The 50th Moomba Masters last week in Melbourne, Australia, was a special occasion for IWWF Vice President Max Kirwan OAM. Having dedicated much of his life to promoting the Melbourne Moomba Festival and in particular the Moomba Masters International Water Ski Championships, he has been either Chairman or Moomba Masters Coordinator over this past half century.
Last year Max Kirwan received the Melbourne Award from the City of Melbourne for his outstanding contribution to the City of Melbourne and for promoting the Moomba Masters over 50 years. Back in 1956 he approached the then Melbourne City Development Organization with a proposal to run exciting events on the Yarra River of a one week period. The major obstacle at that time was a 5mph speed limit. Then in 1960 he launched the first Moomba Masters Water Ski Championships on Melbourne?s Yarra River. As we know, this grew to be one of the most famous international Water Ski events in the World, bringing the City of Melbourne to the worlds sporting public attention. Max also carried two Olympic and 1 Paralympic Torches in 2000 in Sydney and also in the Sydney Paralympics, the Athens Torch in 2004 and the Commonwealth Baton in 2006
In recognition of his service to the Moomba Masters and on his retirement from the Moomba Masters organizing team, IWWF President Kuno Ritschard presented him with a special plaque at this year?s Prize Giving Ceremony on the banks of the Yarra River. As ever, the 2010 Moomba Masters was an exciting event on many fronts, thanks again to the major and final contribution of Max Kirwan.