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Superman dominates at the Mercury Marine H120

In idyllic Sydney weather, the Mercury Marine Hawkesbury 120 water ski race, has been run and won, in a spectacular and dominant display.
Darren McGuire’s big black Force, Superman, dominated the race on both days, taking out the Sackville Sprint for pole positions on Saturday, as well as the main race on the Sunday, towing Superstar Daniel Graziano and last year’s outright winner Daniel Campbell.
Second on both days, nipping at the heels of Superman, was Darren Stewart and the crew of Agitator, racing in the Unlimited Inboard Class. Birthday boy Kris Knights, partnered by Justin Cadden, really had the ever reliable Superclass boat screaming up the river.

Third place went to the Robertson family crew in Firebird, with Steven and Paul on the skis out the back and Barry & John really making the big Nordic hull get up and boogie on their home water.

Leo Welch, proud owner of the brand new Mistress, did a great job in making it home 4th Outright, while putting the boat to it’s first test in a major river race. He said that he had a great time in a straight line, trimming the boat out and sitting it on it’s tail, but the corners were a constant learning curve.

Last year’s Outright winner, Stinga, took out the Under 19 Boys class, with Greg Houston towing his son Jack, the current, defending Junior World Champion and his regular partner in crime in the 2 ups, Ben Hackett, to a fantastic 5th outright. The guys have stepped up out of F2 this year and are sure to be climbing that outright ladder in the not to distant future..

Special mention must go to the huge amount of support shown over the weekend and indeed the previous 3 weeks, for Hawkesbury 3 year old Misty Colwill, who is bravely fighting Cancer. Kevin Boylan, Lumpy and Wade Bennett, joined forces and raised a small fortune to help the family get through this hard battle and to let them know that they are not alone.
Along with presenting Misty’s Dad with a huge cheque to go towards her Chemotherapy and the bills that come with that, the crowd were then treated to watch both Coldy and Ozzie have their heads shaved as people bid for further action from the guys.

Hawkesbury 120 Show and Shine

The action kicked off on Friday, when Ski Racing NSW conducted a ‘Show & Shine’ of competing boats at McDonalds, McGraths Hill, from 3-5pm.
There were big crowds and tonnes of polish being dished out, on both Boats and Cars, with the huge grass area along the front of the complex being utilised to show off these entrants in the afternoon Sun.
There were some fantastic prizes on offer, sponsored by both McDonalds and Coldy’s of McGraths Hill.
The winner of the Best Inboard prize was the crew from What Inheritance. The twin legged boat is spectacular on its own, but teamed up with an enormous Black F350 Tow Truck, it really was a jaw dropping display.

The Best Outboard prize went to the Stout Family, with their slick Bernico, Still Kid’n.

The Under 16 Boys was won by Big Loll, which arrived towed by a matching yellow Hot Rod and tonnes of Balloons.

The top Junior Girls prize winner went to the crew from Knackers.

All winning crews were presented with bags absolutely chock full of fantastic prizes, kindly donated by the likes of DC Waterskis, Mercury Australia, HiTec Oils, Force boats, Wizard Wetsuits and many more and all were received very warmly. The Junior Boys and Girls also had prizes awarded to the 2nd and 3rd placegetters too. A huge thanks to all that donated gear for the packs.

Saturday’s Events

The Sackville Sprint and President’s Invitational, proved to be a great race, with Superman taking line honours, towing Daniel Graziano and Daniel ‘Boonie’ Campbell, in a race that will be remembered for big crowds and exciting, high speed, quality ski racing action.
Motor Gremlins saw a huge number of Super Class crews not make the start or finish line. This included Burnin’, Blown Cash, Elm Street, Gassa, Temper and What Inheritance. HellRazor wasn’t there either due to Zig Walmsley’s World Title bid ending, Collar Bone fracture.
One of the most talked about new rigs this season, 99 Psycho Clowns F1, didn’t even make it to the event when the boat jumped off it’s trailer on the way to Sydney and scraped the brand new Velocity hull and Leg along the road.
It really left the race open to all challengers and Superman came charging across the line to post a time 3 seconds quicker than Stinga’s, in last years Sprint.
Commentator Tim Dubois had a radar gun measuring the speed of all of the crews along the home straight and U.S. team, Sudden Force was recorded as the quickest, at 115mph.
Sudden Force 115mph

In other exciting racing action earlier in the day, the Mercedes Benz sponsored Unlimited Social Class was taken out by Temper, towing Gerard Atkins & Robbie Skennerton home in a scorching time of 22:46mins. Only 18 seconds behind them, was Kryptonite with Luke Watts & Stuart Cox & 3rd placing went to Superman 2 towing Chris Schneider & Glenn Kennedy.
The Social Class skiers raced from Windsor Stadium to Sackville and return, the perfect distance for some athletic sprint racing on the silly sticks.

In MOC Social, Showtime, towing Dane Kemp & Jarryd Tannenberg, won by over 2 minutes from Shane Bru and Jason Summers, behind Running Riot.

SMOC Social was one of the largest fields in the morning’s racing. Michael Burke’s flying Force hull, Alien Force, towing Phil Muratore and Ben Pearse, came home with the quickest time out of the MOC, SMOC and Formula 2 Outboards, in 25.55mins.

Agent Orange was over a minute behind, taking the 2nd placing towing Ben Coghlan and Robert Lee. Peter Lewis’s quick little green Lab boat Mercury Pro XS rounded out the top 3, towing Trevor Bray and Susan Cartwright.

The F2 Social Class was next on the course and Brendan Stout drove Still Kiddin’ to victory, towing Andrew Teal and Dale Jamison. Showtime F2 was home next, almost 2 minutes behind, with Justin Hood and Ryan Burke doing the hard work out the back. Sidewinder grabbed 3rd place, towing Mason Vaughan and Mitch Williams.

The Mercury sponsored 200hp Class saw the Noosa Heads Team, No Fear, take the win in a quick time for the little white bullet of 29:35mins. Gregory Reason and Peter Harmer did a fantastic job out the back to record the time.
70mph Social saw Pumped up make up an outstanding 2 minute lead on their opponents by race end. Robert Wilkes and Craig Penney must be wrapped in the team’s Driver, Brad Collins and the way that he shaved the edges of the course to have such a big gap to second placed Resident Evil, in this GPS speed limited class. The big new White Force hull towed Shannon Lewry and Kellie Tiege. Third place in 70mph Social went to the One Vision crew, towing Scott Dixon and Scott Tyrrell.

The always close, Cassell Marine sponsored, 60mph Class, was the last of the Social classes to run for the morning and Nailed came home victorious towing Courtney & Melanie Grech to the win, only 6 seconds in front of Harassment towing Brayden & Aaron Harris. 3rd in this huge class was Bullseye with Ryan Dubios and Craig Dodge.

Once the sweep boat had cleared the course, the Veteran, Disabled and Junior Social classes were the next on the program and didn’t disappoint.
Running in just one direction, from Sackville to Windsor, the Superman crew were first across the line towing super stars Danny Cropper and Kevin Vahtrik, taking 8 seconds off the previous record. Tania Teelow and Rory Brown teamed up behind Twenty Four to take out the second place, just nudging out the twin legged What Inheritance, towing Peter Hunter and Christopher Bennett.
Senior Social is a new class introduced this year and the quick Racecraft Double Trouble, towing Matthew & Paul Wetsteyn, set the standard with a time of 13:29mins.
Wade Bennett teamed up with the Queensland crew of the twin rig 2Wild to take out the Disabled class in 14:13mins. He treated the crowd to a drag race to the finish line with Junior Social class skiers Mitch Mulcahy and Jake Vanzetta behind 99 Psycho Clowns F2, who had caught up to Wade over the length of the course, challenging the former Super Class skier as they entered the last straight.

Mitch and Jake won their class in a time of 13:42 from Rush towing Jack Harrison and Shantelle King and Critta, in 3rd placing, towing Neneh Long and Rachael Stapleton.
Class 36 was the Under 13yrs Social class and the win went to Coldy’s, towing Jack Coaldrake and Ben Moret. 2nd went to LabDance towing Curtis Horbury and Cooper Robertson and 3rd placing went to Brooke Langham and Ellen Jones.
Last to hit the course were the super stars of the future in the Under 10 years class. Carter Robertson took the win and the record by 17 seconds behind Robertson Racing, from Grace Jones, behind Out Numbered and Reefway towing Hayden Atkins. Tuff e Nuff came home in 4th place with Daniel Cotton observing for his son Race.

The scene was now set for Sunday’s racing and after the Presentation, crew’s retired to map out their race plans for the following day and soak up some Hawkesbury River Regional hospitality.


With the fog lifting early on the Hawkesbury, revealing a Sunny, windless waterway, the main race of the H120 kicked off right on time at 9am, with Superman first boat to leave, in the HiTec Oils sponsored Super Class, thanks to their win in the Sackville Sprint. By the end of the first straight they were already pulling 100mph, as if to taunt the other competitors to ‘..Catch us if you can!’

Superman starting Sunday

The rest of the large field of boats from all classes filed off one by one, with most getting away cleanly.
When the times came back from the halfway mark at Wisemans Ferry, it was Superman with a 32 second lead over Agitator, with Mistress, Firebird and Sudden Force from the USA, all nipping at their heels.

They increased that lead by another 22 seconds coming home and as the large crowd rose excitedly to their feet, Superman appeared around the final corner on full racing trim, pulling over 112mph. They stormed up the home straight and claimed their prize as 2011 Hawkesbury 120 Champions.
Superman wins the 2011 H120

2nd in Super Class was the Mistress, notching up a 4th outright time on the boat’s first major race. It’s so great to have the Welch’s back in the mix again, after losing the old Everingham hull at the Barry Carne Memorial at Wagga Wagga in 2010.
Firebird and The Mistress finishing the 2011 H120

First in Unlimited Inboard and 2nd outright was Agitator, with Justin Cadden and Kris Knights looking pretty stoked with the result. The Robertson Family, raced the super quick and super reliable Firebird into 2nd place and 3rd outright in this class. Prima Donna and Nick Feros made a bit of a guest appearance in the Unlimited Class, driving his big F21 Force hard. Nick towed Zac Burns and Kevin Vahtrik, with Hawkesbury legend himself Danny Cropper doing the observing, into 3rd place.
Agitator finishing the 2011 H120

In the B.A.W. Transport sponsored Under 19 Boys Class, it was Ben Hackett and current Junior boys World Champion Jack Houston all of the way, behind Jack’s Dad Greg’s boat Stinga. These two superstars won the class by a staggering 10 minutes, from Smellit and came in to record the 5th fastest time of the day. Strictly Marine came in in third place in this class, towing Sam Handley and Ryan Campbell.
Team Stinga Racing finishing the 2011 H120

Nothin’ But took out the 6 Litre Inboard class, sponsored by the Hawkesbury Hotel. Chris Bennett and Peter Hunter can really hang on behind this little rocket. Kryptonite followed them home towing Luke Watts and Stuart Cox again, after a 2nd outright result in Unlimited Social the day before. 3rd place went to the Racecraft team towing Matthew Wetsteyn and Nicholas Davoll.

DC Waterskis sponsored the Unlimited Outboard class. Joel Massey and Adam Schmidt skied brilliantly to take the win behind Andy Smith’s twin rig 2Wild.Tuff-N-Up grabbed the 2nd place with Delinquent Racing rounding out the top 3.

The 8 Litre Expert class saw Aiden Cuff and James ‘Ringo’ Hogben reunited as partners and taking the win behind Blastn’, with Kyle Mansfield and Wade Stratton close behind them with XS Cash. Double Trouble rounded out the top 3 in 8 Litre, with a top ski by Kayne Partridge and Paul Wetsteyn.
Evinrude BRP sponsored the MOC Class and the winner was Running Riot with some really consistent times. With Adam Kruse and Stewart Tobin skiing, they managed to record each-way times with just 5 seconds difference. 2nd in MOC was Cyclone Raicey followed by Showtime.

One of the largest classes of the weekend was the Mercury Marine sponsored SMOC class. Peter Lewis is always a fierce driver and he also managed to record almost identical times both up and back with just a 9 second difference. 2nd went to the crew of Alien Force from Victoria, and 3rd place in this hotly contested class went to Adrian Royston and Alex Handley behind the brand new Bustin’ Out.
In the F2 Class, two of our brightest hopes at the 2011 World Championships, Lauren Eagle and Leanne Campbell, skied behind Brent Wisemantel’s Tuff-e-Nuff, helping him and Fyfie to go back to back in this class after a top win the year before. Second place in this huge class went to Mason Vaughn and Mitch Williams behind Sidewinder. With Envy also towed another Aussie F2 Womens World Title skier in Tania Teelow, accompanied by Paul Bruton to a great 3rd place.

In the 5.2 Litre class it was Culprit towing Brad Worsley and Shannon Gane all the way and in the Stock 6 Litre Class the winning team of The Sting 2 towed Clayton Witney and Dale Hally had a similar trouble free run.
Coldy’s sponsored the Expert Under 16 boys and just breaking the hour, by under a second was the crew from Underbelly, towing Ben Atkins and Jesse Burns. 2nd place went to The Edge, towing Codey Wood and Cameron Osbourne and in 3rd place was the Victorian crew from 99 Psycho Clowns F2 with Mitch Mulcahy and Jake Vanzetta rounding out a successful weekend’s racing for the guys.

The Open Womens class saw dramas at the start line for Trudi Stout and Sarah Teelow after they sent the Prime Time Trailer off to the half way at Wisemans… with both of their race skis inside ! The girls made the start line in the end thanks to some generous racers offering their skis, posting an almost 3 minute lead at the half way mark. Alas, Lady luck really wasn’t smiling on them on the way home either, but they still managed a great 4th place.

The winners in the open Womens Class were Madeleine Brien and Jessica Tidswell behind Billy Brien’s twin rig, Ring of Fire. 2nd went to Precision towing Ashlee Debakker and Tayla Luhrmann and 3rd placing was secured by Rapid Pulse, towing Seanne Kelly and Latasha Gane.

Cowper Smash Repairs sponsored the Under 19 girls division and the winner there was Smack That, towing Jessica Wood and Sarah Brooks, followed home by Shot Gun with Kelsey Feros and Dani Coyte out the back.

In the Under 16 Girls class Crystal Gordon and Jessica Smith came home miles in front of 2nd placed Knackers, towing Bree Turner and Kaitlin Harrigan. A big thanks to McDonalds, McGraths Hill for sponsoring this and many other classes, as well as hosting the Show and Shine on Friday.
200hp Class saw the Queensland crew from No Fear, scrape in by just 4/100ths of a second from Tantrum towing Mike Dart and Shane Russo.
The ever popular 70mph class was won by Team Hercules, towing Luke Nixon and Allen Morris. 2nd place went to Big Smoke Racing, with the big Everingham hull towing Joshua Hargraves and Mitchell Emery. In 3rd place was the crew from Kaoed.

The Under 13 Boys class saw Jack Coaldrake and Ben Moret backing up their win the previous day, in a great display of ski racing. 2nd place went to Wyatt Horbury and Sam Perry behind LabDance F2 and 3rd went to Big Loll towing Michael Boylan and Luke Harrison.

In the Under 13 Girls class the win went to Tripple 666 towing Brooke Langham and Ellen Jones in a quick time, taking a massive amount off the previous record. Korrupt was next with Brooke Hammond and Emma Barnes, with their Dads Steve and Neville driving and observing for them and in 3rd place was Out Numbered towing Grace Jones and Milana Long.

60mph Class was the last class to race home and as usual it was a close race. When the spray settled it was Bullseye with a 30 second advantage, towing Ryan Dubois and Craig Dodge across for the win. They were followed by Peter Frankland and Ashley Mortel behind Too Ezy and Burn N Wood towing Caroline Linden and Craig Ashworth claimed 3rd place.

The Presentation included some side entertainment as both Dave Coldy and Darren Osmotherly lost their locks for charity, raising even more money for Misty and her battle with Cancer. All up over $10,600 was raised. Thank you to everyone that contributed, you’ve definitely made a difference taking a massive burden from her Family’s medical and care bills.

Pink Finns were also fund raising for Women and Breast Cancer, with a charity BBQ operating all day and raising over $2000.

Thank you to the event’s major sponsors, Mercury Marine and HiTec Oils and to all business that held trade displays and sponsored the various classes.

Thank you also to everyone involved in staging, judging, officiating and of course competing, making this, the first of the 2011-2012 Super Series river race classics, an outstanding success.
We hope to see you all back for the Feros Hotels 50th Bridge to Bridge water ski race in November ! It’s going to be huge !

Photography c./ Julie Tegart, Michael Geddes, Wade Bennett

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