SOUTHERN 80 defending champion Merc Force started to ramp up its preparation for the 2018 classic with a blistering Superclass win in Sydney’s Bridge to Bridge race.
Tuning up for this weekend’s Barrie Beehag, the New South Wales team pushed harder than ever, breaking the event’s record time by 25 seconds.
Runner-up Superman also finished in record pace but couldn’t quite match the pace of the Don Gulley-driven winner, Merc Force finishing in 37:34 with Superman 14 seconds behind.
Superman pushed throughout and got within touching distance of its rival in the middle stages of the race, but couldn’t get past the eventual winners.
It was the second straight Bridge to Bridge win for Merc Force and continues electric form, the reigning Southern 80 champion having claimed the Mildura 100, Grafton Bridge to Bridge and world championships in the last year.
In other action, Echuca team Mistress F2, piloted by Zac Welch, with Adam Nolan (observer), Jamie Oliver and Jason Walmsley (skiers) took out a nail-biting Formula 2 class by just two seconds from Showbiz.
Sid Vicious Racing - Peter Hilet (driver), Simon Zealley (observer), Matthew Hilet and Kobe Russ - took third in the under 16 boys, finishing in 54:32 behind winner Tuff N Up.
And the racing rolls on this weekend in Echuca-Moama with the 2017 Barrie Beehag.
Merc Force will be searching for two wins in as many weeks but will have to beat Echuca team The Mistress to do so.
And Sapphire, with Echuca skier Lloyd Woolman will also be battling it out for the Superclass title, along with Mildura boat Pigs Arsenal and Strike Force.
The racing starts from Deep Creek Marina with the boats travelling the 30 kilometres up to Torrumbarry Weir. Once all boats are there, they will race straight back down to the Marina with presentation on the lawns of the Deep Creek Marina Hotel.
Entry to watch from Deep Creek Marina costs $5 with gate takings donated to Echuca Regional Health’s oncology department in honour of Barrie Beehag.