Superman sets new Hawkesbury 120 Ski Race record

SUPER RUN: The Hawkesbury 120 Ski Race was won by the Superman team, which set a new race record of 40 minutes and 13 seconds. Picture: Michael Geddes

SUPER RUN: The Hawkesbury 120 Ski Race was won by the Superman team, which set a new race record of 40 minutes and 13 seconds. Picture: Michael Geddes

THE Superman team has again topped the list at the Hawkesbury 120, with the team winning their third race in a row, and in doing so, breaking the race record.

Superman - made up of driver Darren McGuire, observer Brett Armstrong and skiers Daniel Graziano and Daniel Cotton - beat out rivals MercForce and Stinga to claim the team’s third title in three races.

Superman completed the Hawkesbury 120 in 40 minutes and 13 seconds, setting a new race record after the team nearly beat it last year.

Trailing Superman was MercForce, Stinga and then Sapphire in both the outright standings and Super class.

Temper 2, including the Hawkesbury’s Jack Coaldrake and Ben Hackett, sneaked into fifth place overall and won the under-19 boys class.

The Tru Blue team won the Unlimited Inboard class, and came sixth outright.

Mental won the Unlimited Naturally Aspirated class and Nothin But won the Under-6 Litre class.

WaterSports Marine won the Unlimited Outboard class and Triple 666 won the under-19 girls class.

Superman observer and Lower Portland resident Brett Armstrong said it was a good feeling to come away with the win.

“It was great to win this year’s Hawkesbury 120 but to break a 10 year record by almost a minute was very satisfying,” he said.

Superman skier Daniel Gaziano, who along with driver Darren McGuire won his fifth 120 with the team at the weekend, said the record was at the back of their minds during the pre-race preparation.

“The conditions were there for it, the boat was running good, Daniel Cotton and I felt good,” he said.

“It was there for the taking and we were all fit so we just had a crack.”

The Superman team after their run on Sunday. Driver Darren McGuire, observer Brett Armstrong and skiers Daniel Gaziano and Daniel Cotton. Picture: Michael Geddes

The Superman team after their run on Sunday. Driver Darren McGuire, observer Brett Armstrong and skiers Daniel Gaziano and Daniel Cotton. Picture: Michael Geddes

Graziano said last year he was personally disappointed, and felt he let the team down as they narrowly missed setting the record.

“I sort of let us down a bit last year being a bit unfit,” he said.

“I knew we had a chance this year, so we had a game plan and we knew what speeds and pace we needed and it paid off.”

Armstrong said he felt phenomenal getting another win with the team.

“Being part of the Superman team has become a very special experience,” he said.

“We all race because we enjoy each others company and get on as a great friends the race results come along with that.”

Graziano said the fact MercForce in particular had upped its game meant there was extra incentive to complete the track as quickly as possible.

“You just never know how the other teams have been going at this stage of the season,” he said.

“The MercForce boys have been coming really hard at us recently so it has been good racing with them. We’ve done our best to be as ready as we can for the start of the season.

“There are a lot of experienced crews out there now. Stinga and Greg Houston with Cameron Osbourne - he is a great up and coming skier, he can be anything he wants to be in the sport - they are getting their stuff together and even Sapphire, they have put together a new crew this year and they are only going to be stronger as the year goes on and they are the main contenders.”

Graziano said coming into the race this year, he felt the Superman team had a big advantage over much of the pack, given he and fellow skier Daniel Cotton had so much recent skiing under their belts.

“We're both quite fit. We've both just come from a world title campaign, Daniel came back from skiing the Catalina,” he said.

“Darren always tries to keep the boat running well. We knew to kick off the season we would hit the ground running.

“Because it is so early in the season, a lot of skiers have had three months off and it is quite a fast and hard race.”

The next big race on the water skiing calendar is the Grafton Bridge to Bridge, where Superman has won the past four races.

Graziano said the Superman team fancied themselves as chances to win again, but warned the win would not come easily.

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