Club Marine Southern 80
Friday, Saturday & Sunday February 11th, 12th & 13th 2000
The 2000 Club Marine Southern 80 heralded a new era in water ski racing, with a massive 465 entries. 259 entries were received for the 16 expert classes, 106 entries for the social classes, and 100 for Saturday’s classes, including the Bakers Blitz.
One of the main features of the 2000 Club Marine Southern 80 was the introduction of a big screen television at the finish line.
Situated on the southern side of the Victoria Park boat ramp, the screen received footage from helicopters, from five (5) fixed camera locations and from a “roving” camera, that covered 20 kilometers of the Murray River, between the Five Mile boat ramp and the finish line.
There was also a new class introduced on Saturday, increasing the number of classes to 30. The inaugural Social Seniors Over 30 class attracted 25 entries, ensuring that the class would continue in the future.
Last year’s outright winner, Showdown, started as favourite for the outright honours. There was no more God’s Gift, after it was extensively damaged in a high speed incident while practising for last year’s Mildura 100.
However, a number of Australia’s best super class boats were entered in the 2000 Southern 80. Among the other contenders were the first three outright at November’s Sydney Bridge to Bridge, The Sting, Top Shot and Stinga.
The Sting and Top Shot had proven themselves to be the two fastest boats currently racing in Australia, while Stinga has been a serious super class competitor for the last ten years.
Previous race winners Moonshot, Argo and Thundernuts were returning for another attempt at outright success, while two fast and experienced Southern 80 campaigners, Super Shot and The Axe, were returning after a short absence.
Saturday’s Bakers’ Blitz was held in fine, hot conditions, and as a result, a number of boats failed to finish the short 20km dash. Only 12 boats completed the Blitz, with eight retirements and six not starting.
The hot conditions and high attrition rate didn’t bother Tony McLeod’s Top Shot, as the team managed to beat God’s Gift’s 1995 (7.03) Bakers’ Blitz record with a time of 7.02. Skiing behind Top Shot were James Graziano and Justin Cadden, while the very experienced Errol Thurgar watched the pair from the observers seat.
Showdown finished second in the Blitz, although their time of 7.14 was 12 seconds slower than Top Shot’s time. Skiing for Showdown was Dean Hanckel and Daniel Cotton, while Ian Tricker was behind the wheel with owner Steve Cotton observing.
Right on Showdown’s tail was Lester Freemantle’s Moonshot, finishing one second behind in 7.15. Skiing behind Moonshot was Jamie Oliver and Nathan Glynn, former skiing partners with God’s Gift, while Darren Cook was observing.
Fourth, one second behind Moonshot and two seconds behind Showdown, was Super Shot, driven by Reg Astill, with Paul Murphy observing. Skiers Brett Armstrong and Adrian Pickering crossed the finish line at Victoria Park in 7.16.
Further adrift in fifth place was Argo, with the experienced brothers Phil and Joe Kaal driving and observing. Argo finished in 7.24, with Adam Kaal and Jamie Fennell skiing.
Sixth place, in a time of 7.27, was The Axe, with Troy Penny and Michael Stevens doing the skiing. Stinga was close behind in seventh place, with skiers Danny Cropper and Mitchell Galvin crossing the finish line in 7.29.
Eighth place went to twin-rig outboard, Moonlight, in a time of 7.46, while another twin-rig, 2 Extreme, finished in 7.53 for ninth. Body Count rounded out the top ten, with a time of 7.54.
Among those that failed to finish was The Sting, who lost a skier at the Campaspe River junction. Prior to that, the team was right on the pace, and looking set to break the six minute barrier.
Others that failed to finish included Blown Budget, The Thing, The Syndicate, Rival and Nemesis, while Noizworks went up the bank near Wharparilla Drive, resulting in extensive damage to the 21 foot Stephens. Boats that did not start included Crazy Horse, Thundernuts, Madness, Polycraft Racing and Gassa.
Another hot summers day greeted both competitors and spectators on Sunday, and after yesterday’s convincing win in the Bakers’ Blitz, Top Shot started as favourite in Super Class.
Showdown, Moonshot and Super Shot were the other main contenders, while The Sting, Thundernuts and The Thing were all capable of doing a quick time, but had to start back in the field.
With 80 kilometres of clear water ahead of them, the Top Shot team, towing Jamie Graziano and Justin Cadden, scorched down the course, smashing the 1998 outright record set by God’s Gift.
For owner and driver Tony McLeod and observer Errol Thurgar, the time of 31.23 was just reward, considering the amount of problems they have encountered in their previous attempts to win the Southern 80.
The fast and reliable Showdown had a fast and clean run, finishing in second place outright, with Daniel Cotton and Dean Hanckel doing the skiing.
The team recording their best time down the river, 32.37, but unfortunately it wasn’t fast enough for driver Ian Tricker and observer Steve Cotton to secure back-to-back victories.
The Sting, a twin-turbocharged PFM craft, was taking on the Southern 80 for the first time, and they were forced to start in thirteenth position after failing to finish the Bakers’ Blitz.
Ken Broughton, driving in his second Southern 80, brought the boat down the river in a time of 33.04, with son Heath Broughton observing, and Daniel Auld and world-champion Stephen Robertson skiing.
Fourth outright went to Stinga, driven by Greg Houston, with Damien Kaal observing and Danny Cropper and Mitchell Galvin skiing. Tackling their third Southern 80, Greg Houston and the twin-turbocharged Stinga finished in 33.12, only eight seconds behind The Sting.
Fifth overall was another super class competitor, God’s Rival. The Rival hull, which had God’s Gift’s twin-turbocharged motor, was taking on the Southern 80 for the first time.
The team was forced to start back in position 20, but driver John Bakker, observer Tim Whetstone and skiers Anthony Reid and Steve Rowe managed to finish the race in a quick and competitive time of 34.12.
Sixth outright went to Thumpin, which was competing in the Under 19 Boys class. The team from Queensland started from position 26, and finished the 80 kilometres in 34.45. Another team from Queensland claimed seventh outright, with 6 Litre competitor, Double Trouble, smashing their class record with a time of 36.07.
Eighth outright went to the first of the Women’s teams, Status, with a time of 36.23. In a close finish, Status managed to beat their main Open Women’s rival, Wild Turkey, who claimed ninth overall in a time of 36.30.
Rounding out the top ten was 8 Litre competitor, Exertion. The team finished in a time of 36.52, managing to take back-to-back 8 Litre victories.
Super Class boats filled the first five outright positions in the Southern 80, with Top Shot, Showdown and The Sting taking home the trophies. Stinga and Rival were next best, while twin-rig competitors, Cyclone Racing and 2 Extreme, were nearly ten minutes off the pace, and The Axe was even further adrift. Argo, Super Shot, Moonshot, Thundernuts and The Thing were among the 10 boats that failed to finish, while another seven boats did not start.
The Harvs team, which has dominated the Unlimited Inboard and Outboard class in the past, was not racing this year, creating a very even playing field. E Coli Septic Shock finished in first place, with skiers Chris Isedale and Callum Brown finishing in 37.32. Twin-rig outboards filled the next two places, with Cykotic, towing Rod Chapman and Glen Evans, taking second in a time of 37.43. Smoke, with Ben and Andy Farrel skiing, was third in 38.59.
Exertion claimed back-to-back 8 Litre Inboard victories, with skiers Kane Powell and Jason Tennant crossing the line in 36.52. Second place went to Stampede in 37.56, towing Gavin Miles and Peter Hudson. The Phantom, towing David Perrotto and Chris Jennings, finished in 38.14 for third place.
In the MOC Outboard class, Contagious, towing Robert Cheetham and David Males, scorched down the course in a time of 39.11. Close behind in second place was The Mover, finishing in 39.22, with Simon Mitchell and Brendan James skiing. Short Cut, towing Gavin Arnott and Troy Porter, was also close behind, finishing in 39.28.
Double Trouble, towing Chad Hicks and Steven Lomas, smashed the 6 Litre Inboard record, finishing seventh overall in 36.07. Second place went to Cinders in a time of 37.08, with Andrew Drake and Brad Chesser skiing. Third place in 6 Litre went to Racecraft, with Brad Worsley and Michael Hunter finishing the race in a time of 38.06.
First in the Stock 6 Litre Inboard class was Jagged Edge, finishing in 41.44 with Dean Scarce and Matt Nesbitt skiing. Second place went to Sum Toy, towing Mark Trembath and Colin Marks. Sumtoy finished in 41.44. Way to Go, with Darren Laub and Joshua Gray skiing, finished in third place, with a time of 43.52.
Still No Dramas didn’t have any problems in the SMOC Outboard class, with skiers Jason Hartley and Dean Vance finishing in 41.14. Second place went to Evinrude Racing, with Jason Dick and Darren Purdom crossing the finish line in a time of 41.31. Third went to No Fear in 42.31, towing Michael and Matthew Thompson.
A small field contested the 5.2 Litre and 6 Cylinder Inboard class, but it was Strongbrew that took home the first place trophies, with Andrew Tomkins and Darren McGill finishing the race in 40.33. Close behind in second place was Rattler II, finishing in 40.46 with Leslie and Johnny Tomada skiing. Strictly Business finished third in 43.53, towing Tim Marks and Sam Horne.
Hammer continued their recent Southern 80 success with a very narrow victory in the 175 Hp. Outboard< class. Nick Groves and Simon Reid skied behind Hammer, and the team finished in 44.47. Alabi was four seconds adrift with a time of 44.51, towing Josh Haymen and Leanne Brown. No Fear, towing Greg Reason and Brett Hayes, was third with a time of 45.09.
In a close and competitive Open Women’s class, Status, towing Emma Carson and Lee Hicks, finished eighth overall with a time of 36.23. Another twin-turbocharged Racecraft, Wild Turkey, finished seven seconds behind in 36.30, towing Cherie Williams and Tracey Graziano. Third went to Dogbreath in 39.58, with Melissa Foot and Megan Smith skiing.
The Thumpin team continued their great Southern 80 record, with back-to-back victories in the Under 19 Boys class. Ben Mabin and Brad Weaver finished the race in 34.45, and the team finished sixth outright. Second place went to Public Enemy in 45.28, with Luke Swift and Adam Laidlaw skiing. The only other Under 19 Boys competitor did not start.
Revival, towing Bethany Pledger and Leanne Edwards, smashed the record in the Under 19 Girls class, finishing in 11th outright with a time of 36.53. Second place with a time of 39.37 was Frantic, with Hailey Smith and Shelly Marsh doing the skiing. Still Crazy finished third with a time of 41.47, towing Siahn and Cara Jochinke.
The Under 16 Boys class was taken out by twin-rig 2 Hard, towing Reece Middlemiss and Michael Davy. 2 Hard finished in 37.11, comfortably ahead of Sonic, with Brad Christian and Shane Weaver finishing in 39.45. Third place went to Status Queensland in 43.10, with Blake and Adam Graham doing the skiing.
Under the Hammer, towing Karen Edwards and Karen Follington, finished the Under 16 Girls class in a time of 43.09. They comfortably defeated The Mover, who finished in 45.26, with Megan Fuller and Leeanne Wastle skiing. Third place went to Pulse in 46.05, towing Tamara Sweeting and Brenton Jenner.
For the third class in succession, a twin-rig outboard boat was the winner. This time it was Extasea in the Under 13 Boys class, with Grant Wastle and Tara Williams finishing in 43.03. Second went to The Dealer in 44.23, towing Brent McIllwraith and Jay Glass. Third was Just Kidn in 44.52, with Chris and Brendan Stout skiing.
Yet another twin-rig took out the next class, Under 13 Girls. This time Sub Zero 2, towing Chloe Shipp and Shan Boyer, was the winner, finishing in 46.05. Second went to Azatak II in 57.25, with Kahlie Freeman and Brooke Robinson skiing. The third Under 13 Girls competitor failed to finish.
Taking off as the first boat Sunday morning is usually a good omen, or at least it has been for the Illusion team of late. This year, in the Social 8 Litre Inboard class, Illusion and skiers Wayne Stackpoole and Darryn Williams finished in an amazing time of 35.23, good enough to finish seventh outright when compared to the Expert results. Second in 8 Litre, with a time of 40.39 was Temper, towing Paul Beck and Gavin Walker. Roulette finished third in 41.17, towing Andrew King and Mark Sutherland.
Another social record was smashed on Sunday morning by The Mover team, in the Social MOC Outboard lass. The Mover, towing Simon Mitchell and Luke Harris, finished first in a time of 39.46. Second went to Two Radical, finishing in 41.51 with Bruce Monro and Adam Coles skiing. Contract finished in 42.39 to take third place, towing Mark Stephenson and Gary Arnfield.
Next class was the Social 5.2 and 6 Litre Inboard class, and Revolution, towing David Edwards and Clarke Rutherford, was the winner, finishing in 41.38. Second place went to Tuff Call in 41.53, with Nathan and Todd Brieschke skiing. Red Pepper took out third place, with Russell Moore and Wayne Kinsela finishing the race in 42.24.
Still No Dramas started the morning off in winning fashion and then repeated the dose in the afternoon. In the Social SMOC Outboard class, Still No Dramas finished first in 41.14, with Ian Petrac and Adrian McGlynn skiing. Second went to Johnson Outboards in a time of 41.48, with David and Paul Armstrong skiing. Crusher took third place with a time of 44.38, towing Craig Rowlings and Ashley De La Rue.
Social Stock 6 Litre Inboard was taken out by Way to Go, towing Darren Laub and Mark Palmer across the line in 43.38. Jagged Edge came in for second in 44.02, with Dean Scarce and Matt Nesbitt skiing, while The Dictator, towing Ben Thompson and Shane Trimby, finished third in 47.48.
Only one second separated first and second in the Social 175 Hp Outboard class. The winner was No Dramas in 44.38, towing Brad Altham and Wayne Cowgill. Second place went to No Fear in 44.39, with Greg Reason and Peter Hudson skiing. Alabi took out third place, with Michael McAlpine and Shane Townsend finishing the race in 45.48.
The Joker, towing Tania and Christie Boyd, were too good in the Social Open Women’s class, winning in a time of 44.20. Second place went to Mickey D towing Sharryn Hyett and Bridie Anderson, the team finishing in 45.39. Smokin Injun, with Elise Jochinke and Lisa Carne skiing, took out third place with a time of 46.00.
The final social class on Saturday morning was Social 6 Litre Midmount, 6 Cylinder Midmount and 140 Hp Outboard. Boom’a’wang, towing Troy Duncan and Barry Cowland, were narrow winners, finishing first with a time of 48.20. Second went to BartWood in 48.37, towing Darren Fox and Stephen Moriarty. Commodore X finished in third with a time of 49.34, towing Craig Dove and Tim Carson.
Saturday’s racing started with the Tadpoles Under 10 class, and the was Adam Williams, skiing Cyclonic down the 20 kilometre course in 9.24. Second place went to Double Trouble in 9.40, with Ben Gulley doing the skiing. Perry Oliver, skiing behind Air Time, finished in third place with a time of 9.48.
As usual, there was a big field for the Veterans Over 40class, and this year Bat Outta Hell, towing Ray Fritchley and Rudi Stout, were the winners with a time of 8.11. Second place went to Stress, six second behind with a time of 8.17. Skiing behind Stress was John Pudney and Peter Gascard. Third went to The Massey Machine in 9.00, towing Trent Thomas and Gary Croft.
A new class introduced for the 2000 Southern 80 was the Social Seniors Over 30. First place went to Temper in a time of 8.28, towing Gavin Walker and Darryn Williams. Roo Chi Cha, towing Anthony Reid and Gavin Arnott, finished second with a time of 8.37. Third was Yahoo, towing David Moretti and Gary Arnfield across the finish line in 9.11.
Jagged Edge set a new record in the Social Under 16 class, with Michael Gunther and Ashley Gliddon finishing in 9.40. Second went to Overload in 10.21, with Billy Anderson and Matthew Brooks skiing. Third place went to Prime Mover, with Shayne Hills and Trent Souwer finishing the race in 11.15.
Only five seconds separated the first two boats in the Social Under 13 class, with River Dance, towing Steven Berry and Phil Muratore, winning in a time of 14.08. Second place went to Solid Gold in 14.13, with Troy Barens and the infamous Too Be Advised skiing. Pest, towing Chris Mansfield and Ashleigh Hogben, finished third with a time of 23.45.
Justin Ball, skiing behind No Fear, was the winner of the Disabled class, finishing in 9.48. Second place went to Laurie Cunningham in 11.12, skiing behind The Tack. Way to Go, with Daryl Smith doing the skiing, finished in third place with a time of 19.04.