Two-time World Champion Wayne Mawer and the 99 Psycho Clowns Racing team have won the fourth race of the Australian Water Ski Racing Championship today.
Today’s race again showed the quality of Australian ski racing, with some of the world’s best dicing throughout the field on the tight Corio Bay short course.
Mawer, driver Daniel McMahon and observer Ian Baker led the championship by 16 points going into today’s race, and will leave Geelong with a 23 point lead going into the final two races in Newcastle in January.
Today’s two heats were split between Mawer and Peter Procter (Tru Blue, with the faster overall time giving the 99 Psycho Clowns crew pole position – and they made the most of it, by beating the field to Turn 1.
Tru Blue (Procter, driver Mark Cranny and observer Damien Matthews) dropped back to fourth after Turn 1, but were quickly battling for second with Grant Turner behind Blazen (driver Noel Griffin, observer Bernie Simpson), who got a flying start.
On the second lap Tru Blue pulled ahead and would go about chasing after the lead 99 Psycho Clowns boat.
By mid race distance, Procter and his crew were making inroads in Mawer’s lead. With one lap to go, “The Clowns” had managed to pull away slightly, but traffic on the last lap caused hesitation for the lead boat.
As the leaders rounded the final buoy, Tru Blue got a fast run down the outside of the main straight, launching one final challenge – however, Mawer and his team had enough, fending off their rivals by half a rope length.
Behind, Noel Griffin Racing team mates Blazen and Burnin (skier Mark Weaver, driver Gary Holzwart, observer Cliff Bamford) would stage a race long battle for third place.
Burnin spent most of the race chasing Blazen after the latter’s superb start, however at about three-quarters race distance Turner’s team would pull ahead to secure his first podium finish for the championship.
Codie Rigg followed his impressive podium finish for RCM Racing in yesterday’s race with a solid fifth today, while Daniel Graziano powered on with broken ribs and a broken collarbone behind Superman for sixth.
The 99 Psycho Clowns team and it’s two-time World Champion skier have now separated from the rest of the field with a 23 point championship lead – a race win is worth 25 points.
With Mawer on 97 points, Mark Weaver (Burnin) has moved into second place on 74 points, ahead of Graziano (71 points), Procter (69 points) – who has moved up from ninth to fourth at Geelong, and Codie Rigg (62 points) in fifth.
Wayne Mawer now has three wins from four races in the championship.
“Obviously, we can play things a little smarter now,” said Mawer, “but we don’t really want to do that. We’d rather keep going strong – at the end of the day, if it gets a bit risky we can settle now.
“We can look at the points and work out what we need and go from there – but that’s not really Daniel’s style [driver, Daniel MacMahon] either.”
The final round of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship is on at Newcastle Harbour on 26-27 January.
Race 4 Results:
1) Wayne Mawer, 99 Psycho Clowns Racing
2) Peter Procter, Tru Blue
3) Grant Turner, Blazen
4) Mark Weaver, Burnin
5) Codie Rigg, RCM Racing
1) Wayne Mawer, 99 Psycho Clowns Racing, 97 pts
2) Mark Weaver, Burnin, 74 pts
3) Daniel Graziano, Superman, 71 pts
4) Peter Procter, Tru Blue, 69 pts
5) Codie Rigg, RCM Racing, 62 pts
Visit www.awsrc.com.au for more information on the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship