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Racer of the Fortnight – Steven Morley

Steven Morley

Steven started in the sport of water ski racing as a youngster in late 1980’s with his father Colin and Mum Carol, as they travelled with the ski racing scene. Over the years he has competed in most events in Australia and few overseas.

A bit about Steven

Steven is a Car Dealer, in Echuca, Victoria, Australia. He is married to Serena and a proud father of Jack 4, Ruby 2 & Milly 6 months.
In the river races, Steven partners James Buser and they ski behind Top Gun with Russell Lewis doing the driving, and with Chris Gelle in the observer’s seat. They compete in Superclass.
In the lake circuits, Steven competes in many events such as his age events (Senior Men’s, Open Men) F2 and this season has had a go at Social Men’s, but “it is scary shit skiing on those small skis”.

Ski Racing Career

Steven started skiing in 1986-87 season. His first Southern 80 was skiing behind Azatak with Harley Nicholls and Andrew Hunt in the boat and skiing with Scott Clever. In 1988 again fronting up for the 80 but this time behind Too Low 4 Zero with Dad, Colin driving and with Darcy Duggan observing whilst skiing with Justin Cadden, again in the Under 13 class.
Teaming up with the Thundernuts crew in 1991– Michael Dominguez, Eugene Bonollo and skier Brett Dominguez, saw the start of a lifetime friendship between the Morley & Dominguez families that is still very strong today.
A highlight in the early years of racing was winning the 1992 Southern 80 as a 16 year old, competing in the 16-19 Boys class in a time of 33:34, with the Thundernuts crew.
1991 /92 season, saw the Thundernuts crew win the Southern 80 and the Mildura 100 and the title of the King of the Murray.
Over the years, as Steven progressed through the different age classes from Under 13’s to Seniors where he skis now, there were trophies for winning point score series, Victorian and South Australian state titles along the journey.
Racing along Steven in those days was his mate, Brett Dominguez. There was a rivalry between them, which saw close racing on the water, pushing each other to develop their skiing ability further, but when it came time for the rivers – they put that aside and skied together. Off the water they were and are best mates. There were many bunny hop competitons along the way – some of which you can see on the Bunnies page.

In 1997 after a ski racing injury, Steven retired from the sport of water ski racing for a while. The 2001 / 02 season, saw Steven lured back to the sport to observe for the Blown Budget / Thundernuts crew. His invaluable experience on the water helped him to be an excellent observer, always looking out for the skier.

Michael & Brett Dominguez encouraged Steven back onto the water in 2002, to ski with the Blown Budget crew. This time Tim Dominguez was in the boat and with Brett & Steven skiing there was a determination in the team to win the Southern 80 yet again. This was achieved in 2003 in a time of 31:42 ( a bit faster than the 1992 time, they played it smarter!). This was probably the most memorable moment for Steven. The 1992 win, although a joy, Steven was too young to really appreciate the win.

Influences on Steven’s Ski Racing Career

Wayne Duggan: “ I spent a lot of time with Wayne as I was growing up, I listened to him”
Gavin Arnott: “ I mimicked his style and admired his skiing”
Michael Dominguez:” He worked hard to make things happen, whether it was driving all night to a ski race, doing engine development / practice on the Saturday. Then racing Sunday and to then turn around to go back home for work on Monday. Michael was a quiet achiever and a gentleman.”

The Southern 80 is Steven’s favourite race for a number of things. It is in his home town – Echuca. He has won it outright twice. There are challenges for the whole team in the event.
Steven said “ I have more of a appreciation of the Bridge to Bridge as I have got older, compared to when I was younger. It is a race of tactics and starting 10 wide is a challenge in itself. When I was younger I would ski as hard as I could for a long as I could, but now I am more aware of tactics and utilising my knowledge of the event to ski to my best.”

Training and Preparing for an event

Getting as much time on the water is an ideal way to prepare for an event. This year it has been somewhat of a challenge, as the Murray River in Echuca, has been in flood or had black water for most of the season. So trips with the family to Melbourne and Geelong to ski on the bay have been made over the season. Gym work about three times a week is also a vital part of Steven’s routine prior to an event.

Advice to younger or new competitors?

Utilise the 7 P’s and lots of preparation are very important.
Communication with your observer is vital, this extends to on land and on water. Your observer should know your style of skiing, your limits and strengths. They are a vital part of the team, as they are the communication point between the skiers and the driver.
If possible stay with one observer, they get to know your strengths and weaknesses better than you, and they know when to push you – they are the vital communicator in the team.

Supporters and Sponsors

Family is vital – Serena, Jack, Ruby & Milly
His sponsors are MAG, Harp of Erin, and Top Gun Ski Racing

Videos of Steven

All Hawkesbury Hot Shots 2010 Sydney Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Race ( 1st Corner )
Top Gun 2nd Outright 2010 Sydney Bridge to Bridge water ski race
TOP GUN Ski Racing Team
Top Gun Ski Race Team website

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