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2024 Offshore Superboat Championship – Sun’s out, guns out at Geelong.

And the gremlins also seemed to be out… Yet the brilliant 30-degree weather with light East to Nor’east winds seemed to be the pacifier, and delivered happy souls all round.

The teams for the second round of the 2024 Offshore Superboat Championship at Geelong surround the Mayor, Councillor Trent Sullivan.

So even hydrolocked motors, Electronic Control Units forbidding engines to start, burnt piston heads, wiring looms weaving electrical magic, low water pressure (raw coolant), and ‘loss of power’ might have stopped some competitors dead in their tracks, but the magic of the track on Corio Bay in Geelong cast its spell of wonderment upon all who attended. This was also true for multitude of spectators who roamed through the pits, along Geelong’s glorious foreshore, and climbed the hill to gain suitable vantage points.

Reliability was thus one of the keys to success, with Ryan Shan and Scott Kelly in RS Racing being the leading light there. They were the last crew standing in the SuperSport 85 class, with their bright orange Shifty Cat powered by twin 200hp two-stroke Mercury outboards circulating both consistently and swiftly.

It would be hard to not look at local outfit, Gigglin’ Racing, with anything other than great admiration. Driver Mark Sutherland competed on both days after having also worked night shift. Little wonder he and Co-Pilot son Liam smiled so much after winning the final race of the weekend in the SuperSport 65 class. They have won the last two seasons in this most competitive of classes, and are certainly keen to see if a threepeat is on the cards.

SuperSport 65 with Nut Case, Gigglin’ Racing, Pike Racing, and Valentus.

Hary Bakkr and Shane Paton on board Nut Case were determined to go for a clean sweep of the weekend, and after taking out the first two races, it definitely looked like Bakkr’s prediction would come to pass. Alas, the black and green boat could seem to do no wrong, as it cornered exceptionally well and showed her stern to all others. If it were not for Bakkr’s own knee hitting the trim lever and raising the motor, thereby increasing their speed well past the 65mph maximum, the result of third race was in no doubt.

SuperSport 65 Winners – Shane Paton, Councillor Trent Sullivan, and Hary Bakkr

‘Break outs’ as going more than one mile per hour over your class limit is referred to did affect a few over the two days of racing. Andrew Pike and Peter Hutchins in Pike Racing are mastering their new vessel, which is very light, so it accelerates marvellously, but needs care in cornering and when jumping over wake from other craft. To see them doing well is wonderful, and when they do master the control, they will be quite the team to beat, especially in flat water.

In Supercat Outboard, The Mantis was out to show that speed and consistency can coexist. They won the first two races in a near mathematical display of true performance. Aerodynamically the boat is riding almost flat and deviating only marginally. Hydrodynamically, their rooster tail out the back is low and even, showing that the high speed screws are working very efficiently.

The Mantis (Antony de Fina and Matt Kelly) after one of their wins.

With one lap to go in the last race of the event no one would have predicted that they would peel into the centre of the course and their roof hatch would open, yet this is exactly what occurred, much to the bemusement of driver Matt Kelly and throttleman Antony de Fina. Their race was over, but the strong results earlier meant they walked away with all of the silverware, and this went some way to appeasing their frustrations.

During the week, Cr Trent Sullivan, the Mayor of the Greater City of Geelong encouraged all Superboat racing enthusiasts and families to get along to the two-day event, and this certainly occurred. Having driven one of the Supercat Outboard class vessels, Greater Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan is very well placed to comment on the event, and was an enthusiastic presenter of trophies at the ceremonies after racing had concluded.

Valentus (Patty Paczkowski and Michael Paczkowski) in the foreground of the SuperSport 65 class start.

SuperSport 65 with Nut Case, Gigglin’ Racing, Pike Racing, and Valentus.

SuperSport 65 with Villian, Cardiac Arrest, and Valentus.

“This event always provides an exciting atmosphere for spectators and there are ample spaces to get a great view of the action out on the water,” Mayor Sullivan said. “The stunning Corio Bay is the ideal location for these boats to do their thing, and with world-class food and hospitality venues right on our doorstep along the waterfront, there is also plenty to see and do after the races have finished.”

Australian Offshore Powerboat Club Commodore, Antony de Fina said, “Great, close and eventful racing, with good numbers of boats, and the crews were pushing hard. Some of them a bit too hard. Some even went for a little swim, but everything worked well in terms of safety procedures and there were no injuries. A fantastic weekend, with beautiful weather, at this glorious venue, with great competition, and terrific people both out on the water and ashore.”

Reclaiming the Robert Weir and the John and Barbara Gilbert trophies that Queensland’s, The Sting, took home last year was clearly a special moment for de Fina and Kelly, for both the history and prestige of it all. Definitely being listed amongst the grand names on these trophies is a great accolade marking in excess of 30-years of the sport’s history, and the club itself.

Part of the mass of spectators watch Nut Case go on for one of their two wins over the weekend.

The media team would like to specifically thank Gavin Chivilo for ensuring they could get out on the water to capture the action. Speaking of action, the Round Three is in Queensland, with Hervey Bay playing host once more over the weekend of 11 and 12 May, 2024.

Results, videos, and information at