More water ski deaths may follow: NSW mum

Lucy Hughes Jones

The mother of a world champion water skier who died during a high-speed river race is worried more deaths will occur if big changes aren't made.

Sarah Teelow, 20, was critically injured during the 112km Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on the Hawkesbury River in 2013.

The young woman from Wellington, near Dubbo, sustained serious head injuries when she crashed in the opening moments of the event on November 24.

She was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital but died a day later with her parents at her bedside.

The Women's World Formula Two champion fell off her ski and cartwheeled along the water after she hit the wake created by another boat. Ms Teelow's own boat encountered the waves while travelling up to 136km/h.

An inquest found Ms Teelow's helmet came off shortly after she made initial contact with the water and before she hit the river a second time in the tumble.

Acting State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan called for improvements to helmet and flotation device specifications and the consideration of speed restrictions in delivering her findings at Glebe Coroner's Court on Thursday.

But Ms Teelow's mother, Tania, who is also a champion water skier, thinks the safety recommendations don't go far enough and that Ski Racing Australia had only made "token" reforms.

"There are a lot of inadequacies, shortfalls, at all levels of ski racing and with the (Roads and Maritime Services)," she said outside court.

The coroner recommended that SRA consider developing helmet and personal flotation device technical specifications and speed restrictions in the Formula Two class.

SRA should also consider introducing a rule requiring race scrutineers to ensure competitor helmets are securely worn.

And the RMS should explore whether a speed restriction should be a condition of an aquatic licence for the event, the coroner said.

Tania Teelow says helmets used now are designed for land-based sports and she wants purpose-built equipment.

The grief-stricken mother's voice broke as she called for a change in SRA's culture to prevent future deaths like her daughter's.

"She was an amazing girl, she had so much to offer this world," she said.

"Not a day goes by that I don't cry and miss her."