Lifestyle

Blight chasing elusive open women’s record

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February 10, 2018

Chelsea Blight, in her Australian blazer and wearing her World Champion medal, speaks at the official launch of the 2018 Southern 80.

CHELSEA Blight (pictured) is a woman on a mission — a record-breaking mission.

Skiing behind Merc Force F1, the open women’s race record has been an obsession for the past five years of Blight’s Southern 80 career.

Born in Echuca, and now living in Melbourne, Blight said Merc Force F1’s chance had come around once more.

‘‘We’ve been trying to break it for five years, but we’ve always had issues, whether it’s being caught behind another boat (and not being able to overtake), engine issues, or something else,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve been within three seconds (of the record) in 2015, but that time again we caught a boat on the course.’’

The time to beat for Merc Force F1 is 34 minutes, 21 seconds — a record set by Austin Carson, Cameron Wymer, Emma Carson and Lee Hicks in 2003.

‘‘(Luck is) a major part of racing, the course just isn’t wide enough to overtake, and with the President’s Dash or the open women it doesn’t really matter where you’re seeded,’’ Blight said.

With lofty expectations for the ‘80, Blight’s team has silverware in mind, as well as the ever-elusive record.

‘‘Our goals this year are to chase the record and also to win the class (open women’s),’’ she said.

‘‘We have an extremely-competitive team in the women’s this year, so our main goal is to win that race and the second is to break the open record.’’

It has been ‘‘a bit of a mad rush’’ for Blight since competing in the world championships last year, but she is up for the challenges that lie ahead.

‘‘Everyone have a safe weekend of racing and I’m really looking forward to getting out there,’’ she said.

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