Southern 80

Superman’s covert mission to the Murray

By Andrew Johnston

SUPERMAN wasn’t actually in disguise (a la Clark Kent) but still slipped into Echuca-Moama in the dead of night so nobody knew he was here.

Superman, one of only four superclass entries, had pulled out of the race before hitting the river.

Out for the best possible reason; one of their skiers (Daniel Graziano) was expecting a child that weekend.

‘‘Some things are far more important than ski racing,’’ team driver Darren McGuire said on Sunday.

‘‘We are a family boat. We tow the big guys, we tow the kids, we tow anyone who wants a ride. That’s just who we are as a team.’’

With Graziano out, and fellow skier Daniel Cotton jumping boats to The Mistress to guarantee a ski at the sport’s biggest event, McGuire decided not to make the trip.

Until a phone call changed everything.

‘‘I got the SOS from a couple of mates saying they needed a boat to ski behind.’’

That was the team of The Judge, including new Southern 80 hall of famer Jamie Oliver, fellow skier Rhys Duggan and observer Ryan Wridgway.

The Judge had a mechanical fault and would not be able to take part in Sunday’s action.

McGuire sprang into action.

Superman hit the road and flew through the night to Echuca, arriving at 3am on Sunday to give his mates the opportunity to race.

‘‘I still haven’t been to bed,’’ McGuire laughed.

‘‘It was nice. I swung in, took them down the river, and now I’m going home again!’’

Superman produced a 33.36, falling behind unlimited inboard winners The Mistress by just over three minutes.

‘‘We were overtaking boats everywhere on the course, and that probably slowed us down quite a bit. I think if we had have had a clear run at the river today we could have produced a really good time.’’

Superman will now look to a return next year — and a hopeful run at superclass.

‘‘I don’t mind not racing, I don’t have to win all the time. But I will be back next year for another go.’’