Competitors from Ireland, England and Scotland take part in the Smirnoff Waterski International at O'Briensbridge.

The river Shannon at O'Briensbridge in County Clare, approximately eleven kilometres from Killaloe is the venue for the 1981 Smirnoff Waterski International organised by the Shannonside Water Ski Club.

Competitors and spectators alike enjoyed the warm and sunny weather, but the event faced numerous challenges including a boat breakdown and the delayed arrival of the English team.

Late flights notwithstanding, the English team emerged victorious from this two-day event and also broke records in the slalom and jumps categories.

Waterskiing is one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland, and everyone is welcome to try it out at any of the the clubs, even non-swimmers says Irish national coach Deirdre Glynn.

Ireland has a long way to go to get to the level of England and Scotland however. Many of their athletes are on sports scholarships in the United States and train much more intensively than the Irish team,

It's very difficult to get close to this type of standard, because you need an awful lot of practice.

Contrary to what people may think, waterskiing is not dangerous for the skier who is in control of his skis and in control of his body, says Deirdre Glynn. She compares learning to waterski to learning to cycle a bike,

Once you adapt your balance...it's something that becomes automatic every time you go out in the water.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 June 1981. The reporter is Andrew Kelly.