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May 17th & 18th, 2008

AUSTRALASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

By Glen Laundy.

'Hotcross' executing his signature prop-walk
...a little out of shape this time

The 2008 Championships were held at Mildura Ski Club on the Murray River as part of a 2 day race meeting, which also included the coveted Marj Watson trophy. Needless to say, these major events attracted some of the most jaw dropping equipment in the country. John Bakker & John Cross with Team Rival's two boats, Unleashed, Rythum , Red Bellies, Outlaw & Lunatic, just to name a few. Add our local heroes to the mix - The Real Thing, Agent Orange, Alcatraz, No Remorse, and of course In Excess - an awesome field of boats for the spectators to enjoy.

The story of most interest to South Australians is of course that of Jeff Stunell & his 6 litre injected race team 'In Excess'. As usual this class had several competitors neck & neck, with interstate teams such as 'Image' (in his new capsule boat) and 'True Blue' heading the field. The qualifying heat for the final saw Jeff succumb to some intense driving by ** in his Evercraft, an identical build to 'In Excess'. While chasing the boy in blue Jeff experienced a couple of "chime walks" with the boat leaning on its right sponson whilst exiting a corner. Naturally Jeff hardly took his foot of the gas- some might say it's a quick way of changing race lines. Jeff's persistence saw him qualify 2nd for the final.

The final race started very similar to the heat- 'True Blue' out in front by a few boat lengths for the first lap. But Jeff never said die, continually pushing 'In Excess' to the limit both in the straights and corners. Incredibly hard cornering saw Jeff move up into 1st place and maintain his lead throughout the remainder of the race in what was a most admorable drive. When interviewed after the race Jeff had only praise for his team who helped him along the way. A special mention must be made to Jamie Magor who builds & tunes the 700hp powerhouse- managing this weekend to squeeze every ounce of power needed to take the Championship back to South Australia.

Another winner for South Australia was Terry Smith in his 6 litre carby boat 'Alcatraz'. The engine built by Stanley Automotive pushed the white Everingham well ahead of the competition, including some of the boats in the injected class! This, together with some relentless driving from Terry saw 'Alcatraz' finishing nearly half a lap ahead of rivals Scott Addard in 'Full Noise' and fellow South Australian 'Jimbo' in the final. Yet another Australian Title brought back to SA- a true indication that when it comes to racing at a national level, our guys are capable of taking it to the top.

WELL DONE GUYS!

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