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Superman aiming for back-to-back

Superman. Photo: Steve Huntley Photo by Steve Huntley

Five crews have gone back-to-back in the history of the prestigious Southern 80 ski race — Superman will be aiming to make it six.

Superman broke through for the outright win in the 2020 race on its 14th attempt, running the course in 31:06.

Now Darren McGuire (driver), Steven Robertson (observer) and skiing duo Daniel Graziano and Daniel Cotton are back for another shot at the title, and they’re coming in on the back of a record-breaking run-in.

After starting the season with a broken ski rope at the Murray Darling 110, the crew picked up a record-breaking win at the Robinvale Euston 80, setting a new course record with a time of 26:17 — four seconds quicker than Merc Force in 2018.

Another outright win at the Mildura 100 has Superman flying into the final race of the ski season.

But despite being one of the frontrunners for the Southern 80, McGuire isn’t buying into any favourites tag.

“There’s a lot of people in the race that live at Echuca that know every corner, and know them a lot better than me,” McGuire said.

“We’ve got Sapphire, Pigs (Arsenal), Mistress, Hellbent, all those guys that are from down this way are going to be hard to beat.

“They know that river like the back of their hand — I only drive on it once a year.”

For the crew, thinking now goes to which of the their two boats get the honour of running the 80.

“We’ll come down with the blue boat and if we think that’s good enough we’ll run that,” McGuire said.

“The blue boat, the old Arkham boat, was pretty well set up to win the Southern 80, so we’re hoping it will be better than the black boat down there.

“At the moment we just don’t know — the black boat’s been so good.”

Superman also remains in the running for the King of the Murray, the last boat in the field capable of cracking the necessary 65 points.

However, after two years away from the big race McGuire and his crew are simply happy to be back.

“It will just be the usual awesome race, I don’t think it will be any different,” he said.