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Gentle Going at Geelong

Chris Davies on 28th March 2022

With the likes of Maritimo Racing and Pitman Trucks Offshore Racing together with other Supercat Extreme teams expected at Round Three in Hervey Bay, Queensland at the start of May, it was the turn of the Supercat Outboards to take centre stage at Round Two of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships.

As the competitors gathered in the Steam Packet Garden pit area, overlooking the Geelong foreshore, just to the southwest of Melbourne, Saturday’s calm water conditions meant that it was going to be a catamaran benefit day and so it turned out.

In the Supercat Outboards class AMT took an early lead but it didn’t last long as Antony De Fina and Matt Kelly in Saracen soon got past them and held the lead to take maximum points in the opening race. Meanwhile TCR Offshore suffered mechanical issues but still managed to cross the line in third place, but it would be the last time we would see them out on the water.

Andrew Taylor from AMT Racing said


Today we had a few sparkplug issues and a coil failure which cost us the victory, but we will get that sorted overnight.

Jason Kelly and Jesse King took advantage of the smooth conditions to take victory in the Sport 85 class in the twenty-four-foot Skater The Colonel ahead of the Cootacraft monohull Special Edition driven by Mark Percherzewski.

Mark Sutherland from Team Gigglin said that a fair bit of practice in the off-season, making sure they had their boat set up correctly was the key to them taking an opening day victory in the Sport 65 class. They managed to get past and then just hold off the local Geelong crew of Team Risky with their driver Mark Swain saying that they were learning more about the boat race by race and were looking to find more speed coming out of the turn marks.

Sunday would see another race for the Sport 65 class and two more races, one thirty minutes in length followed by a twenty minute one after the lunch break for the Supercat Outboards and Sport 85 competitors.

Winning the ‘John & Barbara Gilbert Memorial Trophy’ and collecting maximum championship points in the Sport 65 class were the father and son crew of Team Gigglin with Mark Sutherland who praised his son as they crossed the finishing line.

My son Liam has done an excellent job looking out and telling me where everyone else is on the course. It has been a wonderful team effort in the boat, plus the ‘young bull’ has spent the weekend trying to keep the ‘old bull’ calm.

In the Sport 85 class The Colonel looked to be on course for three straight victories in Geelong after they crossed the finish line in first place on Sunday morning, but the crew had noticed a mechanical issue as they pulled off the course.

Jason Kelly said

We came across an issue on the last lap, but we still managed to get the Skater across the line, unfortunately though we couldn’t fix the problem before the third race. We both decided to give it a crack, but we only got two laps in before we had to stop. It’s nothing major and will be fixed before the next round.

With the Colonel classified as third in the last race, it meant overall victory went to Mark Percherzewski and Amy Preston in their Cootacraft monohull Special Edition.

Percherzewski said


The weather here this weekend didn’t suit any monohull, so the American Skater gave us a bit of a challenging time. Hopefully at the next round in Hervey Bay there will be some chop for us.

Mechanical issues once again deprived another team from taking a clean sweep of race victories and that was Team Saracen. Coming into the final race they were holding off Team AMT Racing when a fuel injector failed just after seven minutes into the twenty-minute race. It wasn’t long before AMT had past them and began to pull out a sizable lead. In the end Andy Taylor and Paul Fowlds crossed the line a minute ahead of Saracen.

At the prize presentation, where the team collected the ‘Robert Weir Memorial Trophy’ Taylor confirmed that the water conditions were slightly different which gave them better performance on the straights.

The boat performed a little bit better on the Sunday but it’s still not as good as we want it though. Let’s hope we can find that little bit extra before we head to southern Queensland.

The teams will now have a five week break before descending upon the Urangan Boat Harbour on Queensland’s Fraser Coast with several of them hoping to have seen the last of smooth water for the foreseeable future.

All images are reproduced here courtesy of Colin Rosewarne Photography.

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