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2024 Offshore Superboat Championship – Keen and bold for Wyndham Harbour

The Superboats return to Wyndham Harbour in Melbourne’s outer west on February 24 and 25. Steve Lancaster and Craig Dove are very much going to be part of it, as they embark in their Maiden race in the Supercat Outboard class. Now they might be newbies to the Offshore Superboat Championship (OSC), but they are by no means rookies. Far from it, as it turns out.

They have distinguished careers in ski racing and events, from both in and behind the tow vessel. Lancaster has been at countless Moomba Festivals on the Yarra River in Melbourne, and also all over Asia. He will be the pilot. Dove is also quite the adventurer, with trailblazing feats to his name like skiing across the world-renowned Bass Strait, and also from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. He will be the throttleman.

They are so keen to be involved in the OSC that they intend to not only run their Supercat Outboard vessel, but also a 20-foot craft they have prepared for the SuperSport 65 class as soon as it is all ready.

The main difference between their Supercat Outboard vessel and nearly all the others around the globe is that theirs is aluminium, not composite. It runs Mercury’s venerable 300XS two-stroke outboards, and this all about fulfilling a lifelong dream for the pair, who have been friends for 30 years or so. Some scouring of the web over time for the proverbial ‘bargain’, and then jumping on the craft when it came up, has them all set to go for the 2024 season.

The boat was originally built by the Horton brothers in Queensland, who are famou

s for the Cut Snake brand of steering rams used in many boats, and raced as a Class Two vessel for a long time. It is a scaled down version of the Tencurra craft by Australian boatbuilding and racing legend, Bill Barry-Cotter AM.

It is described by those in the know as ‘…always being a really well-balanced boat, and always flew beautifully. It is a great rough water boat. Beautiful craft and on weight at two tonnes or so. It’s a real piece of art in terms of its construction, and you just could not do it today because of the cost.’ The second owner put the canopy on it and took it to New Zealand, where it was a really fast boat in the 600hp category.

Given the pair’s incredible history you might think that they are going out there to break speed records, but Lancaster sprays water on that quickly, saying, “We’re going with a plan of consistent consistency. Not necessarily the fastest, but be there at the end. Every race. Get those points.” Definitely addicted to fun, the pair are very committed to seeing if they can get the second boat along to as many events as possible, and really double up.

Wyndham City Mayor Cr Jennie Barrera said, “Wyndham City is thrilled to be hosting the second Superboat championship event at Wyndham Harbour, a contemporary picturesque marina on the north-western shore of Port Phillip Bay.”

”It is a fabulous event that is spectacular and entertaining, and fantastic for Wyndham bringing visitors from close and afar which is terrific for tourism. It also enhances Wyndham’s reputation hosting major water sport events.”

Australian Offshore Powerboat Club Commodore, Antony de Fina said, “We are very much looking forward to getting our 2024 season underway, and thrilled to be at Wyndham Harbour once more. It is a great location with good conditions, and close in action for the spectators. The 30-minute races commence on Saturday February 24 at 1pm with our SuperSport 65 and SuperSport 85 classes. At 2pm it is the Superboat race, and then at 3pm the SuperSport classes return to the track immediately adjacent to the marina.”

“The Superboats have their first race at 11am on Sunday February 25, followed vy the two SuperSport classes at 12noon, then the final race of the weekend is at 1pm with the Superboats once more. Presentations will follow at 3.30pm right at the front of the marina.”

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