Anthony O’Reilly’s friends are telling him to keep racing until he has clocked 50 consecutive Club Marine Southern 80s.ZACH HOPE February 15, 2012 4:33am
Anthony, himself, is not totally convinced; he says he has already tried to retire ‘‘about 20 times’’.
Since the age of nine and a half, in 1977, to age 44 this year, he has taken part in an incredible 35 consecutive events.
At the weekend, he placed sixth in veteran class with Gotta Go and fifth in unlimited outboard expert class with In Pursuit.
But he says his passion is just as strong now as it was for that first ever race and, while the body is older and the recovery slower, will not rule out giving the half century a nudge.
‘‘People reckon I should get to 50. At this stage, I think I might be able to, but I’ll have to think about it,’’ he says.
‘‘I might have to so I can ski (compete in the Southern 80) with my family.
‘‘But having said that, I’m going faster than I was five years ago. The sport itself is going faster and I probably need a bigger boat to pull me out of the water.’’
His memories are hazy of that first race in 1977, but he recalls the boat running out of fuel and sitting idle in the river. The family still placed second.
There was no looking back, but O’Reilly says he was hooked long before: ‘‘I grew up with speed. It’s in the family’’.
He has had success and down time, including a torn medial ligament 15 years ago at Mildura, but he says a love of the sport and of those who share it with him keep him coming back.
‘‘(The best thing) is all the friends you make. The good times, the good stories,’’ he says.
‘‘You go to do your best. If something doesn’t work, you don’t worry about it. It’s about enjoyment. If you get a trophy, (that’s) even better.’’
Cheering him on from the bank is a beaming Maison Dixon, his 16-year-old daughter.
‘‘I’m extremely proud,’’ she said. ‘‘He’s stuck with it for 35 years.’’
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
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.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
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 kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
History is recorded to inspire the next generation, author John Northage said at the launch of, Mending the Goulburn Broken, in Shepparton last week.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
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.
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