New Challenges, Drivers & Sponsor – The Sandbar
As you can imagine, the past month has been one of the most memorable for many reasons both good and bad.
The Unlimited Displacement Class has been dealt some massive changes both in the U.I.M. and also the Australian Association. The suspension with all Open Cockpit Unlimited Boats in Australia has created an enormous amount of discussion and after many years involved in the sport here in Australia, the past month certainly has been one of the most difficult. Whatever action the Australian Federation takes in the next few months, will determine the future of the sport. There is no doubt about that.
With the upcoming U.I.M. World Championship being confirmed as Cell Boats only, it has created a new challenge for not only the Competitors, but for us the Promoter, and also the safety aspect. There have been teams entered for the event that are no longer eligible, but one of the hardest luck stories comes from one of the American Competitors, Mr Duff Daily. Duff has an very long and successful Powerboat Racing Career, but unfortunately after crashing his cell boat in October last year, Duff is in the middle of getting a new cell boat built. There was no rush, as Duff was going to bring an Open Cockpit Boat to the Worlds, however that opportunity is not longer viable. Duff advised us on the weekend that his new cell boat will not be ready, and he will not be able to make to World Championship. It is a sad blow for Duff, as he is a great supporter of International Racing and one of the first to confirm his attendance. Duff now has his sights set on 2011……
On a positive note, South Australian Team The Boss, driven by Mr Tim May, confirmed yesterday that a cell is getting fitted into his Stephens V Bottom Hull and his team WILL be at Gol Gol this year. This is fantastic news for Tim has he has been discussing a cell for his boat for months now, so the rule change has confirmed his thoughts, either put a cell in it or park it for International Competition.
Tim was just one of the many teams that are seeking a cell for either their current boat or building a new boat altogether. Australia’s favourite Driver Mr John Cross is on that list and waiting for a cell boat to be delivered. At this stage it is too early to determine what teams will make up the World Unlimited Displacement Championship, but you can guarantee that every team that qualifies has definitely done the hard yards to get there and will be using all their experience and engine parts to be crowned the UIM Unlimited Displacement World Champion.
Whilst the major attraction at the UIM World Championship Events is the Unlimited Displacement Circuit Boats, the upcoming event will also showcase one of Australia’s most popular classes, the 6 litre Displacement Class. Whilst the hulls are very similar to the Unlimited Displacements, the length of the hull is typically 18’ in length, whilst the Unlimited’s are favourably a 21’ Hull, with the exception of the Australian Bad Attitude Cell boat with a length of 22.5’.
FASTWATER are hosting the Open 6 Litre Displacement Class at Gol Gol and will also only be accepting entries by Enclosed Cockpit Boat 6 litre boats. This may alter the option of hosting an Australian championship, depending on the rules that the Australian Federation finalises in August 2010. This has not affected the teams interested in competing though, including a new combination from Mr Mark Gauci and his Immortal Boat. Mark has nearly completed his new engine and boat set up and is very much looking forward to racing against Australia’s best at Gol Gol.
Following on from our announcement of the Major Naming Sponsor Hungry Jacks, The Sandbar at Mildura will be hosting the Official After Party on the Sunday evening. What is always a favourite meeting place for the boating fraternity, you can be sure the Sandbar will be rocking on Sunday 17th October, 2010 into wee hours of the morning when we toast the Unlimited Displacement World Champion. Log on to their website www.thesandbar.com.au and show your support when you visit the fabulous town of Mildura.
A detailed program of racing can not be finalized until all entries are received however the basic outline will not change. Friday 15th October will see a Sponsor and Media Tour of the Pit area, followed by the Official Team Introductions competing for the World Championship. All boats will have the opportunity of an Official On Water Practice on the Friday afternoon followed by two days of intense racing to decide the outcome of this historic race meeting.
Don’t forget to include Berri on your travels the weekend of the 23rd and 24th October, when the Riverland Powerboat Club host Australia V’s The World following on from the World Championship event.
To all the Madness Fans, the on board footage has been delayed due to the circumstances surrounding the Taree Event from which the footage is from. We promise it is not too far away !!
FASTWATER will be displaying the Official Start Boat at Hungry Jacks Mildura along with the new Real Thing Unlimited Displacement Cell Boat on the weekend of the 29th & 30 May, so if you are in town please come up and say hello and buy a Whopper or two to show your support !!