’Dough set to rise to the top

Doindough during the Southern 80 President's Dash qualifying race at Victoria Park boat ramp. Photo by Cath Grey

Echuca’s Paul Collard and the crew of Doindough are looking to build on their victorious run in the unlimited inboard social category during the 2020 race, as well as a top-10 outright finish.

And with the boat running “the fastest it’s ever been” after a busy ski season, the ’Dough looks set to rise.

“We’ve raced every event we can get to this season,” Collard said.

“The boat’s solid — it’s probably the fastest it’s ever been.”

The boat will also be in for a busy weekend.

On Saturday, Doindough returns to defend the unlimited inboard social crown with Collard at the wheel, Mark Spender of Griffith observing and skiers Jess Spencer (Griffith) and Jacob Hinterholz (Euston) behind.

Matthew Arnall (Yanco) and Lance Muus (Gunbower) will then jump behind the boat in the Veterans category, before Jess Spencer and Connor Ballingall (Rowville) return for the President’s Dash to determine their placing in Sunday’s race.

“We can’t wait,” Collard said.

“It’s the toughest race to do I think, but it’s one you look forward to every year.

“Especially on your home course; I don’t get to know very much of the other courses, but this one here we know a lot of.

“We’ve got a pretty good background here. We’ve been together for about two and a half years, but because of COVID obviously there was a period where we hadn’t skied.”

Competing in his 13th Southern 80, Collard has seen what it takes to be successful in the race.

“Corner speed is the key,” he said.

“Top speed’s got nothing to do with it. You’ve got to get down that river as smooth as possible.”