The second session on day three of the Australian titles on Lake Jindabyne saw five races, with a total of eight Australian speed titles up for grabs, headed by the open men’s event.
Just like in the marathon races during the day’s first session, the open men’s event was run under stunning conditions – both overhead and underfoot – and world champion Ben Gulley took full advantage.
Gulley, who teamed with his father and driver Gerard and observer Justin Pick, powered to victory behind Strike Force in 35:00.60, defeating Daniel Cotton (Showdown) and Brad Osmotherly (Stinga F1) by 13.63 and 28.86 seconds respectively.
The defending world number one blasted out to a lead right from the start and was never really headed, although, first Osmotherly, and then Cotton, put in solid challenges until the last lap or two.
“We thought he (Cotton) was coming so about that 25 minute mark we did just pick it up a bit,” Gulley said.
“We knew if we could hold them out until the blue flag (signalling the last lap), we should be right.”
Despite what appeared to be pristine conditions, Gulley said the top end of the course was surprisingly challenging but something he felt was to his advantage.
“There was these rollers that kept coming in from some social boats which put a big obstacle course down the back so it was a bit inconsistent water that chopped up towards the end,” Gulley explained.
“I like that choppier water that came into my elements.”
CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM THE MEN’S OPEN RACE
The win was Gulley’s second Australian title of the week, along with his 1sec edging of Cameron Osborne in the world championships selection trial on Tuesday, but the superstar couldn’t add gold medal number three later in the day when he finished second in the social men’s class, which was won by 16-year-old rising star Zac McEwin (Velocity Racing).
It was a big breakthrough for McEwin who had finished fourth in both the 16-U18 Australian speed title and the junior boy’s world championships selection trial earlier in the week.
Jonathan Lane skiing out the back of Fastlane took out the 70MPH expert race.
FOR RESULTS FROM THE SOCIAL MEN AND 70MPH EXPERT EVENTS, CLICK HERE
In the afternoon’s premier women’s racing, Shantelle King, skiing behind Superbad, was the quickest of the two classes in action, taking out the 18-U25 age group in 29mins 05.76 to win her division by almost three minutes.
In the 25-U30 event, Melanie Grech (Velocity Racing) followed on from her sister Courtney’s heroics in the marathon earlier in the day by claiming an Australian title of her own, clocking 29:29.17.
CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM BOTH WOMEN’S 18-U25 AND 25-U30 RACES.
In other events during the day’s speed racing:
- Bailey Cropper (Stinga F1) backed up his win in the junior boy’s world championships selection trials with a win in the boy’s 14-16 event. CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS
- Aidan Rowe (Agent 86) claimed the Australian crown in the Smoc class – RESULTS ARE HERE
For a recap of the marathon racing on the morning of day three, CLICK HERE.
Racing is scheduled to resume for the final day of competition at 9am AEDT on Friday, starting with the men’s and boy’s marathon races.