Record is blown out of water

February 12, 2018

Chelsea Blight and Maddison Boyer celebrate beating the Open Women's record during the Southern 80. Photo by Luke Hemer.

‘‘IF WE are ever going to do it, it’s going to be this year.’’

That’s what the Merc Force F1 team said to each other before going on to smash the Open Women’s Expert class course record by more than a minute.

Echuca’s Chelsea Blight had been chasing the record time of 34 minutes and 21 seconds, set in 2003, for the past five years.

Even before the race, speaking to the Riv, Blight said she had one thing on her mind heading into the race.

Skiing behind Merc Force F1 with new teammate Maddison Boyer, the crew finally did it on Sunday afternoon.

‘‘Look it’s surreal — we were hoping to beat the record and were hoping to beat it by five or maybe 10 seconds, so to beat it by a minute and five seconds. We just never thought it was possible to be honest,’’ Blight said.

Her teammate and fellow skier-to-be-put-in-the-records, Boyer said like in any team, consistency was a vital part of their successful run.

‘‘Consistency in a team is key really, it’s amazing how much you can do when you know your partner well. Even when I got (some calls) wrong we still got it done which was great,’’ she said.

Blight said the race had to be the ‘‘perfect run’’ if the title was to be claimed.

‘‘Over the years we knew that we could achieve it, and it was more things that happened to us on the course (that prevented winning earlier), whether that be catching another boat or engine failure along or something. So for us it was about making sure we had a perfect run,’’ she said.

The conditions on the day ended up playing into the crew’s hands, and with clear space ahead of them, the time was right.

‘‘Thankfully this year we didn’t have a boat starting ahead of us, so we had two clear minutes to race, so we thought if we’re going to do it, it’s going to be this year,’’ she said.

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