Maritimo’ greets the chequered flag to register a clear-cut Class I win in the Redcliffe 100. – Redcliffe 100′. Photo by Andrew Gricks

Bill Barry-Cotter’s Maritimo Offshore Race Team is away to a dream start in the Australian Offshore Powerboat Club’s new season with a convincing first and second Class I placing in the Redcliffe 100.

The team’s #1 boat, ‘Maritimo’ (Pal Virik Nilsen and Tom Barry-Cotter), thundered over the Moreton Bay course covering the maximum 14 laps in just 60 minutes and 39 seconds.

‘Simrad’, the team’s #2 boat (Peter McGrath and Luke Durman), also navigated the maximum 14-lap distance crossing the line just 57 seconds (about one third of a lap) behind.

‘Global Racing’, Mark Gilbert’s new boat, claimed third place after covering 11 laps.

The other two Class I competitors, ‘Acme Racing’ and ‘Impact Steel’, failed to finish. They were not alone; the Redcliffe 100 proved to be a punishing affair with five entrants failing to complete the race and another not even reaching the start line.

The Redcliffe venue again proved a winner for the Australian Offshore Powerboat Club. Thousands turned out to view the action as the boats raced fairly close to shore off the Redcliffe business centre.

Crowds were equally enthusiastic at Scarborough, where the crews launched from the nearby Moreton Bay Boat Club, which again proved an ideal host. Brilliant sunshine and light breezes greeted the crews, with many discussing the weather forecast, which warned of coming thunderstorm and strong wind activity.

The boats moved out from Scarborough Boat Harbour on time and prepared for the 12.25pm start with varied conditions ranging from ‘mill pond’ smooth to almost a metre chop.

As the flag dropped, it was quickly obvious that Class I would be fought out by the Maritimo team entrants, ‘Maritimo’ and ‘Simrad’.

Second-placed ’Simrad’ at full noise, but was unable to catch ’Maritimo’ finishing just 57 seconds astern. – Redcliffe 100 –  Photo by Andrew Gricks

‘Impact Steel’ lasted only 5 minutes and 30 seconds before a broken oil line forced the crew (Steve Jellick and Colin Craven) to shut the engines down and ‘Acme Racing’ (Andrew Searle and Christopher Searle) only hung in for another seven minutes before they noticed one engine losing oil.

‘Global Racing’, a new boat co-owned by Mark Gilbert and his father John, was running well, with Ross Willaton on throttles after Gilbert felt he had not quite mastered the boat. Experienced Mike Beil was at the wheel and they did well to claim third in Class I.

’Maritimo’ and ’Global Racing’, which eventually claimed third in Class I, ’dicing’ on Moreton Bay during the Redcliffe 100. – Redcliffe 100 –  Photo by Andrew Gricks

For Team 3, the Supercat Outboard Lite boat with Leigh Trevaskis and Steve Nugent aboard, the Redcliffe 100 will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Coming through some heavy chop the boat was slammed by a succession of waves and sustained serious structural damage; some observers regard the boat as a write off, but the crew remaining hopeful of making the necessary repairs.

In the competitive Supercat Outboard and Supercat Outboard Like classes, defending Australian champions in each failed to finish.

‘Saracen’, Antony De Fina and Nigel Craven aboard, struck propeller problems on lap five, which proved to be a spun bush.

‘Ezy Does It’, titleholder in the Supercat Outboard Lite class, sustained a broken steering line only 10 minutes into the race.

SUV Dodge Ram, Mat Humphrey and Simon Isherwood aboard, won the Supercat Outboard Class, while ‘Elders’, once campaigned as ‘Hog’s Breath’, took out Supercat Outboard Lite with new owner Mick Walker and Gary Smith at the controls.

‘Shaken Not Stirred’, Brian Dale and Mark Taylor in the cockpit, came in second.

I caught up with the obviously delighted crew of ‘Maritimo’ after the race.

The pair struck engine problems, but as a laughing Barry-Cotter pointed out that happened at the best possible time – after crossing the finish line in first place! “The only time to have mechanical problems,” Tom chuckled.

Norwegian ace Pal Virik Nilsen, ‘Maritimo’s throttleman, said the race went smoothly throughout.

“We maintained about 8400rpm on the Lamborghini engines, despite the somewhat varied water conditions.

“Early in the race we were running at about 220km/hr (135mph) and doing it fairly easy,” he added.

‘Maritimo’s mechanical problems were not related to the massive V12 Lamborghini engines, a fact which will no doubt please crew chief Peter ‘Muddy’ McGrath.

“We think the problems we had were related to fuel pump and starter motor, one problem on each engine,” Tom said.

“Just enough to keep ‘Muddy’ busy for a day or two.
Race Results Round 1 Redcliffe 2009

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