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.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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