Southern 80

Fans enjoy happy 50th

By Andrew Johnston

THE great race has come and gone.

And those involved couldn’t be happier with how the event ran.

And even more so with the record-breaking final day.

Moama Water Sports Club vice-president Dean Johns said the club was more than happy with the event.

‘‘It’s been a brilliant weekend,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a great turnout across all the events, the weather — especially on Sunday — was beautiful and a lot of fantastic results. It was a brilliant couple of days.

‘‘You always want to have good racing, so to have the record broken and most of the top boats produce really quick times, that’s exactly what we want to see. It provides a wonderful spectacle for the fans.’’

Race regulars noted that crowds appeared to be slightly down on Saturday as poor weather set in, but the numbers grew drastically on Sunday for the main race, returning the regular Sunday atmopsphere to the finish line.

And those who did attend on Sunday were witnesses to history — not only a part of the 50th iteration of the race, but also the fastest race in the 80’s storied history.

‘‘We couldn’t have written the script better with how the results went,’’ Johns said.

‘‘To have a guy like Ian Tricker, who has been coming to this event for 30 odd years, I think that is a pretty special moment for the race to have someone with history in the race claim it in this year.’’

For many, the record looked unattainable, especially following a series of changes to the rules in recent years.

Johns said that this made Sunday’s mammoth win for TR even more special.

‘‘I think with how much has changed in our sport in the past few years, that seemed like no one could break it,’’ Johns said.

‘‘Having the record broken with skiers in the wash, I don’t think many people thought that could happen.

‘‘It’s pretty special for it to happen this year.’’