Superman fails to finish course at Hawkesbury 120 in Windsor

RECORD HOLDERS: Dubbo's Darren McGuire (inset) drove Superman in the blue ribband superclass at the Hawkesbury 120. Photo: SUPPLIED
RECORD HOLDERS: Dubbo's Darren McGuire (inset) drove Superman in the blue ribband superclass at the Hawkesbury 120. Photo: SUPPLIED

TEAM challenge winner Superman failed to finish the course at the Hawkesbury 120 in Windsor. 

Driven by Dubbo’s Darren McGuire the defending champions raced in the teams second string boat after their number one machine was ruled out of Sunday’s race due to engine troubles encountered the day before. 

It is the same boat used when skier Daniel Graziano won the bronze medal in the F1 class at the 2017 world championships.

Before the race the Dubbo owner/driver had been coy about their chances saying they didn’t have a plan for Sunday because of the new format. 

The new format saw skiers race as individuals on the Saturday to post a combined qualifying time for Sunday’s racing as one reason for caution.

Last year the team of owner/driver McGuire, observer Brett Armstrong, and skiers Graziano and Daniel Cotton crushed the opposition to win by more than 90 seconds but the same wasn’t to happen for them this year. 

In 2018 it was the team from Arkham Asylum that powered to a historic victory in their maiden superclass appearance. 

The team of driver Brett Spits, observer Robbie Skennerton and skiers Clancy Vaughan and Dylan Stevenson put together a time of 41mins 39.36 seconds over the longest ski race in Australia, to defeat fellow superclass rookie crewTR and unlimited inboard boat Tempered.

TR, who like Arkham Asylum were taking on the top level of boats for the first time, posted a time of 43:14.84, just ahead of Tempered who set an unofficial record for their class of 43:42.75.

Arkham Asylum got away to a flying start and led Superman by as much as 18 seconds in the opening leg, before arriving at the halfway point at Wiseman’s Ferry with a lead of just under 10 seconds.

On the way home it was again Spits’ boat who set the pace and when Superman dropped a skier halfway back to Windsor, the Victorians from Arkham had victory in their sights.

It was the first river classic event as a team for the Arkham Asylum quartet and it couldn’t have gone better.

The youngster of the team, Clancy Vaughan, could hardly contain his excitement afterb the commanding triumph.

“We are wrapped with the run, first ever run in superclass,” Vaughan said.

“The boys (driver Spits and observer Skennerton) really put it on today for us. We kind of had high expectations of ourselves but we never really thought we’d get the first outright, our first win. We are proud, as proud as.”

Vaughan said while the team had trained hard in the off season with the hope of doing well in their first class, the speed of their success had come as a surprise.

“It’s always in the back of your head (to win in superclass). You think about it, you visualise it but this early in the season, this fresh, this new of a team, this young of a team…this is massive,”

“I don’t think many teams have actually gone out first ever run in superclass and won outright. Hopefully big things to come from us.”

Winners in other categories included Dr Evil (U/L naturally aspirated), Time N Money (u8L naturally aspirated), Impulsive (unlimited outboard), Johnson Racing (Moc) and Team Criminal (Smoc). The Ski Racing Australia river classics season resumes on the October long weekend.