This weekend the Tweed Valley Jet Sprint Club is set to host two of the Penrite Australian V8 Superboat Championship Rounds at its purpose-built facility near the New South Wales, Queensland border.
Sean Henshelwood from the AFJSA said
The track is set into a natural amphitheatre which provides excellent spectator viewing. The tight and twisting course is a favourite amongst many drivers and there are always some remarkably close times posted during the Cabarita meetings.
Leading the charge will be the thunderous Unlimited Superboat field where reigning World Champion Phonsy Mullan comes in as points leader ahead of the 2019 title holder and long-time rival Slade Stanley. Stanley (see above image) has been the benchmark for the sport since Mullan claimed his maiden world crown at Cabarita in late 2018. Last June though saw him make a rare mistake whilst comfortably leading the timesheets to invert his naturally aspirated 480ci ‘Hazardous’ into the channel, handing Mullan his first win in three years, and with it, the points lead.
After such a long break between races, Cabarita will provide plenty of action across all three senior classes. A lot has happened over the past eight months, notably an all-new hull for reigning champion Mullan, and the return of V8 Superboat royalty, with second-generation driver Tyler Finch bringing a new look ‘Loose Cannon’ back into the fold to take the fight to Unlimited points leader Mullan and Stanley.
Whilst a throwback to his father Dean’s bright orange championship winning livery, the new ‘Loose Cannon’ is not the boat the team used to take the 2007 and 2011 titles, although it is a close relative. The hull is a sister to their original ‘Stingray’ hull (now owned by Paul Gaston after a couple of seasons as ‘MANIAC’ with Tremayne Jukes), whilst the twin-turbo powerplant with which they pioneered the technology in the sport, is also built by Darren Farr, although a different engine to their original unit.
The Finch’s have always been at the forefront of the sport, and the knowledge they have in boat design and jet unit development will see them immediately running towards the front of the field, but whether after a lengthy sabbatical they can take the fight to Messrs Mullan and Stanley is yet to be seen, and as to the question of whether Dean Finch will make a return to the seat, that too is another unknown, but it makes for a tantalising close to the 2021 season.
In the 400-Class (International Group A) its tightly regulated nature always provides close racing, and the return to competition will see one of the biggest fields since 2018. The LS-Class has been the emerging story of the 2021 season, and there will be no shortage of contenders for the podium, although points leader Bastian Mullan will be looking to carry over the form, he showed at Cabarita last time out. Whilst the sole entrant in the Junior Development category will be back in action, as Queenslander Koby Bourke will be looking to gain more experience in ‘Lil Pyscho.’
Unlike past Cabarita rounds, each of the two days of competition will see the conclusion of a championship round, completing rounds four and five of the 2021 season.