I actually went and did this race this year and I can safely say it was THE most amazing experience of my life!!
the race start is staggered by 7 mins between the small boats (21' and under) and the monsters up to 43'.. this meant that even though i only skied it behind a little boat (21') i made it to the island sixth overall (4th little boat) and was 19th back (6th little boat and fourth in class) with a time of 1hr 17 min 52 sec for the 62 mile round trip
the atmosphere for the race is amazing and the noise those things make as they pass is just awesome!! sitting on the side of the boat at the start line is just surreal.. there must have been 13 to 15 helicopters all flying around overhead, 80 to 90 boats all lined up across longbeach harbour infront of the queen mary and just a narrow channel out to the breakwater defined by hundreds and hundreds of spectator boats all looking to get the best veiw!!
Easily the biggest race ive ever been to and amazingly it was the only race i can think of that i wasnt even the slightest bit nervous before the start ofthere is some more footage here :
and the little boat you see going around the turn with the two big boats is actually myself.. 6th to the island out of 80 odd boats.. not bad for an 18 year old!!