The spotlight shone on three rising Border water skiing stars as the Malibu Series took place in Albury-Wodonga. Lara Butlin, Lochie Butlin and Callan Ashcroft have returned to the Border after representing Australia at the Water Ski World Championships in the US, Mexico and Chile. The NSW/ACT Malibu Series, held at Gateway Lakes on November 25-26, was Lara's first competition back after competing in the Under-21 World Championships in Mexico in July and the Open championships in Florida last month. She came third overall in Mexico and was ranked highly in the Open championships. "It was a surreal experience," the 18-year-old said. "You're skiing with the best in the world, and just from being around such a high level of performance, I think my skiing has improved immeasurably." Her world-class performance has earned her a scholarship to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she will study nursing and compete on the ski team next year. "I never thought I'd be given such a great opportunity," Lara said. "But now that I have it, I plan on making the most out of it." Lara's brother, Lochie, 17, competed in the Under-17 World Championships in Chile earlier this year. "It's a whole other level of competition," he said. "It was a great experience, and I'm really happy with how it went. "Now that I've got a taste of competing on the world stage, I'm working hard to qualify for the under-21 championships, which I think will be held in Canada next year." Over the weekend, Lochie showcased his skills in the trick, slalom and jump divisions of the Malibu Series. Event organiser Teegan Pigdon said they received a record number of entries for the competition, with 60 of NSW's best skiers coming from "all over the state". "We can't believe the scores this weekend - we've had a lot of personal bests," she said. "This is an L-class tournament, so a lot of the kids are getting rated for state titles and nationals this year, which will be held in Mulwala over Easter." Mrs Pigdon said one highlight from the event, besides one skier losing their swimmers mid-tow, was watching Wagga's Callan Ashcroft land a double front flip. Callan competed in the Under 21s World Championships in Mexico and the Opens Championships in Florida earlier this year. "We've produced so many world-class skiers here from this site, which is great, and I know all of our young skiers really look up to them," she said. Callan, 20, said he "had no choice" but to water ski after his parents first met while riding the wake. "There's no other sport like it," he said. "It's the only sport you can do as a family, so there's just a great atmosphere around it. "And that's what I love most about it. "You all go to get the boat and go to the lake; you're all together having fun."