Southern 80

TR smashes record to claim an ‘unbelievable’ S80 victory

By Andrew Johnston

NATHAN Miller was as stoic as possible when TR hit the boat ramp at Victoria Park at the end of the Southern 80 yesterday.

The TR observer and team captain gave an interview about his Southern 80 team, talking up the men he had just raced with.

But when he walked to the top of the ramp, the enormity of what the team had just achieved seemed to finally hit home.

He — and his beloved TR — were Southern 80 champions.

‘‘This is such an incredible feeling,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m lost for words.’’

And it isn’t hard to blame him for being at a loss.

Not only had TR finally won the big one, but they had done so in an almost unbelievable time.

TR crossed the line in 29 minutes and 22 seconds — smashing the record set by Hellrazor in 2015 of 29.43.

It is now only the second boat in the history of the 80 to finish the course in less than 30 minutes.

Miller said he couldn’t be prouder of his team’s achievement.

“We knew we could run around the 30 and we knew we could perform at the level required to win,” he said.

“But to get this time is almost surreal. I was looking at the splits as we were going through and I thought I must have started my watch wrong because we couldn’t have done that time. It’s honestly unbelievable.”

Miller said the team had felt like they were a real shot at winning for weeks.

“We’ve been doing really solid times in our trials down the river. We’ve kept to ourselves and just given it our best, and this was the time for us to win.”

TR dominated the the Bakers Blitz, beating out the remaining superclass boat in Arkham Asylum by six seconds to get first crack at the water on Sunday.

‘‘It makes a huge difference being able to have that open water,’’ he said.

‘‘The environment change behind a boat is only a minor one, but you don’t realise until you have take it on that it can have such an impact on the race.’’

Miller gave the highest of praise to his team’s driver, Ian Tricker.

‘‘Ian has been a part of this race for so long, he’s one of the best drivers this sport has and he drove perfectly today,’’ Miller said.

Now, with the race over, Miller can reflect on the greatest individual run in Southern 80 history.

‘‘We went for the win and we came away with a record,’’ he said.

‘‘I look at the crew from Hellrazor, at Mark Cranny and that incredible team. To be up with them, it’s something I will never forget.’’