(( In an attempt to get back into writing shape, I have rediscovered an old treasure trove of blogs..... And since Moomba Masters was nearly a month ago, and Masters is little over a month away, now feels like a good time to re-post this from 4 years ago. Confused already?? Me too. Now I'm just really pissed I missed yet another Moomba Masters! )) Moomba Masters: [Moom - ber Maast - ahhs] Quite possibly the biggest, best, most prestigious Water Ski and Wakeboard event in the world! Oh sure, most will laugh when I say this….content to lean confidently on the "true"Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard tournament, in Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain Georgia, as the pinnacle…the capstone event in all of Water Sports!!! REALLY?? Lets do a quick side by side, and I say quick cuz its 2010 and folks these days don't have time for anything other than quick. Here I go then….
Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard tournament, Callaway Gardens, Georgia (Callaway Golf Clubs anyone????…..)
- held within the 20 square mile complex that is Callaway Gardens, on the amazing Robin Lake….which boasts the largest man-made, white sand beach in the World!
- Very expensive to attend
- Very exclusive to watch - you'll need to procure a "pavilion pass" (by either selling your soul to the Devil….or being one of the top 10 water skiers in the world) to even come within a football fields distance from the action. No worries though, right??…I mean, you came to the gardens to bird watch anyway….so not to worry, you've got your binoculars handy for the on-water action….wait a minute…you just had them…what in God's name happened to those things……
- Very isolated from any sort of civilization or running water (drinking water)
- Very stuffy, uncomfortable feeling once on the premises despite the beautiful surrounds…..a peculiar paradox, you find yourself thinking…
- Always on Memorial Day Weekend! - isn't this weekend reserved for something else already?…why are we in this hot, muggy, isolated armpit of the south, dripping sweat like tears?? We ought to be floating down some river with thousands of other people and a cooler full of drinks tied round our ankles?? (Kids out there, NEVER, and I mean NEVER, tie a cooler to any body part and float down a river…..EVER)
Moomba Masters Water Ski And Wakeboard Tournament, Yarra River, Downtown Melbourne, Australia
- held smack dab in the middle of one of the coolest major cities in the World: Melbourne, Australia, in a public setting, on a river
- Very Cheap to attend…like FREE. Which is the best opportunity for folks who have never seen water skiing to actually have a chance to see it…best skiers in the world in person! Gold Star straight away to Moomba Masters for this invaluable exposure and promotion of Water Sports!!
- Very easy to watch - grab some buddies, some cold drinks and get your ass down to the Yarra ASAP to claim a patch of grass!! It goes quick by the time the finals roll around on Moomba Monday and there are 35,000 people watching. But don't worry, even if you miss out on river front privileges you'll still have one of the best views in the house, as the Yarra River couldn't be more perfectly designed for water skiing….with easy viewing from either side of the narrow, flowing sheet of cool smooth glass.
- Like I said, right in the middle of the 2nd biggest city in all of Australia which is also the 3rd "Most Livable City in the World" , with the world's largest public tram network, and a host of other titles: Its a national center for the Arts, Entertainment, Australian Film, Australian Rules Footy,….basically its the Cultural Capital of Australia. Its unreal how much is happening in this city….and thats just on a normal weekend.
- Always during Moomba - Australia's largest festival held over the 4 day Labor Day weekend. With Bands, a Carnival, River Activities, River Floats, Fireworks, a Birdman Rally, and of course, the Moomba Masters Water Sports event…Annually more than 200,000 people attend.
- Moomba, in Aboriginal, means "Let's get together and have fun"
- BONUS FACT: no matter where you go, or who you talk to in this city throughout the weekend…most either know of the Moomba Masters Water Ski event, have watched it in the past, or know who the skiers are!
How could the best Water Sports event in the world get any better?????
If you're not here…..sorry about your luck….if you could see the smile on my face as I type this, you'd think I was trying my damnedest to make ya'll jealous.
But that's not it.
The smile comes from the simple fact that, even without a shred of "city folk" in me, I'm living proof that this place can strike a chord with anyone….the 80 degree Australian autumn sun in March, loads of restaurants/shops/attractions, unreal sights and generous people….its the living, breathing heart of Melbourne, and it can all be summed up by that smile.
I hope you get the chance. And if you're really lucky…and you find yourself here on the right weekend, you might just happen upon the greatest show there ever was on water: the Moomba Masters!