you were asked to describe this year’s Southern 80 water ski
race in a word, that would be it.
In all regards, the weekend lived up to that word.
The temperature barely got below 40 degrees for the two days, with
the temperature on race day nudging 44 degrees!
This played havoc with the big blown and turbo charged
V8 motors, as the heavy, humid atmosphere caused dramas with carburettor
jetting as well as fuel settings for the injected boats.
The Baker’s Blitz on Saturday was a forerunner
for what was to happen on the main day, with many of the top contenders
struggling to make it to the end of the 20 kilometre Blitz run.
Then on race day itself, the massive crowd of more than 35,000 people
waiting to cheer home the boat crews became all too aware of the
difficulties they were facing, as the one minute start gap between
boats stretched into five and sometimes up to seven minutes by the
time they reached the finish line.
There was an eerie silence in the crowd between arrivals,
but a huge roar went up as favourite, The Axe, came howling
around the last bend, defying what had become a spate of unreliability
amongst the supercharged boats, to finally take out the biggest
water ski race in the world.
Always the bridesmaid, this was the fifth time The
Axe had competed in the race and although their winning time
was one minute and three seconds slower than the race record, the
win in such extreme weather conditions, in my opinion, makes it
one of the best I have ever witnessed.
Page 18 has the complete race wrap-up as well as some
great images to help give you an indication of just how exciting
the weekend actually is.
In the previous issue of Club Marine (Volume
19 Issue 1) we enclosed a reader survey, and I must say I was amazed
at the response it generated. Literally thousands of surveys were
returned, and happily most with a very positive outlook towards
the magazine you hold in your hand. Be assured we will be taking
on board the suggestions made and you should begin to see a few
subtle changes to the style and format of the magazine as future
issues are published.
My thanks to all those readers who took the time
to complete the survey, and to those that did, your copy of the
Club Marine Engines and Accessories Guide will be on its
way to you shortly.
Also in this magazine we go cave diving in Tonga
with Tony Karacsonyi; Warren Steptoe learns the fine art of worming
on his Jumpinpin getaway; Bill Bachman presents us with a special
feature on the spectacular Kimberley region; and we catch up on
the latest action at the Club Marine Offshore Powerboat Series.