Round 5 of the East Coast Race Series
Rain failed to dampen Sandy Hook Water Ski Classic. But it wasn’t enough to drown the spirits of many enthusiastic competitors who turned up for a great weekend of racing. With overall number slightly down but the quality of entrants high, it was always going to be close racing between all classes. Saturdays racing started with the biggest field we have ever had in the Next Generation Class. With 11 entries and improved ability of these young skier’s with only a couple of runs in the past, the future looks bright for ski racing on the East Coast. Seeing as a couple of the entrants were first timers it was decided to have two separate waves which proved to be a success as most of the competitors finished within a rope length of each other. The second race for the day was the driver’s race and is living up to its reputation as being one of the most competitive classes. With these fellows swapping their comfortable seats in the boat for a water ski, they defiantly put on their race face just the same. It was evident right from the start that this race was going to be contested between Troy Madle, skiing behind The Dark Side, Shane Maklin behind Weaver Racing and Jason Loeskow behind Hooter Hunter. After the first lap it was Weaver racing that had taken a three rope length lead over Spellbound with Hooter Hunter just behind and Rewind closely following. Even though they finished in these positions Spellbound was the big mover in the second lap. It was only one second gap between Weaver and Spellbound with Hooter Hunter thirty second back in third place. With the completion of Saturday’s events it was up to the club house for a few beers and a Barbie, in preparation for the draw and Sunday’s racing. For anyone who has never been to the Sandy Hook Club do yourself a favor and call in if you are ever in the area. What a great venue!!!! Starting with a wide stretch of river of pure fresh water (as it is above the weir) a three boat wide ramp and a nice sandy beach to accommodate approx 30 boats. As well as the completion of the new balcony on the top floor of the ski club you could not ask for a better place to sit and have a beer to view whatever is happening on this great stretch of river. Whether it is Water Ski or Power Boat Racing or just social skiing this venue has it all.
Overcast skies and rain greeted competitors on Sunday morning, never the less racing had to go on with these conditions keeping the water glassy. First race up for the day was the Novice Class with another good field of new skiers and eight boats contesting this event. It is another strong showing of up and coming skiers. This race also held a separate challenge of its own with two members of the Sandy Hook Committee being Casie Brockway and Colin Patterson having a verbal battle of their own before the race. As it turned out it was Renepogel 2 getting the better start and taking a good lead on the first lap from Rewind and The Dark Side, Hooter Hunter, Spellbound and Low Profile and Bewitched to hunt them down. But in the end it was Renepogel 2 towing Casie Brockway to the win in a time of 10:45 in front of Rewind towing Brad Williams in a time of 13:03. Rounding out third place was The Darkside 13:43 towing Chris Hamlin. We will keep you informed as to the outcome of the bet but no doubt the news won’t be good for Patto.
Race four was between Junior and 100 kph class it was the juniors showing the way with some great skiing on the longer course in some tricky conditions. It was the Ross boys behind Disturbed who took out the win 15:19. Spellbound in second place towing Coen Madle (this young kid is improving with every run) and Wicked Ways rounding out third position 20:46 towing Rory Medway. In the 100 kph class it was Hooter Hunter leading the way taking out first place 18:30 towing Travis Patterson. Second was taken out by Untamed 19:16 towing Tony Hoger. Third place was Synenergy 19:33 towing Dan Caldwell.
Race five was Sub Juniors with a field of ten boats in this class, there was some great racing up front with only one minute separating the top five boats. It was young Matthew Macklin showing the way behind Top Priority taking out the win in time of 19:18 in front of Spellbound towing Lang Madle 20:01. Third place was Brad William skiing behind Rewind 20:36.
Race six was the Masters and Women’s class. The master was always going to be a close first lap with nine boats starting together, the top turn buoy was always going to be a crowded spot. This proved to be correct with five boats hitting the turn buoy together. It was Duel that had the inside run and lead the race from start to finish. Unfortunately this race was cut short after a fall from the skier behind The Dark Side and times were taken from the red flag position. To take nothing away from Derek Mountney skiing behind Duel who took out the win in a time of 15:59. Second place was the Wild One towing Darren Apps 16:51 with Micheal Forgacs 3rd skiing behind Top Priority in a time of 17:47.
Women’s class and once again the good sorts of ski racing did not fail to impress on the water with some very solid performances by all girls in the class, but it was Amander Weaver behind Slingshot who took out the win in a time of 17.40, Joanne Loeskow next behind Renepogel 18.45 and Anita Patterson rounding out 3rd place behind Hooter Hunter in a time of 19.32. A special mention goes to Hayel Barrett behind Wicked Ways in her first race coming home 4th place and putting in a solid performance well done.
With the lengthy delay due to the removal of the fallen skier it was all go the moment the ambulance left to get the final two races under way. Both classes went off together, the water conditions after the first lap was always going to be rough but throwing in twice the amount of laps and I can tell you the boys and girls were going to earn their places today.
In the Inboard class it was Renepogel 2 capping off a solid day of racing and taking out 1st place as well as quickest time of the day 33.59 towing Russell Dick and Travis Patterson, in front of the well presented boat Bewitched with Glen and Clint Grohn skiing in a time of 38.09. 3rd place was the ever reliable Shooter towing the unisex team of Brian Shepherd and Kristy Beavers coming home with a 42.33.
The Outboard class was once again big and close and never fails to produce some tight racing, but this time it was the twin rig of Fuel’n Around with Greg Reason and Peter Harmer showing the way and coming home in 1st place 34.44, with Disturbed not far behind 34.57 towing the Ross boys Jacob and Mason and rounding out 3rd was Weaver Racing 35.21 with Brady and Adam Forgacs out the back.
All in all a great weekend of racing was put on by the Sandy Hook Ski Club and from what I have been told the presentation night and dinner was also a great success.
Also good luck to all competitors going down to the Southern 80 have a safe weekend, and look forward to seeing everyone at the series final at Woodburn in March.
On a personal note I was the skier who fell in the Masters’ race and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with my retrieval on the day, I really can not fault anything done by all involved and was impressed with the professionalism by everyone right up to my release from hospital.
Also thank you to everyone for your calls, texts and flowers and cards it was truly overwhelming and reinforces my belief in what a great sport and what great people we have in this sport.
I will still be flat on my back for about another eight weeks but every day is one day closer to getting back on my ski so I look forward to seeing you all back on the water soon, once again thank you.
Finally I would like to say thanks to my partner Bernadette for looking after me during my recovery I hope she is still this nice to me in six odd weeks time as I am sure I will be climbing the walls by then.
Until then Safe Skiing