Merc Force wins 2018 Southern 80 Ski Race title

Merc Force won the Southern 80 Ski Race in Victoria at the weekend, continuing their stellar run of form this season. Picture: Karen Lee

Merc Force won the Southern 80 Ski Race in Victoria at the weekend, continuing their stellar run of form this season. Picture: Karen Lee

MERC FORCE won the Southern 80 Ski Race at the weekend and set the second fastest time in race history, despite new regulations brought in limiting the boats to 120 miles per hour.

Merc Force features the Hawkesbury’s Kevin Boylan, who was the observer, and Jake Tegart, one of the skiers.

They carried on from their 2017 Bridge to Bridge Ski Race where they did break the record. Mercforce won the Southern 80 in 2017 too, with the same crew.

The Southern 80, held on the Murray River in Victoria, was completed in 30.08:56 by Merc Force, a time second to only Hellrazor’s 2015 run of 29.43.

In Super class, Merc Force was followed by Superman, with the Hawkesbury’s Brett Armstrong, with the team finishing in 31.20:00.

Stinga, with the Hawkesbury’s Cameron Osbourne, again had engine troubles, as the team did in the Bridge to Bridge race.

The Merc Force team was stoked with their win, but said the weekend was also soured by new rules brought in to ski racing, which they said slowed the team, and likely other teams, down during the race.

The rules were brought in to increase safety in the sport, however, the Mercforce team said they were not a fan of the rules.

Other winners at the weekend included Boylan’s son Michael, who was part of the Mercury Rising team which won the SMOC Expert class.

Mercury Rising, which also included Shaun Tomkins, Garry McConnell and Christopher Maher, won with a time of 39.03:47, which set a record for that class.

Coming second in the open women’s expert class was Burnin’ with Bligh park’s Karen White. Burnin’ finished in 36.37:61.

Jack Coaldrake and Ben Hackett were also part of a record breaking run in the 16-19 boys expert class.

Along with Rhett Davies and Lachlan Nix, they completed the race in 31.37:58.

Temper 2 had a fantastic result, which also won the under-19 boys class in the Bridge to Bridge, kept their good run of form going by beating all the unlimited class boats as well in the process to complete a great weekend for the team.

In that class, ORSM Racing was third, which featured the Hawkesbury’s Jason and Blake Dingli along with Jack Heather. They crossed the line in second, but were given a penalty, which relegated them to third.

In the MOC Class, another Hawkesbury crew won.

Speedlab took the honours in that race, and the Hawkesbury contingent is driver Darren Hitchcock, observer Ben Moret and skier Jayden Sheath.

In the junior boys expert class, Josh Heather featured, this time finishing second with the Hooligan crew.

Meanwhile in the junior girls class, Team Paradise was all Hawkesbury with Darren and Racquel Osmotherly pairing with Shane and Jayleigh Crook to finish third.