The Sunraysia sun was shining on Team Stinga Racing as they stood on the top step of the podium at last weekend’s annual Mildura 100 ski race on the Murray River. This win chalks up a hat-trick for the team at this prestigious event and was well received by all.
The team arrived early to Mildura to ensure the boat was well prepared for the teams scheduled media and public displays as part of the Superclass competitors, Good Friday commitments. The first of which was the O’malley’s Show and Shine held in the main Mall of Mildura and included a “Breakfast with Stars” opportunity for supporter and the general public to meet the Superclass teams and obtain autographs. The print, radio and TV media were also on hand recoding the event and we will keep you posted of our upcoming appearances on Speed Week and Fox Sports throughout Australia.
Later in the day we had the TSR “Meet and Greet” which was a great success where we ran the boat in unofficial qualifying without a hitch. A great time was had by all and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to those of you who attended.
A magnificent Mildura morning produced perfect still conditions for Saturdays “The Edge Hotel/Motel Dash for Cash”, of which we currently hold the record, set in 2006 in a time of 4.39sec. This event is a 14km one way time trial from Wicketts Bend to the finish line at the Mildura ski club, where one boat leaves every 2 min and the finishing positions determine grid positions for the main event.
Unfortunately we drew 6th which made it a little difficult to hunt down our 2006 record due to the water disturbance from the boats ahead making it hard to get the power down. Never the less we threw down our best and offered a great show for the spectators on the banks and on houseboats. We set an average speed of 176.32kph which is calculated from a standing start and including corners, and touched a top speed of 203kph. This was enough to claim second place and stop the clock in 4.45sec, amazingly only one second behind Team who left first on clean water.
Sunday saw a very early start for all competitors, as all crew had to have their boats launched by 7.30am for an 8.30 start and in typical fashion we were early and ready. As this race is a 2 leg time trial and given that we were taking off following the race favourite Team Hellrazor, our race plan was push hard and position ourselves close enough to avoid the lead boats wash reverberating off the bank, which we did. This strategy pushed us to the top of the tree at the half way mark, placing us a full 22sec faster than Team Hellrazor.
Once all competitors had finished the first leg, the course was swept and we were lined up in finishing order for the journey home. Team Hellrazor boasts 2 of our country’s best skier, one of which has been selected to compete in the upcoming World Championships in Belguim, the other a former World Champion in his own right. With 22sec up our sleeve and now leaving only 30sec behind Team Hellrazor, we were out to apply some serious pressure despite the big names.
Both teams got away clean; we settled for moment and then went about turning up the heat, we were pulling some great numbers that found our boys out back skiing through our prop mist despite being 360ft behind the boat. Our continued pressure saw Team Hellrazor suffer major engine failure 10kms into the leg, leaving us clear water to entertain the thousands of spectator who line the banks of this beautiful river as we made our way to victory lane, trimmed up slightly of the heat so as to preserve our diminishing fuel load. We crossed the line in an overall time of 32.35sec (16.05sec up & 16.30sec back) and after competing in this race for so many year and winning it twice before, and as the crowd favourites, we where were greeted by them like hometown hero’s, especially considering we won with our 21ft Connelly Craft Stinga Legend.
This race draws a close to our 2008/2009 classic series and we would like to extend our gratitude to our sponsor for their support. We now look forward to the Hawkesbury River 1up Bridge to Bridge (1 Skier event) which is another high speed event. We have kindly accepted the event organiser request to provide a static display of one of the TSR boats at Windsor shopping centre to coincide with this race as part of their promotional efforts. We will also have a TSR boat on display at the Hawkesbury Agricultural Show as we did last year.
We are now off to campaign in earnest our selection to the Australian team in the World Water Ski Championships in Belgium in July 2009. Our skier, Jack Houston was undefeated in the selection races and has secured the #1 position in this campaign and is out to continue this trend on the world stage.