PENARTH Water Ski Club are celebrating their 50th anniversary.

The club marked the occasion with members past and present at a dinner and dance at the Legacy International Hotel in Cardiff.

Founded by members including Jack Silver, Ray Mandell, Jim Savory and Arther Dawe, the club grew to more than 100 members at one time.

It hosted its first national race in 1968, starting from Penarth slipway, across to Weston Super Mare and back to Barry, before finishing back at Penarth. The race was won by local skier Brendon Bowles.

The club thrived and over the years had many talented skiers who went on to be British, European and even World Champions. Members also won the British Team Trophy many times.

Ski racing has declined over the last decade owing to the economic climate and the cost of fuel, but even so Penarth Ski Club manages to field a competitive team and still compete at world level.

Nationals were suspended at Penarth front from 1998, due to the lack of parking for cars or trailers. But in 2002 the Cardiff Bay Barrage was completed and presented a wonderful opportunity to have skiing in the bay once again - and thanks to hard work by Dave Silver, permission was given on allocated days to ski.

The club currently has an allocated stretch of water on which to teach water skiing and wakeboarding with professional teachers, while nationals are running again and have been every year since 2004, including two European Championships, with great success.

The club also has a strong jet bike membership and can often be seen off the foreshore at Penarth.

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