Knowing the river, knowing what corners you can go into and how fast you can go into them are advantages Andrew Stevenson is looking to exploit.ZACH HUBBER February 9, 2013 1:01pm
Defending 8 litre expert champion Super Slak Racing will be looking to go back-to-back when driver Andrew Stevenson’s team takes to the Murray River on Sunday afternoon.
It is the boat’s second season and according to Stevenson, it runs like a ‘‘little rocket ship’’.
But as important as speed will be to claiming a second 8 litre title, local knowledge could prove more valuable.
‘‘It’s definitely an advantage,’’ Stevenson said.
‘‘Knowing the river, knowing what corners you can go into, how fast you can go into them, setting up for the corners and picking the right lines, it’s all an advantage.
‘‘That can be the difference between two and three seconds, between winning and losing.
‘‘Knowing the river is a small advantage and you have to take every advantage you can get.’’
Stevenson and his son, Dylan, were out practising on the river on Wednesday morning to iron out the final preparations for the weekend.
The duo will again be joined by Dylan’s fellow skier Cameron Mitchell, while Glenn Berry will observe once more.
The team will combine for one run before the Southern 80, with Stevenson saying the continuity of his team was another important aspect to success.
‘‘I think having that connection is good,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not just the driver driving as hard as he can or the skiers skiing as well as they can, you need an observer in there to keep an eye on the boys and keep them up as well.
‘‘The longer you can keep that same team up and together, the stronger that team’s going to be because it’s a team sport.’’
Stevenson moved to Echuca-Moama 30 years ago from Alexandra near Lake Eildon.
An electrical contractor by trade, Stevenson relocated for work and a change in lifestyle, which included skiing on the river.
Having skied all his life, Stevenson started racing five years ago in support of Dylan, who was skiing behind different boats and sometimes struggling to get a tow.
‘‘I was sort of getting interested in racing, so I thought I’d get a boat and have a crack at it,’’ Stevenson said.
‘‘I do whatever I can to keep the bills down, but Leo Nankervis from Bendigo, he looks after anything that’s a bit too technical for me to do.
‘‘We bought the SpeedMaster hull from Queensland and Leo came up with the idea of putting a twin turbo Toyota in it, which is a little bit different.’’
Stevenson said he had issues with the boat early on but was impressed with where it was at.
‘‘We’ve had a few teething problems with it to start off with, like lots of teething problems,’’ he said.
‘‘But that’s all sorted now and it’s been super reliable and we’ve been winning nearly everything so far.
‘‘I just hope we can keep pushing along like that.’’
Pushing along would mean another 8 litre expert title and a top 10 outright finish.
‘‘We’ve competed in about three or four (Southern 80s) and we’ve never done any good until last year with this boat, when we won the 8 litre,’’ Stevenson said.
‘‘Whether we can do it or not, we’ll definitely give it our best shot.
‘‘But the whole thing of it is to have fun. If we get beat, bad luck, we’ve had some fun.’’
When asked what the best thing about competing in the Southern 80 was, Stevenson said: ‘‘Just trying to get to the other end. Finishing is a great feeling because it’s a team sport and you get to share that feeling.’’
Shepparton Christian College Year 9 student Aimee Stanyer had a personal motivation to start fundraising for Ronald McDonald House.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
LBU win through to fifth consecutive grand final, Eagles fly into MFL semi while Weeks bags 14 in GVFL
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram supermarket seeks $10 million expansion, increasing by about a third into adjacent car park area.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.