An action-packed morning on day one of the iconic Southern 80 water skiing classic in Echuca, Victoria has seen Disabled class team Koatic ski to the quickest time from 5-Mile Boat Ramp to Victoria Park, the precursor to this afternoon’s Bakers Blitz and President’s Dash.
The early pacesetters were Dr Evil, the team of Adam Lees (driver), Doug Lees (observer), Shannon Lewry and Troy Hood (skiers) the first away and holding court atop the time sheets for much of the morning. Their efforts were enough to win the Unlimited Inboard Social class for a second year running, beating home Reactor and Bad Temper.
In total 13 teams made it home in under nine minutes, Koatic the only ones under eight minutes (7min, 54sec), After Marth the lucky 13th home under the nine-minute benchmark, with Daniel Hildebrand on the ski in the Disabled class.
A further 26 teams made it home in less than 10 minutes, a remarkable achievement.
As is always the case in ski racing, there were tight margins on the results sheet for teams right the way through the field. The first of those was in Unlimited Inboard Social, with Bad Temper pipping Boystress by six tenths of a second to claim third in class.
Proceedings were even tighter in 5.2 & 6 Litre Social with The Joker holding the ace against Synthetic to win that class by a meagre 0.3 seconds. Despite the result, Synthetic’s 2015 class record of 8 minutes, 23 seconds remains in tact, with The Joker only able to manage an 8 minutes, 56 seconds run down the river.
SMOC Social saw Dragon beat Team 26 to the tune of one second, while a place on the podium in the Open Women’s Social/Dawn Rowbottom Memorial was inevitably nothing more than a mirage for ILLUSIONS Racing, who was pipped at the post by Idlewild. Perennial river classic competitors Against the Grain won that class from Harrasment, 40 seconds covering first to third.
It was also a day for budding stars of the sport to get a feel for the hallowed water of the Murray, the Junior Social class won by The Player who skipped away from Ghostrider. Sid Vicious Racing rounded out the podium. Meanwhile Sonic Boats raced to a 12-second margin over Enforcer in the Sub Junior Social Class.
Although the battle for speed and a touch of glory is what many competitors thrive on, for some simply crossing the line is enough of a kick to go home satisfied. That mantra couldn’t be truer of the Under 10 class.
Ten teams in the Under 10s boys race, and five in the Under 10’s girls class made it across the finish, Pumped Up with Brad Collins (driver), Matthew Cooper (observer) and Camden Cooper (skier) winning the male event from Solid Gold and Double Trouble.
In the girls event Charlotte Davison skied to first place behind Elm Street F2 alongside Wesley Davison and Carlie Davison (driver and observer), while Mercury Racing and Korrupt completed the top three.
Expectations were met in Unlimited Outboard Social and 70mph Social as Showbiz and Korrupt (in their first of two runs down the river) claimed honours in their classes respectively.
Meanwhile Burn N Wood was too hot for the 60mph Social event, as they eclipsed Head Hunter and U Dirty Rat. Hollow Point won the Stock 6 Litre Social class, just ahead of Public Enemies.
With the morning’s events now run and won, attention will turn to the big boats competing in the Baker’s Blitz and Presidents Dash to determine the starting order for tomorrow’s main event.
Later in the afternoon Veterans and Senior Social racing will finish the day.
TOP FIVE TIMES FROM THE MORNING SESSION
- Kaotic – Disabled class – 7:54.099
- Dr Evil – Unlimited Inboard Social – 8:07.333
- Reactor – Unlimited Inboard Social – 8:31.081
- Bad Temper – Unlimited Inboard Social – 8:37.233
- Boystress – Unlimited Inboard Social – 8:37.886
Full results will be available online this evening. All above listed results are provisional at time of posting.