THE Southern 80 would not be going ahead if not for the help of dedicated community groups.
From helping with boat launching and parking trailers to softdrink sales and traffic control, 13 groups from around Echuca-Moama raised their hand to offer help over the weekend.
Helping for the second year in a row, Lockington Bamawm United Football Netball Club will put in shifts at both ends of the race.
Club president Colin Bacon said players and volunteers were looking forward to the weekend’s racing.
‘‘Last year we did two jobs over the weekend. One was on a boat at the finish line, where we just had a few guys in there for two shifts on Saturday and then again on Sunday. And the other was at the start line, we did traffic control ... there were a few bumps, but it was mostly all right,’’ he said.
‘‘And we’re doing the same again this year. Some amongst us know what we’re doing so that helps. Personally I’ve only been (to watch) once, but it’ll be good for the area, it draws a lot of visitors and brings in a bit of money.’’
Echuca United FNC will once again hold the fort at the finish line, as well as man the main bar and corporate sponsors bar. Members will also help with putting up and taking down fencing.
Echuca Football Club is also pitching in over the long weekend, helping park boat trailers and sell refreshments.
President Ash Byrne can’t be there for the racing action, but said club members would be out there lending a hand.
‘‘Our netballers will be selling softdrinks and our footy players will help with parking boat trailers,’’ he said.
‘‘We hope (the committee) is stoked, we’re really looking forward to it.’’
Moama Football Club president David Grubb said he was proud the club was helping for its sixth consecutive year.
‘‘It’s always a good weekend, when the big boats come in and you see them firsthand, that’s special. There’s a lot of money tied up in some of them,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re helping at the start of Bakers Blitz, with marshalling boats and trailers into the starting area and making sure they’re all lined up.’’
Echuca Lions Club will be spending its long weekend selling race programs.
‘‘Yes we’ll be on the street and we’ll also take them to the gates. We’ve been doing that for many years, from inception I’m pretty certain,’’ Lions member Geoff Crossman said.
‘‘We’ve always done the same thing. Personally I’ve helped for four years. I think the best thing is seeing the crowd come in as well as selling the programs. We’re organising all the members and have about 15 people selling programs and 16 on the gates each day.’’
Superclass winner predictions
LBUFNC Colin Bacon: Mistress
Echuca FNC Ash Byrne: Mistress
Moama FNC David Grubb: Mistress
Echuca Lions Club Geoff Crossman: Sapphire.