Winter preferable time to train

Mount Aspiring College pupil Meg Harraway competes in the junior world waterskiing championships in Spain last year. Photo: Supplied
Mount Aspiring College pupil Meg Harraway competes in the junior world waterskiing championships in Spain last year. Photo: Supplied
Waterskiing for hours on Lake Wanaka in winter might sound tough but it has its compensations - there are fewer tourists and boat users around.

Wanaka waterskiing champion Meg Harraway (17) trains throughout the year, dividing her time on the water between Glendhu Bay during the week and a man-made lake in South Canterbury on weekends.

During the warmer months, the Mount Aspiring College year 13 pupil trains up to two hours before school, two in the afternoon, and all day on weekends.

The training has paid off as Harraway has won a national title for under-17 slalom and will represent New Zealand at the junior world championships in Spain.

Harraway competes in slalom, jump and trick but at 176cm tall slalom is her strongest discipline, she said.

''It makes it easier to reach out - trick is easier if you are shorter.''

Harraway first started waterskiing when she was 7 and really enjoyed it, but the turning point was when she dropped her first ski.

''I had a friend of my dad's in the boat teaching me how to do it and once I managed to drop the ski I just loved every second of it and didn't want to stop''.

Harraway said the biggest disadvantage to living in Wanaka was the lack of an area or facilities for waterskiers on Lake Wanaka.

''In summer there are so many boats on the water and we often have to wait for the water to calm down.

''They also come very near creating rollers and waves which are quite hard and dangerous to get over, increasing the risk of having a crash and injuring yourself.''

Harraway is hoping to win a scholarship to an American university next year to continue training and compete in more world championships.

She said waterskiing was a great sport for kids as it ''pushes you individually and you don't have to rely on anyone else''.

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