by Bob Wonders
This weekend brings the ‘heavyweight horsepower’ to the Victorian city of Geelong, by the waters of Corio Bay for the second-last round of the 2011 championship.
Another concistent season has B.B.C. Digital well placed in Supercat Outboard. - Geelong Offshore
While it’s often the big Class I boats that attract the majority of attention that may not be the case this time.
‘Maritimo’, with Luke Durman (driver) and Ross Willaton (throttles) aboard holds an unbeatable lead in Class 1 and even a dreaded DNF will not prevent them from claiming the crown.
Five victories and two seconds from seven starts says it all for ‘Maritimo’.
Defending Class 1 champions, Tom Barry-Cotter (driver) and Norway’s Pal Virik Nilsen (throttles) have had a most unfortunate season, their boat ‘Mustang’ proving mechanically inconsistent.
'Maritimo', on its way to a double victory off Redcliffe in the previous round. - Geelong Powerboats
There’s anything but a definite winner in some of the smaller classes and some will go down to the proverbial wire.
‘The Good Guys’ (Brendon and Christopher Frier) and ‘Team 3’ (Steve Nugent and Travis Thompson) are involved in a real fight for the Supercat Lite championship, with ‘Global Racing’ still close enough to cause problems for both.
In Supercat Outboard Lite, ‘FGI’, Mick Walker and Gary Smith aboard, has posted a super consistent season, racking up five victories and two seconds from seven starts.
‘FGI’ is involved in a titanic tussle with ‘Hogs Breath;’ (Paul Gibbs and Gryff Ethell), which has two wins and four seconds to be only 600 points adrift.
In Supercat Outboard ‘B.B.C. Digital, Graham Fraser (driver) and Scott Gehrman (throttles) holds a ‘shaky’ 450 point lead over ‘Saracen;’, with Antony De Fina (driver) and Nigel Craven (throttles) looking to reduce that lead markedly.
'Saracen', holding second place in Supercat Outboard and looking to contine its winning run from Redcliffe. - Geelong Powerboats
Another Supercat Outboard entry, ‘SUV Dodge Ram’, Cameron Davis and Brett Luhrmann in the boat, was tipped to figure prominently in the class, but has encountered mechanical worries through the season.
Two DNF and two DNS results has crippled their chances.
Offshore Superboat Championships President, Adam Gilbert, believes some teams out of the race for a 2011 championship will adopt a 'nothing to lose' attitude and go just as hard as those vying for a title.
'With some new entrants and new boats entering this year’s championships, all the bug have been ironed out by now and I’m looking forward to some close and exciting racing,' he declared.
Racing begins on Saturday (November26) with two shootouts for Pole Position, Supercat Outboard and Supercat Outboard Lite at 2.00pm and Class I and Supercat Lite at 2.30pm.
On Sunday, two events are scheduled for the Geelong Classic Offshore Superboat Championship.
Races will start at 11.30am and 1.30pm.
Admission to the event is free and race fans can get up close and personal with the competing crews in the pit areas which will be open from 9am each day in the Steampacket Gardens.
Supercat Lite rig 'The Good Guys' at wide open throttle. Definitely the one to beat in its class. - Geelong Powerboats
'Maritimo' - a Class 1 championship virtually guaranteed. - Geelong Offshore