Over 15,000 spectators turned out for the final round of the Offshore Superboat Championships in Townsville yesterday. Perfect conditions off The Strand saw Class One Superboat Simrad blitz the field and take out the 2008 Townsville Offshore Superboat Classic. Simrad’s Luke Durman and co-driver Peter McGrath raced to victory, completing 15 laps of the 16.4km circuit.
Racing at speeds in excess of 200km/h, Class One rival Maritimo 12 finished second. Undefeated throughout the season, hot favourite Maritimo 11 was unable to finish the race after suffering technical difficulties. Acme succumbed to the same.
In the 400hp Supercat Outboard Lite class, Elders made an astounding comeback from the back of the pack and raced into first place ahead of Team 3 and Kwozzy.
Australian Vehicle was victorious in the Production Unlimited class, followed by Think Fast.
In the Production class, Boat Scene finished first, with event sponsor Wayne Lamont in The Master coming in second and Mr Squiggle filling the remaining podium position.
The weekend’s race completed an exciting season of offshore powerboat racing in Australia, during which tens of thousands of people turned out to experience the sport – many for the first time. Race director Paul Gibbs said spectator numbers at each of this season’s races were indicative of the growing popularity of the sport.
'It’s great to see offshore powerboat racing is beginning to develop a strong following in this country,' Mr Gibbs said. 'This weekend was a fitting end to the season and we’re particularly grateful to the support of Lamont Constructions and Townsville City Council… their involvement was a significant factor in the weekend’s success. 'All involved are already looking forward to next season and hope to see the sport continue to grow and be recognised among the wider community.'
Round One of the 2008/09 Offshore Superboat Championships – the Redcliffe Superboat Grand Prix – will be held as part of Redcliffe’s Settlement Festival on 21 September.
A detailed wrap-up report for the entire 2007/08 series will be released in coming days. www.aopc.com.au