Chief reigns at Southern 80 ski classic

CHIEF ruled the under-19 boys’ expert class as it raced to 15th place in the Southern 80 ski classic on the Murray River.

Bendigo owner-driver Todd Newman, skiers Tyrone Naismith and James Moret from Echuca and Sydney respectively, and Bendigo observer Luke Simpson completed the duel which took in 130 bends in 34.26 minutes.  

It was Newman’s 15th start in the Southern 80 classic and fourth as a driver.

“A class win was a fantastic feeling,” Newman said.

“A lot has to go right. The boat, driver, observer and skiers are at maxium capacity.”

A 21-foot Connelly craft, Chief is powered by a 540 twin turb Chev engine.

“Top speed in the Southern 80 was about 170ks,” said 38-year-old Newman.

His previous success in the Southern 80 had been as a skier behind the family boat, Deliverance, and as an observer for Mercforce in which Naismith was skier in the under-16 class.

Simpson and Moret won at the Southern 80 for the first time.

A Bendigo-based builder, Newman started Chief Ski Racing four years ago.

“Tyrone,  who is 18, started racing with us when he was 11 and has developed into a brilliant skier, and James is one of the best in the country in his age group.”

Newman also praised the mechanics at Nankervis Performance and team at Choice Graphix for their support of Chief Racing.

Next hit-out for Chief will be the Victorian Point Score Series on February 23-24 at Lake Charm. Chief is leading the under-19 class at two rounds to go. 

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