Well the race has been run and won, and the Sunrunner 3400 has come away with the silverware.
The 2002 AMIF Australian Boat of the Year has been won by a very deserving Paul Smithson and his crew at Sunrunner Cruisers. In what is seen as a fairly controversial victory, the 3400 took out its category (Cruiser Non-trailerable), and then had the legs to take the overall top place as well. The winners were announced during a presentation ceremony held in conjunction with the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, a show which is quickly establishing itself as Australia's premier 'Big Boat' show.
In this issue we look at the category winners and review the criteria that the judges used to decide the ultimate winner. Our own editor, Kevan Wolfe, was part of the judging panel, so I'm sure you will appreciate his insights into how the respective boats faired.
I actually had the pleasure of attending the award presentation dinner, and was genuinely impressed at the level of enthusiasm and eagerness shown by the recipients of each award. It became quickly apparent that these awards are much sort after, and held in high regard.
There is no doubt that Aussie boat manufacturers are producing product that would stand up in any forum.
And as I walked around the various displays at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, the line between import and locally produced boats began to blur!
Gone are the days when local boats would pale into insignificance against the imported product. Dare I say it, but perhaps the time has come to allow imported boats to be entered in the Boat of the Year. I for one would be very interested to see how the best of our local product, stacked up against the best from overseas.
And whilst we're on the topic of competition, the on again, off again, and then on again once more 2002 Club Marine Southern 80, was finally raced in April, some two months after it was scheduled to run.
In spite of the much later date, Echuca still put on some beautiful mid-autumn weather, and despite the organisers having some initial concerns, the ski boat racing faithful still came out in force to cheer on their favourite boats.
The eventual winner was the wildly painted Hellrazor, which knocked over some highly fancied rivals to take out this very important ski-racing event. From a photographic point of view, I would have to say that holding the event later in the year gave us the opportunity to capture some beautiful images using light angles, which not only showcase the sport, but also some of the unique and picturesque Murray River landscape. You'll find the article on page 16.
And as we enter the winter months once more, I am prompted to remind you of the coming state boat shows, commencing in Melbourne on the 4th of July. Try and get along to your local show, I'm confident that you'll be impressed with what you see.
Also in this issue we wrap up the Club Marine 2002 Offshore Powerboat Championships; Steve Timmons goes kite surfing; Andy Belcher dives deep in Milford Sound; Warren Steptoe finds a hot fishing spot at Teemburra Dam near Mackay; we look at the history of the legendary Riva and report on the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show - and more. Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety is our top priority.
Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety is our top priority.