SIX local boats will race against some of Australia’s best at this weekend’s Easter Powerboat Classic.
While it would be ambitious to predict race wins all boats will be highly competitive and should be in the placings in their respective classes.
Champion barefoot water skier Ryan McIntosh will be having his second crack at the Easter Classic in his boat Matilda, formerly owned and raced by the late Larry Martin after which the Trojan Cup is named.
Because of his water skiing background McIntosh understands speed on variable water conditions and is rapidly getting the boat to the level he desires.
The only GP Hydro in the Taree club, Mathermagic, owned and driven by expat New Zealander Ian Bryant, will contest races against other hydroplanes and should display genuine high level straight line speed.
Jim McFarlane in Hobo will be looking to place in the 5 litre inboard class.
Chris Deehan, whose grandchildren will be racing in the Formula Futures, has his boat Ultra primed for a solid performance. Deehan mixes his racing with helping to prepare the family’s junior boats, all adding up to a busy weekend for the veteran racer.
Steve Semken, who has only recently recovered from a broken leg sustained in a motor bike accident, will have his first hitout since the incident in Even Tuffa.
He may also drive Graham Guile’s Hoodlum, a locally built hydroplane which is extremely quick in a straight line.
However, the mix of driving a displacement boat and then hopping into a hydroplane will make, for Semken, an interesting two days.
While those mentioned are locally based boats, Madness, Sick Puppy and Mac’N’Speed will also race under the banner of the Taree club.
As previously reported Troy Marland, the superstar of powerboat racing in Australia will have a busy weekend.
He will drive his Blown Alcohol Displacement (BAD) boat Madness in the unlimited class along with 6 litre injected racer Sick Puppy.
Two years ago Marland won every race championship on the Easter program.
Organisers, this year, have attempted to incorporate other events into the weekend with members of the Manning River Rowing Club training on the river on Friday morning, while the Manning Valley Woodworkers will hold their first open weekend at their base at Harry Bennett Park, the site of the original Taree Olympic Pool, which is within walking distance of the boat races.
Entry to the spectator areas is free with food and refreshments available over the entire weekend.
The official presentation will be held at major sponsors, Taree Aquatic Club (the Sailos) on Sunday night.