Local crew Pigs Arsenal has stormed to victory in the 47th Mildura 100 water skiing race as almost 150 teams took to the Murray for the final river classic of the 2018/19 Australian season.
‘Pigs’ covered the 100km course from Mildura Ski Club to Wicketts Sandbar and back in 31mis 26.66secs – clocking 15:47.59 on the way up and 15:39.07 on the return leg.
Southern 80 winner TR (31:59.53) was second, while defending champion Superman did not take part in the second leg. Third home was Jack Coaldrake (32:30.33), skiing one-up behind Temper 2.
Pigs Arsenal – a team made up of driver Chris Stevens, observer Mark Boyer and brothers Sean and Jack Stevens – set up the popular victory with a brilliant last quarter of the first leg, picking up eight seconds on Superman and nine seconds on TR.
It was a maiden victory on their home course for the Pigs Arsenal outfit and comes in the same season they took home the coveted Sydney Bridge to Bridge race last October.
The performance also marked a wonderful comeback for Sean Stevens who came off the ski during the Bakers Blitz, the prelude to the main event at the Southern 80 in February.
Dad Chris was over the moon with the win and suitably proud of his charges, paying extra credit to Sean’s courageous return.
“Somebody said to me at the halfway point, actually another well known local said to me, ‘how many times have you placed here’ and I said ‘we got a couple of seconds and a couple of thirds here but we were never able to take the main event out. It’s a great feeling,” Chris Stevens said.
“It’s awesome. Sean had a step off at the Southern 80 (when) we were in a very, very good position to be boat one on the Sunday and it didn’t happen for us, but he’s come back from there.
“There can be a lot of demons, a lot of mind games that play out but he dug extremely deep and he’s done an awesome job to get what we got today.”
Jack Stevens said the win was a long time coming and a great thing to share with his family.
“It’s pretty special winning the home race. We’ve been chipping away at it for a couple of years. Superman had a bit of bad luck to put us in a good spot, but to come home in an even quicker time was awesome,” Jack said.
“It’s pretty special (for Dad too). He’s been ski racing for many years, then he stopped for a bit and then came back to racing and to finally get to superclass and do this, and do it on the home track, in a sport that we love, it’s unbelievable.”
Meanwhile Sean said the support of the locals couldn’t be understated.
“Obviously on your home track we’ve got all family down the track and they’re all cheering us on, on the way up and the way back,” Sean said.
“It’s just that little bit of motivation to get you through the race and to see them all here at the finish line is awesome.”
Coaldrake was not the only one-up competitor to put on a good show, with Perry Jamieson and Moonshot Racing finishing in 34:30.79 – good enough for seventh overall. Mitchell Horan and Formula One (34:50.09) was the third solo skier home in ninth overall.
Behind the superclass boats and Coaldrake, Stinga F1 (33:18.09) was the first home in the unlimited inboard class from Blown Cash (34:01.02) and Temper (34:09.76).
Predictably the women’s event was taken out by Merc Force and the team of skiers Chelsea Stevens (nee Blight) and Maddie Boyer, observer Brian Griffin and driver Tim Pickford. The crew combined to finish 13th overall in 36:15.81. Extreme Meltdown were second and Triple 666 F2 Racing, third.
The 2019/20 Ski Racing Australia river classics season is set to kick off on the October long weekend with the Grafton Bridge to Bridge.
Mildura Top 10 overall:
- Pigs Arsenal – 31mis 26.66secs
- TR – 31:59.53
- Temper 2 – 32:30.33
- Stinga F1 – 33:18.09
- Blown Cash – 34:01.02
- Temper – 34:09.76
- Moonshot Racing – 34:30.79
- Supernova – 34:40.00
- Formula One – 34:50.09
- MasterForce – 35:00.05
Classes with 1 Leg results are here
Classes with 2 leg results are here
Sub Junior Return Social results are here
Sub Junior Expert results are here
2019 Mildura 100 water ski race Sunday recap