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A Spiders Tale

Chris Davies on 10th March 2022

Aside from the atrocious weather conditions, the biggest story to emerge from Round Four of the 2021 Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championship involved Glenn ‘Spider’ Roberts.

It was once said ‘If you run, you might lose. If you don’t run, you’re guaranteed to lose.’


For long-time campaigner Glenn ‘Spider’ Roberts last weekend was a mammoth effort to not only record a lap time but to actually make the event in the first place after a string of setbacks in the week leading up to the event.

During the enforced break Roberts had elected to rebuild his big block powerplant, a process which ultimately led to a string of delays. The upshot of which was the return of his beloved 632ci block on the Thursday night ahead of the event. Thanks to a small group of friends, he was able to assemble the engine and put it in the boat during the small hours of Friday morning, before driving non-stop to Cabarita, a 1500-kilometre journey which saw him arrive at the circuit at 03:30 Saturday morning.

Typically, the V8 Superboat ‘family’ rallied around the series veteran to help him finish off the final install of the engine before he fired it up to make a start for the third – and ultimately final – qualifier.

Frustratingly for the Victorian, who suffers from a rare hearing and vision disorder, the rush to complete the boat meant he had no time to study the track rotation. So, navigator Tia McGifford stepped in to help him. Despite a couple of directional errors, he ultimately righted those mistakes to record a 90-second lap and secured sixth place for the weekend. The smile on his face post event was priceless and for him, worth every minute of heartache in the week leading up to the round.

The Penrite Australian V8 Superboats Championships season continues at the Spitwater Arena in Keith, South Australia on Saturday 26 March, and Roberts, who is currently fifth overall in the series will hopefully have a smoother weekend.

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