This fortnight’s featured ‘Racer of the Fortnight’ is Queensland ski racer Michael ( Mick ) Kelly.
Mick is exceptionally talented in all aspects of skiing, driving and observing.
Recently, as part of Noel Griffin Racing (NGR) Mick has shown his versatility on many occasions, taking numerous outright placing trophies from races all over Australia in Super Class skiing behind Burnin’.
There have also been many others in crew positions, in this boat and many others, all over Australia, and indeed the World.
In events like the 2009 Belgium World Titles, Mick donned the Observers jacket, helping Chris Stout to a fantastic 3rd placing in F1 Mens, just behind Wayne Mawer and Todd Haig on points.
The guys are focused on making the Aussie Team again in F1 for the 2011 World Ski Racing Titles, to be held near his hometown of Brisbane.
During the 2010 – 11 season he has also been driving NGR’s Burnin’ to wins in Junior Boys and in Veterans @ the H120, towing Shane ‘Japs’ Helson and Darren Apps. The guys grabbed a great 2nd placing, just seconds behind the winner.
He jumped on the ski again to take out Unlimited Outboard with Joel Massey at the 2010 Sydney Bridge to Bridge behind 2 Wild.
Mick sat down and tackled a few questions for SkiRace.Net, as our ‘Racer of the Fortnight’.
- Biggest influence on your ski racing career?
Noel Griffin without a doubt. From his humble beginnings, to the force he now is in ski racing, his love of the sport has never waned, which has been great to be around. He’s also helped me out more than I can begin to mention.
Technically I’m a freelancer now, just skiing with whoever will tow me, but I’d say my primary position is observer/driver/skier/trailer biatch/ rope put’er’on’a’rer /Pidge’s ski carrier for NGR. Whatever needs doing.
- When did you start ski racing ?
I think my first real race was Under 16 Social at the Southern 80 in 95’.
- What classes do you compete in?
Whatever I can ! I have skied in everything from Social to Super Class, and continue to drive and observe in whatever boat has a spare seat.
NGR. (Noel Griffin Racing)
Prop Industries. http://www.propindustries.com
DK Disc’s and Ski Fabrication.
- Which race / venue do you enjoy racing the most?
Hard to pass up the Victorian river races, they’re always fun races, but I’ve always got a soft spot for Moogerah Dam in Qld. Nothing like a home ground advantage.
- What titles / championships do you have under your belt?
Have won a few here and there, skiing and observing.
I have held a MOC Australian Title, and had a few Qld ones in Mens and Marathon under the belt in years gone by.
3rd in F1 Mens at Belgium Worlds observing for Chris Stout, would have to rank pretty highly though.
- What is a memorable moment, ski racing, that you would like to share?
Any Qld Title race against Pidge (Grant Turner) springs up. They’re always a bit too close for my liking.
Towing ‘Special’ (Seanne Kelly) to a Qld Marathon Title win over some good competition comes to mind.
Also having to sit around for hours after the final race in Belgium to find out if we’d taken third or not is something I won’t forget.
Driving Burnin at the H120 and winning with the kids was pretty sweet too.
- What are the challenges for you each race?
Biggest problem is that there are too many other talented ski racers out there to compete with.
Each race is different and the challenges vary depending on which position in the team I’m in at the time.
I have had a lot of ups and downs in skiing, and overcoming injuries or getting yourself back to the right standard for races after slacking is always difficult.
- How do you prepare for each race?
I try and get as much on water work as I can, social skiing, the occasional bay run. Gym.
Again, it depends what job I’m doing. I like to have a clear picture in my head about the job at hand, the course and competition.
Observing wise I like to do a bit of research about upcoming races, who we’re competing against, the venue etc.
Then if I’m skiing … there’s nothing wrong with a few nerves.
- If a younger or newer competitor was coming through the ranks what piece of advice would you offer?
Get your technique right, be prepared, take your time to develop your skiing skills and think about what you’re doing.
Don’t try and do it all straight away, you won’t get to be as good as Pidgeon overnight.
- Do you have a hidden talent ?
Disc’n. Not sure it’s much of a talent, but will give myself and Pidge a wrap as some of the original gangsters of disc riding – far too much spare time’s been spent on them.
- What are your goals for 2011 ?
The posts keep changing ! A month ago I would have said Grafton Bridge to Bridge, but that’s gone by the wayside for now. Probably getting Chris Stout to the Worlds is the main one, not that he’ll need much of my help, that man is a machine! Other than that just stay safe on the ski.
- What other ways do you help promote or organize ski racing ?
I’m the Vice Captain of Ski Racing Queensland, and a ‘reporter’ for www.letstalkskiracing.com.au , just trying to get ski racing out to as many people as possible.
Some movies of Mick in action ..
Mick skiing behind 2Wild @ the 2010 Sydney Bridge to Bridge
Mick behind Burnin\’ 2010 Qld State Titles
Mick and Pidge do battle 2010 Qld State Titles
Behind Burnin with Tom Smith – Robinvale 2010
Mick and Tom finishing 2010 Southern 80 (3rd Outright)
2009 Barrie Beehag – Behind Burnin\’
Driving Burnin\’, Qld Series Day, Moogerah Dam
Burnins start Mildura 100 2010 with Mick & Tom skiing
* Thanks to contributing photographers,