Club Marine Southern 80, conducted by the Moama Water Sports Club, is being held from 10th to 12th February 2012. Entries are now closed. 593 entries have been received for the event, with 1070 individual competitors travelling to Echuca – Moama, with the rest of their crews.
Competitors are coming from over 430 towns all over Australia, including Western Australia, Far North Queensland and Tasmania to compete in the Biggest Ski Race in the world on our own Mighty Murray River.
The event which sees crews of a boat, driver, observer and two skiers travel from Torrumbarry to Echuca on the Murray River. Some of the crews travel at an average of 150 kmph on a winding river - an amazing test of strength for man and machine.
The biggest class in the event (with the most entries) is the 60mph classes, where the teams are not allowed to exceed 60 mph. In the social class there are 45 entries, whilst in the expert class there are 42 entries. This popular class provides an adrenaline thrill for the team, but not at the speeds of the bigger boats. People often come into the sport via this class and then get hooked.
Last year’s winner Hellrazor will be the first of the Superclass boats on the water – when they compete for the Beechworth Bakers Blitz on Saturday afternoon. Mark Cranny from Dandenong, Victoria, who has won the race outright six times, will again be teaming with Damien Matthews from Mildura, Victoria who has also won the race six times. Damien has won it five times as observer with Cranny and also as a skier behind Island Cooler in 1990. Their skiers are no strangers to winning. Peter Proctor from Cronulla, New South Wales has won the event outright twice behind Cranny and it looking for a third. Michael Kelly, from Tivoli, Queensland, has been on the winner’s podium numerous times in the past couple of seasons, although not at this event.
The event starts on Friday morning with the Breakfast with the stars at the Kerribee Sound Shell, Cobb Highway Moama from 7am. Here boats and their crews will be on display till 9am. Food and drinks will be available.
Friday will also all boats safety scrutineered from 11am to 5pm at the Moama Water Sports Club Office in Annesley Street Echuca. Friday night will see the official launch of the 2012 Club Marine Southern 80 at the Corporate Compound at Victoria Park boat Ramp.
Saturday morning from 9am to 12noon the Total Tools Epping Static Display will occur in the shopping district of Hare street Echuca. Here the many of the boats and their crews will be on display to catch a close up view of the teams and all their finery.
Saturday from 8.30am, will see the social class races start at Torrumbarry Weir for the trek to the Victoria Park Boat Ramp in Echuca. The first boat away will be Sportspage. The skiers in these classes are on social skies, much smaller than a typical race ski and boy can some of them ski!
Victoria Park Boat ramp is the place to be – entry bands are now available online
. Entry is $20 per day or $30 for a weekend pass. No Eski’s into this area, as it is a fully catered for area, with trade displays and a Moto X Exhibition featuring Cam Sinclair, Blake Williams and Jackson Strong.
12 noon on the Saturday and the start line moves to the Five Mile Boat ramp in Moama. Here more of the social classes, along with the Veterans and Senior Social classes start their events. In the Tadpoles class there are 20 entries and three sets of brothers and sisters competing against each other.
Once these classes are finished, the ‘Big Boats’ - the main attraction for the day, are on the water. There are 14 entries in the Beechworth Bakery Bakers Blitz and 16 teams in the Presidents Dash. These boats are racing for their starting position on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday morning, racing starts at 8am, with the Expert classes (classes 14-20) on the water first.
The Superclass teams and the rest of the Expert classes leave at 12noon for the final run from Torrumbarry to Echuca. Again Victoria Park is the place to be.
The Moto X Exhibition will again be at the Victoria Park compound on Sunday to keep people entertained till all the crews come home. At the conclusion of racing the presentations of trophies to the winning teams will take place.
Full final results will be available from the Southern 80 web page at the conclusion of presentations.
You can pre-purchase entry bands and Official Race Programmes for the event online
. Club Marine Southern 80 website