MERC Force has gone back-to-back in the Southern 80.
And managed to finish the course in the second fastest time in S80 history (30.08).
The faces of the crew as they crossed the line delivered one message loud and clear: mission accomplished.
Driver Don Gulley said the crew had come with “a 100 per cent focus” on defending the crown they sensationally won with a last gasp finished in 2017, snatching victory from hometown favourite The Mistress, which again finished second.
Gulley said in 2017 the goal had been a podium finish.
“In 2018 we came as winners and we had planned going home the same way – and we will,” he said.
- Check out our massive wrap of this weekend’s event in tomorrow’s paper.
OTHER PROVISIONAL TIMES: Superman (31.20); Pigs Arsenal (31.22); Temper 2 (31.37.5); Sapphire (31.38)
UPDATE: Merc Force F1 has managed a record time in the open women's expert category, finishing the course in 33:15.
UPDATE: Merc Force remains on top of the Superclass leaderboard and looks likely to take the crown.
UPDATE: Bad news for The Mistress and Arkham Asylum. Both have stopped on course - crews are okay.
Footage of The Mistress disaster:
VIDEO: Scott Fishlock
UPDATE: Pigs Arsenal has finished.
UPDATE: First, 4th and 5th have finished but there is no sign of The Mistress or Arkham Assylum
UPDATE: Superman has finished.
UPDATE: Sapphire has finished the race.
UPDATE: Merc Force has secured the second fastest time in S80 history with 30.08 ahead of last year's 31.10. It looks certain to win!
UPDATE: The Mistress is at 22:44 but still 14 seconds behind Merc Force.
UPDATE: Merc Force is 54 seconds in front of last year's time. One split to the finish.
UPDATE: There's only 4.8 seconds between Merc Force and The Mistress at the first split
UPDATE: There has been a delay in the start for Stinga21.
UPDATE: Superman is in the race too.
UPDATE: Sapphire has entered the race.
UPDATE 12.40: The Mistress is off and racing.
EARLIER: The first boat, Merc Force, is away in the highly anticipated Superclass category of the S80.
It's the event we've all been waiting for and now it has arrived.
From here, we'll bring the news to you as it happens.
More to come.