The banks of the lakes at Moree Water Park were packed with people on Sunday night, as a crowd of up to 1,000 enjoyed a top night of entertainment during Moree Water Ski Club's Pro Night Ski spectacular.
Expecting only a maximum of 400 people, the event far exceeded Moree Water Ski Club's expectations, as the Moree community came out in droves to show their support and witness Australia's best waterskiers in action.
"Everyone was blown away with the support from the community," Moree Water Ski Club president James von Drehnen said.
The event showcased Australia's top eight waterskiers - two women and six men - who were in Moree competing at the 2019 Nautilus Marine Insurance Australian Water Ski Championships.
Canberra's Archie Davis beat out England's Joel Poland in the final of the flip-off, with the pair completing 10 flips in just 15 seconds.
Meanwhile Molly Ferguson won the slalom shoot-out final against Pete Cornale.
"The skiers loved it," Moree Water Ski Club tournament coordinator Angus Croft said.
"It's not often we get to ski in that sort of crowd."
The night was capped off with an impressive fireworks display from Black Match Fireworks.
Croft said the main idea of the event was to showcase the water park to the Moree community, and with a majority of locals turning out on Sunday night, it did just that.
"The biggest thing was to get the community out here to show them the ski park and what we're doing out here," he said.
"Our main goal is for everyone to come out here, either with or without a boat; we want the community included.
"But it takes time and money. A lot of people don't realise that the club is funding everything that's happening out here."
Moree mayor Katrina Humphries attended the event on Sunday night, even getting to ride in one of the boats, and said it was great to see so much community support.
"Good on Moree," she said
"It's a big box to tick for all the right reasons."
Cr Humphries said the success of the whole weekend is a credit to the Moree Water Ski Club, who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to get the site to where it is today.
"It shows what people can do when they work collaboratively and voluntarily," she said.
"Thousands and thousands of man hours have been put in out there. I also want to give credit to Work for the Dole and the people doing community service hours. They have worked tirelessly there too. It's a wonderful community effort."
Von Drehnen added that Sunday night's event has now given the club the confidence that they are on the right track with what they're trying to achieve at Moree Water Park, which is well on its way to becoming Australia's premier, world-class site.
"The biggest thing is, we've had 10 to 12 years of skepticism; the community were not really supportive of what we're doing and how beneficial this can be, but we saw a huge roll-up from locals last night. It was spectacular," he said.
"Last night reinforced why we're there building this site and why we're doing it. Two and a half years ago it was dirt. Today it's still dirt because we haven't had any rain, but it's surrounded by trees growing, nature strips, boat ramps, shelters, amenities... We're on track with our five year plan.
"The club, through grants and work for the dole, at the end of the financial year have poured over $500,000 into that site. It's a credit to the members and all those involved. Council too, they've given us a lot of moral support to get this up."
Von Drehnen said it's also exciting that the takings from the gate, canteen and bar during Sunday night's event has helped the club come out even after the significant costs of hosting the national championships
"People don't realise that it cost the club a lot of money to put [the national championships] on," he said.
"But thanks to the community for coming out and supporting [Sunday night's event], we won't lose money hosting the event. That was potentially going to happen."
Von Drehnen said the pro night event wouldn't have been possible without the support of Coates Hire, which provided the lights, as well as Moree Plains Shire Council, Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, B&W Rural, Moree Ag Supplies, Collier Welding, Tyrepower, and Skwake.
He also thanked Moree Lions Club for the fantastic job they did running the canteen.