Taree Easter Powerboat Classic - Madness takes all

Taree Easter Classic 2012
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In the Taree Easter Powerboat Classic, Troy Marland drove Madness right into the history books after winning every major championship race. The Queensland-based driver, a member of the Taree Powerboat Club, drove his big yellow Evercraft boat, Madness, to two championship wins on Saturday and followed up with three victories on Sunday.

Saturday’s successes included all the way wins in the Stuart Doyle Gold Cup, the NSW Unlimited Displacement Championship and the Eastway Shield, the NSW Unlimited Inboard Championship.

The Stuart Doyle win was his second in succession.

On Sunday the Marland boat won the Liberty Cup – a race in memory of champion driver Brian McCosker who lost his life in a race accident on the Taree course in 2010 – the Geoff Stephenson Memorial and the King of the River.

The race wins didn’t come without some drama.

In Friday’s practice session the 510 cubic inch race engine developed head gasket problems which necessitated a complete change of engines, and then during the King of the River race a piece of the wing broke free.

The sheer boat speed and massive power output of the boat coupled with the Marland’s unquestioned driving ablility are the benchmark in BAD (Blown Alcohol Displacement) boat racing. It appears only engine failure or an unfortunate mishap will cost him race wins against opposition who are merely playing catch-up at this stage.

If Marland is the recognised superstar of the sport at the moment, 18-year-old Queenslander, Lindsay McMillan, is The star of the future.

McMillan, another member of the Taree club, was unbeaten the entire weekend for the second successive year.
His boat, Mac ‘N’ Speed was untroubled in all the five litre carby displacement class races.

As with Madness, it was a case of his opposition competing for second place and even then there was a big gap between McMillan and the rest of the field.

McMillan, the reigning Australian Pro-stock champion, is a member of a genuine boat racing family with his mother and father both former race drivers and his uncle Norm, another former driver, now the head mechanic for Madness.

An unexpected star of the weekend’s racing was Jamie McCutchen from the Deepwater Motorboat club in his Pro-stock boat Bulldog.

Only in the sport a little over three years, McCutchen was only beaten once in the Pro-stock class and ran strongly when he raced up in two unlimited events and even then was able to beat boats with considerably more horse power and engine capacity.

There were no major incidents apart from three races being red flagged when boats broke down and were left stranded adjacent to the turn at the Martin Bridge end of the course.

Officials were delighted with the smooth running of the two day program even though they had to reduce Sunday’s races from 25 events to 17 because of a lack of boat numbers, the result of engine damage from Saturday’s racing.

The Taree club will now start preparing for the Kilo Championship in June.