Anthony O’Reilly’s friends are telling him to keep racing until he has clocked 50 consecutive Club Marine Southern 80s.By Zach Hope
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.’’
A Shepparton bus service that takes nightclub patrons home safely is celebrating its fifth anniversary of operation this weekend.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Moama's Shirley Durrant has been wowing district pudding eaters for the past 23 years with her Christmas delights.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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.