One hell of a comeback

February 07, 2018

The new graphics of Hells Arsenal, as designed by Exposed Signage and Apparel in Mildura.

The new graphics of Hells Arsenal, as designed by Exposed Signage and Apparel in Mildura.

THE SOUTHERN 80 is about to get a blast from the past.

Hellrazor, the most successful boat in the history of the event, is coming back.

But not as a part of Team Hell.

Instead, it will make its return under a new name and with a new team.

It is now Hells Arsenal.

And if driver Chris Stevens has his way, it will be the centrepiece of Pigs Arsenal’s assault on Superclass.

‘‘What our current package had was a bit light in terms of horsepower,’’ Stevens said.

‘‘Going across three or four races, we knew we needed to make an upgrade so we decided this was the path to go down.’’

And the team is going all in on their new investment.

In a video on social media on Monday, the boat’s new livery by Exposed Signage and Apparel in Mildura was on display, showing the new Hells Arsenal name.

Despite it historically being bad luck, Stevens is not concerned with the name change.

‘‘We changed the name in a way that we think is right,’’ Stevens said.

‘‘It maintains the history of the boat, it acknowledges everything that was achieved under Team Hell, which is important because of all the success that it had in that time. But it also puts our name on it.’’

That history is the best in the race’s storied past.

Hellrazor has claimed the race on six occasions — 2002, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 — as well as claiming five Bakers Blitzes.

When you add Hellbent’s titles, Team Hell claimed a total of nine overall wins.

‘‘You want to be able to succeed and add to that lineage,’’ Stevens said.

‘‘We are looking to be able to improve our times with the new boat. Hopefully this should be able to push us closer to the pack. Hopefully we can get some good results.’’

The plan now is to mainly utilise Hells Arsenal in river races, and hopefully that begins with the Southern 80.

‘‘Later in the week we will know for sure, but at this stage we will be running with Hells Arsenal.’’

One of the key advantages for the team is that by having two high-quality boats, either can be called on depending on circumstance.

‘‘Rivers move in different ways to each other, so you will often find that different boats are more suited to the different conditions,’’ Stevens said.

‘‘It gives us the flexibility to make that call and to send the different boats out depending on what the course demands.

‘‘It also means that we can have the boats running in different categories at the same event, which means getting more action in on the weekend but not running either boat too much.’’

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