The possibility of an offshore powerboat race off the coastline of Forster-Tuncurry was one of the many positives to come out of the Fred Williams boaties and skiers reunion at the weekend.
Discussions have started and meetings already held with a number of parties interested in having an event possibly as early as next year.
The weekend itself was blessed with favourable weather and water conditions with the giant offshore racer Team Australia creating the most interest.
To get the boat to the event the team had to endure a major logistical exercise having to hire and rebuild a trailer as the normal transporter’s hydraulics had failed only days before the planned trip to the Great Lakes.
The massive four and a half ton boat with twin 750 horsepower race engines was a spectacular sight as it rumbled around the course albeit at reduced speeds because of the reduced length and tightness of the track.
Team owner and driver Brett Lurhmann was full of praise for the event and will be one of the proponents for an offshore race next year.
Excellent crowds on both days saw a mix of high powered inboard boats, unlimited outboards, classic nostalgia craft and ski race boats with skiers Chantelle King and Freddie Harbord under tow, perform under simulated race conditions.
The quickest boat over the course was possibly Craig Truslove’s Unlimited Outboard Anglomoil. The boat and driver are based on the Gold Coast and have been regular visitors in recent years.
The reunion dinner at Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club on Saturday night was a huge success where five more inductees were selected for the Reunion Hall of Fame.
They were hydroplane driver and boat builder Graham Howard, husband and wife Allan and Joy Smith, Derek Marland, the owner of the Madness race team and former ski racer Kevin Boylan.
Over 350 attended the dinner where almost $10,000 was raised for this year’s nominated charity the Bill Walsh Cancer Research Centre at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.