by Bob Wonders
Rough conditions for round four of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships (OSC) led to plenty of ‘hairy moments’ for competing crews, but for the due aboard ‘B.B.C.Digital’ the race will be particularly memorable for the wrong reasons.
'Phantom' flying high off Mooloolaba and flying just as high on the leader board, the only boat in any cass unbeaten this season. - OSC round 4
Graham Fraser (driver) and Scott Gehrman (throttles) aboard the Supercat 600 class rig came off a short, sharp wave and sustained serious damage to the boat, directly between its sponsons.
Land fill! That's about all that B.B.C.Digital is good for accordingv to OSC prfesident Adam Gilbert. The severe damage can be seen between the sponsons. Fortunately, the crew sustained no injuries. - OSC round 4
Fortunately, both men came away uninjured.
The boat? That’s another story.
In fact, OSC president Adam Gilbert suggested its primary value now would be as landfill!
The Mooloolaba round, staged in the two-race format, sees all three classes, Supercat 1000, Supercat 600 and Supercat 400 all likely to go down to the wire.
‘Maritimo’, Darren Nicholson and Peter ‘Muddy’ McGrath on board, claimed one victory and one third place and hold a slender 194 point lead over second-placed ‘Team 3’ with Steve Jellick at the wheel and Travis Thompson on throttles.
After encountering mechanical problems off Newcastle in the opening round of the championships, ‘Team 3’ has recorded three wins, two seconds and a third to be right on the ‘Maritimo’ transom.
'The Good Guys’ with brothers Brendan and Christopher Frier in the cockpit, holds third place on the leader board, 494 points behind ‘Maritimo’ and a mere 300 points adrift of ‘Team 3.’
‘Global Racing’ again struck mechanical problems and could only manage a fourth and a DNF at Mooloolaba.
A pair of victories has seen ‘Kwozzy 2’ jump out to a 200 point lead over ‘B.B.C.Digital’ in the Supercat 600 class.
Kwozzy 2 and Team 3 fight it out off Mooloolaba and both are poised to seriously challenge for their class championship. - OSC round 4
With Jim Harris at the wheel and Paul Fowlds handling the throttles, ‘Kwozzy 2’ might see itself as ‘sitting pretty’ following the damage sustained to second placed ‘B.B.C.Digital’.
However, Graham Fraser and Scott Gehrman don’t give up that easy and are looking to lease another boat to enable their chase for the title to continue.
‘Blade’ and ‘SUV Dodge Ram’ were both DNS at Mooloolaba and are too far off the pace to mount a serious challenge.
When it comes to serious challenges, look no further than Supercat 400 class leader ‘Phantom’.
After seven starts, Mick Walker (driver) and Gary Smith (throttles) can fall back on the old line, winners can laugh, losers make their own arrangements.
‘Phantom’ holds a massive 1750 point lead over second-placed ’88 Offshore racing’ and can already start planning on where the trophy will be placed.
Round five of the championships is set for Redcliffe over the weekend on September 15-16 with a final round scheduled for September 22-23 off Hervey Bay.
Maritimo takes the chequered flag to win race two off Mooloolaba. - OSC round 4