoy the format of having a chance to watch and ski in the same venue as the best skiers in the world.
Now that the Big Dawg has added a fourth continent, can you believe how big it has become?
Chad: It has certainly been fun to be part of the Big Dawg series since the beginning. It’s really amazing to see how it has grown to a global event and be able meet other skiers from across the world.
Dave M.: The Big Dawg has become quite successful and it seems it is getting bigger all the time.
Since Moomba is held during North America’s winter, how have you been training for the event?
Dave M.: Training is the difficult part for me this year. I’ve been busy working seven days a week which is not normal for me, but I’ve started up some new projects in business that needed my attention. I have not skied since mid October last year and my first day back on the water was the February 18th weekend on Southern California’s Imperial Lakes along with Dave and Dawn Goode, Nick Parsons and Paul Donatt. I will only get two more weekends of skiing in before Moomba so I hope I can be ready.
Chad: I’ve been skiing in Covington, La., with Dave Dipol and Bobby Franks, who’ve been nice enough to brave the cooler temperatures and pull me during these winter months. I have also been traveling to West Palm Beach, Fla., skiing with Becky Lathrop and Shelby Coke. These individuals have been available during these colder months and have provided me an opportunity to get some quality training in preparation for Moomba. I am also looking forward to seeing this extra skiing payoff for me throughout the season.
Have you been working on anything special to prepare for the notoriously unpredictable and fickle Yarra River?
Chad: I have not really done anything special in preparation for Moomba other than continue to ski during these winter months, but I plan on trying to ski in some rough water conditions before going to Moomba.
Dave M.: While we were skiing at Imperial Lakes Dave Goode had us try some different speeds to allow for the river current. Skiing one way through the course at 32 miles per hour and then the other way at 36. Very interesting to say the least. I hope the Yarra River isn’t that extreme.
What is your frame of mind heading down to Big Dawg Moomba … win it or experience it?
Dave M.: My mind set will be enjoying the experience, it is going to be very different feeling skiing on the river from what I have heard so I am not going in with anything on my mind except be ready for the unexpected and do my best.
Chad: Well, both. I am certainly looking forward to the experience. It’s another Big Dawg event with a group of great competitors. I think everyone that has signed up is going to Australia with the mind set to try to win the first ever Moomba Big Dawg title. That would be a great way to start the year.