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Damerow Breaks The Ice At Mypolonga, Real Thing A No Show

27th February 2012

Full noise - 'Bonkers Returns' showed a strong performance.

It's been a lengthy effort for Bob 'Demo' Damerow & his team and the 'Bonkers' Racing Team have finally taken a win in the blown alcohol displacement class. This was not without some headaches as 'Demo' was forced to retire on 2 occasions before taking his much sought after win in the final race.

Feedback from organizers & competitors overall has been quite positive, despite some challenges. A faulty P.A system made things difficult for the control tower and it was impossible to broadcast any audio to the crowd, which became a problem when there was a lengthy delay towards the end of the racing program. A professional wake boarder was practicing upstream & severely injured herself. Lucky for her the Speedboat Club had an ambulance in attendance and she was able to receive help quickly. This did however incapacitate our on duty ambulance officers and so there was no choice but to wait for a replacement ambulance. Over 60 minutes of inaction saw a steady trickle of spectators leave the racing, but those who stayed were rewarded with the 2 best races of the day.

Race 1 was between the 3 NASCAR boats Kelsabel, Bite Me Too & Jimbo. These guys were delayed due to The Proud Mary river cruiser which further shortened the days racing but only by a matter of minutes. Once Daniel & Ken on board retired B.A.D boat Insanity started the race it was on for young and old with all 3 drivers pushing to the limit. Some choppy water made things a little uncomfortable for Jamie Royles on board Jimbo which was very out of shape, giving the early lead to Tom Barnhard on board Bite Me Too. Some hard driving by Royles saw him regain the lead with Andy Norman also pushing very hard to take 2nd place. All 3 drivers had a less than perfect race which shows that these 700+ horsepower machines are not for the faint hearted.

Race 2 were the juniors and 3 lads took to the short course. Satterley & Amato were not able to hold off young Clark who dominated the race from start to finish.

Race 3 brought with it new blood among the ranks and 2 local river boats were added to the 'mix class' containing a 5 litre boat plus a Formula 2 tunnel. On board the outboard was Ryan Stunell who looked the goods with plenty of lift down the straights. Chris Wellington took 2nd while the 2 newcomers 'Big Nuts' & 'King Cobra' battled it out at the back of the pack. The 2 river boats were old Stevens hulls, 'Big Nuts' is actually the old B.A.D boat 'Psycho' and was in fact spotted at Mannum the previous day cruising around. Good on these guys for getting involved & having a go, I'm sure they'll get 'the bug' and will be back for more racing soon.

Race 4 was 1 of just 2 races for the guys in the 25 horsepower class. With the field split into 2 we saw 'Mr. Untouchable' Linton Price dominate yet another of his races, easily half a lap in front of Geoff Cutler in Shortcut, Lauren Jackson in Skedaddle, while Mike Smith had some troubles on board his Chance boat 'Obsessed' & limped home for 4th place.

Race 5 had a short delay prior to starting and the man of the moment Bob Damerow had his 1st of 2 DNF's despite the boat looking strong during a quick practice lap. Another start by the Insanity crew waaaay down the course gave Bob Swinburne & David Clark to really open up the throttle and it was Swinburne aboard Totally X-Static who got the hole shot ahead of a very heavy looking Tuff'E'Nuff. Clark had the butterflies wide open and the blower was screaming, but the boat only managed below average terminal speed. Some recent changes to the setup have indeed proved detrimental to it's performance, but despite this Clark was able to run down Swinburne & take the win.

Race 6 had some special meaning for the Smith family who debut their latest addition to their boat racing dynasty with Adam Smith driving their new 25hp boat 'Phat Chance' in it's first race. He did exceptionally well and although we saw plenty of rocking and rolling he was able to challenge Adam Stunell for the lead on the last straight and missed out on the win by centimeters. Well done Adam.

Race 7 got red flagged shortly after the start due to a Marine & Harbor patrol boat approaching the course. Organizers were obviously unhappy with the safety of the situation and decided to put a halt to the racing. Jimbo returned to the bank seemingly with an issue leaving Bite Me Too & Kelsabel to battle it out. It was once again Barnhard with the hole shot & it seemed as though Norman may have been a little slow off the start. Kelsabel was pushed to it's limits as Norman put in a hard chase against Barnhard. At the first turn he tried a switchback to no avail, followed by attempts to pass him on both the outside & inside lines- Andy literally tried everything he could but Barnhard was able to hold him off & take a pleasing win.

In Race 8 the juniors were back out & once again James Clark was the quickest on the course. In a show of respect for his competitors he was seen to be leaving plenty of room for Amato & Satterley in the corners to enable them the best racing line possible.

Race 9 was one of the better ones with a very close battle between Stunell in his F2 with Wellington & his 5 litre. A different propeller saw Stunell wash off a bit of speed which gave Wellington the opportunity to put the pressure on throughout the race. The 5 litre Chev made some rather loud popping sounds which had some people thinking he would have to retire, but the boat kept on going & although Chris got very untidy across the finish line he was able to take the win ahead of Stunell.

Race 10 was the last appearance for 1 group of 25hp drivers and it was once again Linton Price out in front, this time with less of a lead though. Cutler was close behind in Shortcut while Mike Smith looked a little unusual aboard his boat which continued to show problems.

By the time Race 11 started the weather began to cool off & calm down. At the same time the new look start boat Insanity broke down & was back on the trailer. A replacement saw the start of a very good race with Clark & Damerow going neck & neck into the first turn. A strong run by Damerow saw Bonkers Returns overtake Tuff'E'Nuff while Swinburne kept the boost fed aboard Totally X-Static and did the same. It seemed as though Clark had had enough with the way his boat was moving and eased off the loud pedal. Still, with victory in his grasp, 'Demo' made his final turn to reach the home straight, only to stop due to a minor electrical problem. Both the other boats went by him & Swinburne notched up a well deserved win, allbeit after a big moment coming out of the bottom turn.

Race 12 was a close 1 and also the last appearance for the 25 horsepower boats. Following this race came a lengthy delay due to the unfortunate wake boarder who required medical attention.

Race 13 could almost have been called a butchers picnic with a range of classes taking part. Tom Barnhard took his 2nd win for the day with a good performance, pushing Bite Me Too right out in front of the field. Kelsabel it seemed had some troubles and was down on pace, nearly a lap behind. Meanwhile it was another battle between Chris Wellington & Ryan Stunell, this time J.A.C Racing was across the line taking 2nd place.

Race 14 was the race of the day and a good start brought the 3 blown boats full noise past the crowd in very quick succession with Clark & Damerow shooting for the first turn pin. A faultless drive from 'Demo' had him in the lead while Swinburne gave chase in the turbo boat. A quick pace shown by Totally X-Static saw Swinburne closing the gap but a low boost moment combined with some air time coming out of the bottom turn removed any hope of running the leader down.

Damerow was up against to blown boats that have quite a bit more power than what his small block chev produces, yet thanks to some fast & consistent laps he was able to keep them at bay. No doubt this will give him some confidence as we approach the 2012 Dorwin Gold Cup & Marj Watson Trophy.


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