Tomorrow's Barrie Beehag Ski Race kicks off at 10am, with the superclass close the first to tackle the river.By Zach HUbber
Leo Welch and his Mistress will lead the local hopes in the seventh annual Barrie Beehag Ski Race on the Murray River tomorrow.
The super class will start at 10am at Deep Creek Marina, Moama and finish at Torrumbarry Weir, with reigning champion Hellrazor, led by its driver Mark Cranny, the first team to depart.
Moama Water Sports Club president Stephen Robson said the club was ready for the event.
‘‘We’ve had 150 entries and we’ve got a good field in the top entries and in the 70mph and 60mph races,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve checked off all the final points and we’ll be looking for a great crowd out there.’’
It will be Robson’s first event as president since taking over from Alan McDonald, who served as president for seven years.
Robson has been with the club for more than 10 years and has served as a director for seven.
He said Hellrazor was probably the hardest to beat but did not rule any team out.
‘‘Like any race, it comes down to the day and I can’t be biased and pick a team,’’ he said.
Perfect conditions will greet competitors, with 24°C and 15 to 20km/h winds forecasted in the district.
Nine teams will contest the super class event, with the Mistress competing in its first Barrie Beehag since the old boat and its replacement were both damaged in 2010 and ’11.
The new model completed its first race at this year’s Southern 80 and will compete for the seventh time tomorrow.
Its driver, Welch, said he was looking forward to racing the boat, which he said was as good as any in the field.
‘‘We’ll give the podium a bit of a push if everyone does their job,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a great race because it’s a real race track, with many bends, tight turns and it’s reasonably narrow.’’
The name of Welch’s boat came about after his wife referred to her husband spending ‘‘plenty of time in the shed with the mistress’’ when he would work on his pride and joy.
In other divisions, The Judge will be looking to defend its unlimited inboard/outboard expert title and Super Slak Racing, driven by Echuca’s Andrew Stevenson, will be the first boat to race in the 8 litre inboard expert.
Meanwhile, Mathoura’s Stuart Horne will be observing Ultra Trouble Maker when it leaves first in the 6 litre inboard expert.
Besides the racing, the Mulwala Ski Show and Krash Jet Ski Display will entertain the crowd during the breaks at the shaded marina.
Entry at the marina is $2 or $5 a family, with money raised at the Barrie Beehag to be donated to Echuca Regional Health’s oncology department.
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