Just one week after two premier boat racing events in Queensland, the HI POINTS series for South Australia continued at the picturesque Martins Bend on the Murray River, a few kilometers from the riverside town Berri. Some fine weather allowed for a great days racing in the Spring warmth which was enjoyed by race crews and the crowd alike.
A couple of local favourites weren't present due to commitments to racing in Yarrawonga Victoria next week AND having competed at the Gold Coast & Bundaberg major days. Obviously 4 race meetings in succession not only fatigues the crew, it also takes its toll on equipment. It was great to see teams such as Alcatraz, Bondage, The Real Thing and Balls 'n' All present, a fantastic effort from teams who arrived back in Adelaide from Queensland less than a week earlier.
In the absence of some of our current favourites, the crowd at Martins Bend were treated to the return of an old one. 'Freight Train' driven by Robbie Eisenburg was back on the river in all its former glory, complete with the driver dressed in the customary dare-devil style race outfit. It has been nearly 10 years since this team have competed at a race meeting, and we can only hope that we don't have to wait that long until we see these competitors of old back again.
A great turnout of 25hp boats impressed the crowd with their customary rock and roll racing. The Stunell boys were up and running having spent the past fortnight supporting their dad during the Queensland double, no doubt a nice change of pace for them. 'Ratbag' was up against regulars 'Brute', 'Spitfire', 'Shortcut' and 'Kaos'. Some close competition was on display throughout the day, and we look forward to an even bigger field of 25hp and J2 boats next month.
Pushing hard exiting a corner...
...and saturated after a customary dunking by father Dean following 1st win
Another great story to come from the weekend was 16 year old Ellise Borg's first win in the 5.2 litre boat Proformance. In just her second season (still in the first 12 months of her career) she managed to show the blokes up and kept her head while the pressure was on. Consistent cornering and a constant push along the straights through rough river water was enough to snatch the win. Despite her safety cell keeping her dry throughout the race, father Dean marked the occasion by dunking her in the water once she returned to the bank! Congratulations Ellise, I'm sure we'll see you ahead of the field in many races to come.
Other winners of the day included Bruce Jordan pedalling 'The Real Thing', and yet again Tim May's boat 'The Boss' showed incredible speed but was plagued with electrical problems throughout the day. Let's hope these guys are back in force at the next HI POINTS meeting on December the 7th.
Congratulations team Proformance. History was made with the first win by a teenage girl in displacement racing at Berri.