Mercury-powered boats have claimed the Superclass title and 13 other crowns in a dominant performance at the Mildura 100 – the world’s fastest ski race.
Across the Saturday and Sunday of the Easter long weekend, the best ski racers from around Australia tore along the curving 100 kilometre Murray River course watched by thousands who saw Mercury engines rack up win after win.
The Superclass and Outright double was claimed by the mighty Merc Force. Driver Don Gulley, observer Kevin Boylan and skiers Jake Tegart and Kristofer Knights finished with a two-leg total of 31 minutes and 11 seconds – more than 90 seconds clear of the field and averaging a fraction under 200 km/h.
Powered by Mercury Racing’s simply awesome 1650 QC4V power plant Merc Force crossed the line just 13 seconds short of the race record to give the team its third major victory of the season, following the Sydney Bridge to Bridge and the Southern 80.
In the Unlimited Inboard category, Pigs Arsenal claimed victory – and second Outright – with the foursome of Chris Stevens, Mark Boyer, Sean Stevens and Jack Stevens recording 32 minutes 47 for their two runs courtesy of their Mercury Racing 1350 QC4V. TR, also 1350-powered, took second, in 34.06.
Merc Force F1, boasting a Mercury Racing 1350 QC4V power plant as well, smashed the old record by a stunning 43 seconds to claim gold in the Women’s Expert competition. Skiers Maddison Boyer and Chelsea Blight, driver Trent Souwer and observer Christian Apps recording an outstanding 36 minutes 39. They finished almost two minutes ahead of second placed Superbad which was also powered by a Mercury Racing 1350 QC4V.
Underlining Mercury’s dominance was the fact that Mercury engines claimed all three podium positions in three separate classes.
Velocity Racing, Ballistic Still, and Totally Mental finished first, second and third in the Unlimited Outboard, each powered by an OptiMax 300XS.
In F2, it was Enforcer, Showbiz and The Hulk took the honours, all pushed by OptiMax 300XS outboards.
And in Unlimited Outboard Social, it was all OptiMax 300XS engines once more, successfully driving Velocity, Adrenalin and Below Zero to gold, silver and bronze.
Along with those trifectas, Mercury-power claimed first and second in the SMOC outboard; first in the under 19 Boys; gold and silver in the under 19 Girls; first in the 200 HP Outboard; first in SMOC Outboard Social; first and second in both the Women’s Social and Junior Boy’s Social; and gold in the 200 HP Outboard Social.
“What else can you say other than it was a brilliant weekend of ski racing,” said Peter Massina from Mercury Racing Australia/New Zealand. “At a headline event like the Mildura 100 every win is cause for celebrations but special congratulations to the everyone behind Merc Force, Pig’s Arsenal and Merc Force F1 which were simply outstanding.
“Races like this are in Mercury’s DNA – we love it.”